Bishop Burbidge names new Chief Communications Officer

 June 3, 2024 

Upon receiving a unanimous recommendation from a search committee composed of priests and lay staff and after prayerful discernment, Bishop Burbidge is pleased to announce his appointment of Tom Shakely as Chief Communications Officer. As Chief Communications Officer, Tom will report directly to the Office of the Bishop, serve as the chief communications advisor to Bishop Burbidge and diocesan spokesman while overseeing the Office of Communications, the Arlington Catholic Herald, media relations, publications, and multimedia. Tom will begin his assignment on June 17, 2024.

For the past six years, Tom has served as the Chief Engagement Officer for Americans United for Life. Since 2020, he has also served as a Research Fellow for the Discovery Institute's Center on Human Exceptionalism, where he has focused on issues of human dignity, human rights, and law and policy. Tom has worked in journalism, communications, and news publications. He is a 2019 Fellow from the Leonine Forum and has presented on bioethics and sexual morality for the last decade in spaces like The American Conservative, Newsweek, the Napa Institute, Students for Life, and The Heritage Foundation. Tom earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Penn State, a Master of Science in Bioethics from the University of Mary, a Master of Arts in Human Rights from Catholic University and is completing his Ph.D. in Political Theory also from Catholic University. He is also a Knight of Columbus.

Tom and his wife are proud parents to a two-year-old and are expecting their second child in the fall.

Please welcome Tom to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington and pray for him and his family, especially at this time of transition.