Carl A. Anderson
|13th Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus|
|Installed||October 1, 2000|
|Term ended||February 28, 2021|
|Predecessor||Virgil C. Dechant|
|Successor||Patrick E. Kelly|
Carl Albert Anderson
February 27, 1951
Dorian Jean Lounsbury Anderson
Anderson is the vice president of the Washington session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. He serves as a member of the board of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. He formerly served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America and the National Catholic Educational Association.
Anderson holds degrees in philosophy from Seattle University (1972) and in law from the University of Denver (1975). He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and is admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Anderson has received honorary doctorates from The Catholic University of America (his wife also received an honorary degree at the same ceremony), The Pontifical Theology Academy of Kraków, Sacred Heart University, Albertus Magnus College, Ave Maria University, St. Vincent’s Seminary,  St. Charles Borromeo Seminary and Ave Maria School of Law.
Leadership of the Knights of Columbus
As Supreme Knight, Anderson was the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the world’s largest Catholic family fraternal service organization, which has more than 1.9 million members. Before his election in 2000, Anderson served as assistant supreme secretary and supreme secretary for the Knights of Columbus. Prior to that, he served for 10 years as the vice president for public policy in the Washington, D.C., office of the Knights of Columbus.
Support for Middle Eastern Christian refugees
In August 2015, Anderson announced that the Knights of Columbus had created a Christian Refugee Relief Fund to help raise money for Christians persecuted by ISIS. The Knights also led an effort to document persecution against Christians in order to establish that ISIS was perpetrating genocide, as a declaration of genocide would help secure government aid and more private donations for the persecuted communities. This effort culminated in a 278-page report released in March 2016, which prompted then-Secretary of State John Kerry to declare that atrocities committed by ISIS against Yezidis, Christians, Shiite Muslims, and other minorities constituted genocide. This declaration of genocide ultimately facilitated the unanimous passage of the Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2018. Rep. Chris Smith, who sponsored the bill, said that Anderson's House testimony "was the blueprint for the legislation". In addition to facilitating this legislation, the Knights donated more than $20 million in support of religious minorities in the Middle East between 2014 and 2018.
Under Anderson's leadership, the Knights in 2009 launched their "ultrasound initiative", with the stated goal of donating 1,000 ultrasound machines to pregnancy resource centers during the following decade. The Knights met this 10-year goal. In 2019, Anderson said "Our ultrasound initiative is now the greatest humanitarian achievement in the history of the Knights of Columbus. ... We can, and I am confident that we will, save millions of unborn lives."
The Knights of Columbus provide donations and volunteer labor in response to natural disasters, such as donating wheelchairs after the 2010 Haiti earthquake and other similar disasters. In 2020, they committed $1 million in response to COVID-19, primarily in donations to food banks, as well as encouraging extra volunteer work.
Anderson's 2008 New York Times bestseller, A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can Do to Transform the World, was published by HarperOne. Beyond a House Divided: The Moral Consensus Ignored by Washington, Wall Street and the Media was published by Doubleday in 2010. He is the co-author, with Father José Granados, of Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body (Doubleday, 2009) and Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love (DoubleDay 2009) with Eduardo Chávez Sánchez, and is the co-editor with Livio Melina of The Way of Love: Reflections on Pope Benedict XVI's Encyclical Deus Caritas Est (Ignatius Press, 2006). His books have been published in French, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Korean.
Career in public policy and academia
During the administration of Ronald Reagan, Anderson served in various positions of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, including special assistant to the President and acting director of the White House Office of Public Liaison.
Following his service at the White House, Anderson served for nearly a decade as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. From 1976-81 he was a legislative assistant to Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). From 1981 to 1983 he served as counselor to the Under Secretary of Health and Human Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Secretaries Richard Schweiker and Margaret Heckler.
From 1983 to 1998 Anderson taught as a visiting professor of family law at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family located at the Pontifical Lateran University. Anderson became the founding vice president and first dean of the Washington, D.C., session of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies in Marriage and Family in 1988.
