Tom Mulloy

Tom Mulloy

Tom Mulloy

Policy Advisor
Office of Domestic Social Development
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Approaching college graduation, Tom Mulloy knew he wanted to do
something with his Spanish skills that didn’t involve sitting in an office
reading, writing and translating. So he joined Jesuit Volunteer Corps and
moved to San Diego.

“Jesuit Volunteer Corps represented an opportunity for a kid from
Southeastern Pennsylvania — an area without a big immigrant
community— to build a deeper relationship with the Spanish-speaking
community, to work with people to build better lives for themselves
and their families,” said Mulloy, who is currently the domestic policy
advisor for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in
Washington, D.C.

“That’s what drew me toward not only JVC but to San Diego. There
was an allure to being around people who felt similar concern and
similar passion and intensity in dealing with these issues.”

As a Jesuit Volunteer, Mulloy worked at the Sherman Heights
Community Center. He coordinated activities with senior citizens for
the first half of the day and helped run an after-school program for
middle school students during the afternoon.

After Jesuit Volunteer Corps, he worked for the two and a half years as
a counselor and case manager in a drug and alcohol abuse program
for Hispanic youth.  Mulloy said at that point he thought about going
back to school for a social work degree but also realized clearly
“how policy making can help or hurt people. That’s where I decided to go.
I still felt really strongly about this call for social work but to work on the
justice side and on system change.”

He worked for four years on Capitol Hill before starting his current
position, where he advocates for labor and economic policy, social
welfare policy and affordable housing.

“I’ve been trying to make my best effort to be a voice for folks who usually
don’t have a voice at the policy making table,” he said. “But I also work
with communities that are underrepresented to empower them. A lot of
time you look at the system and think the system doesn’t work and heavily
favors powerful interests and lots of money and wealth. In many cases
that is true but we have to organize and educate and get involved in the
process. I like to work to empower folks.”

The lessons learned during his year as a Jesuit Volunteer are with him
daily, he said, providing “Policy advocacy at its best is social justice,” Mulloy said. “It is
finding a better way to create a more equitable, fair and just society for
everyone. Certainly the philosophy and the values and the mission of
Jesuit Volunteer Corps continue to animate me.”