Director of Operations
Shawn Dougherty is the Director of Operations at St. Vincent DePaul Mission of Waterbury. He joined the staff of the organization in February 2018. In his role, Shawn has responsibility for the Mission's Homeless Shelter, Soup Kitchen/Food Pantry, Thrift Store, and Liberty Hall Apartments.
Shawn began his career in nonprofit work as Assistant Editor of the Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. In this position he was exposed to literature describing "structural violence," a term that one author describes as "referring to the avoidable limitations society places on groups of people that constrain them from achieving the quality of life that would have otherwise been possible." Also during this time, Shawn was an inpatient visitor in the AIDS ward of Chicago's public hospital, Cook County Hospital. He had the opportunity to write feature articles for the Journal about national and international conferences that focused on disparities in access to health care.
From 1998-2007 Shawn served as Executive Director of a regional HIV/AIDS service organization in Central Florida. There, he created programs that provided intensive assistance to the agency's large Haitian, Creole-speaking clientele, and allowed the organization to send approximately 20 HIV-impacted youth annually to a specialty summer camp in Minnesota. His first year in New York was spent managing a transitional housing residence for people with HIV/AIDS in the South Bronx of New York City.
Shawn holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the American Conservatory of Music, a Master's degree in music history from Northwestern University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Central Florida.
Shawn is inspired by the Vincentian vision of seeing Christ in the needy, the lonely, the outcast, the suffering, and those in prison. While living in Florida, Shawn was a resident of an interfaith spiritual community, where two tenets of the organization were, "There are no throw-away people," and "Feed Everyone."
Shawn's objective is to assist the Mission to strengthen its finances and infrastructure, so that quality staff can be retained, and innovative programming developed. His ultimate goal is to see the organization's clients not only be kept safe, housed, and fed, but have the opportunity to make progress in attaining life goals that are most meaningful to them.