Anderson was named one of the "100 Most Influential in Business Ethics" in 2014 and 2015 by Ethisphere. He was awarded the Order of Merit from the government of Poland and the Evangelium Vitae Medal from the University of Notre Dame in 2015. He has received the Patronal Medal of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for his "distinguished service in the advancement of Marian devotion;" the Archdiocese of Denver's Imago Dei Award; the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty's Canterbury Medal; the Path to Peace Foundation's Servant of Peace Award; the Pontifical North American College's Rector's Award; the Sisters of Life John Cardinal O'Connor Award, the Gold Palm of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and March for Life's Pro-Life Legacy Award.
Collaboration with the Vatican
In 1998, Pope John Paul II appointed Anderson to the Pontifical Academy for Life and in 2002 to the Pontifical Council for the Laity. In 2003 he was named a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI named Anderson as a member of the Pontifical Council for the Family and as a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. In 2009, Pope Benedict appointed Anderson to a five-year term on the board of supervisors of the Institute for Works of Religion, also known as the Vatican Bank.
Anderson and his wife, Dorian, are the parents of five children.
- "Center for Ethics and Culture to Award Evangelium Vitae Medal to Carl Anderson and the Knights of Columbus". University of Notre Dame. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved May 5, 2015.
- "Carl A. Anderson | Knights of Columbus". www.kofc.org. Archived from the original on January 1, 2020. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- "Knights of Columbus elect Patrick Kelly next Supreme Knight". Catholic News Agency. February 5, 2021. Archived from the original on July 19, 2022. Retrieved July 19, 2022.
- "46th Commencement Honorary Degree Recipients Announced". Sacred Heart University. April 1, 2012. Archived from the original on December 25, 2015. Retrieved December 24, 2015.
- Gallagher, Tom (August 10, 2015). "Knights of Columbus Create Christian Refugee Relief Fund". National Catholic Reporter. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
- "Head of Knights urges action by U.S. after Kerry's genocide declaration". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. April 22, 2016. Archived from the original on May 13, 2021. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
- "New law will provide relief to genocide victims in Iraq, Syria". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. December 11, 2018. Archived from the original on September 28, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
- Klemond, Susan (August 13, 2019). "Supreme Knight Carl Anderson highlights Knights' efforts worldwide". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. Archived from the original on November 4, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
- "Knights of Columbus wheelchair program to help Haitian quake victims". Catholic News Agency. April 29, 2010. Archived from the original on February 27, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- "Knights of Columbus will provide funding, volunteers to help food banks". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. April 9, 2020. Archived from the original on August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- "Knights of Columbus called to redouble efforts to fight racism, violence". National Catholic Reporter. Catholic News Service. August 7, 2020. Archived from the original on August 10, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
- Anderson, Carl (March 25, 2008). A Civilization of Love: What Every Catholic Can do to Transform the World. ISBN 978-0-06-133531-0.
- Anderson, Carl A.; Granados, José (2009). Called to Love: Approaching John Paul II's Theology of the Body. ISBN 978-0-385-52771-2.
- Anderson, Carl A.; Chávez, Eduardo (2009). Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love. ISBN 978-0-385-52772-9.
- Geidner, Chris (February 2, 2015). "Nancy Reagan Turned Down Rock Hudson's Plea For Help Nine Weeks Before He Died". BuzzFeed. Archived from the original on June 15, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
- "2015: Carl Anderson and the Knights of Columbus". Archived from the original on August 3, 2022. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
- "University and National Shrine to Award Patronal Medal to Supreme Knight". Catholic University of America. November 6, 2013. Archived from the original on January 2, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
- "2007 Canterbury Medal Gala". Archived from the original on September 30, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
- "Remarks Of Carl Anderson At 2016 Path To Peace Gala". Archived from the original on May 16, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
- "2021 PRO-LIFE LEGACY AWARD: CARL ANDERSON". January 27, 2021. Archived from the original on March 3, 2021. Retrieved March 17, 2021.
- "Supreme Knight appointed to board of Vatican bank". Catholic News Agency. September 23, 2009. Retrieved September 29, 2009.