In June 2017, the Reverend Dr. Walter J. Smith, S.J. was appointed president and chief executive officer of Campion Center, where he also chairs its governing board and serves as the religious superior of its Jesuit community. During the prior 26 years, Fr. Smith served in New York City as the president & CEO—and later as chancellor—of HealthCare Chaplaincy, a nationally recognized palliative care nonprofit leader in multi-faith chaplaincy research, education and evidence-based practice.
Born and raised in a second-generation, working-class Irish-American community in South Boston, Massachusetts, Fr. Smith came under the spiritual and intellectual influence of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) during his formative years at Boston College High School and Boston College. Since 1962, he has been a member of the Jesuit community and was ordained to the priesthood in 1972.
His post-graduate education includes earned master’s degrees in philosophy, theology, French language and literature, and counseling psychology. He received a doctorate in clinical psychology and spent nearly four decades as a clinician, professor, consultant, trustee, department chair, dean and chief executive officer and chancellor before assuming his current responsibilities at Campion Center.
Father Smith is a recognized specialist in palliative and end-of-life care and has published numerous scholarly articles and two award-winning books in his field. He consults and lectures nationally and internationally, and has served as a director on the boards of national health, spiritual care and advocacy organizations and institutions of higher learning.