BRIDGEPORT—Mike Donoghue of Darien has been named executive director of Catholic Charities of Fairfield County. The appointment, announced by Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, was effective December 2.  

Donoghue succeeds Al Barber who has held the post since 2004 and has recently accepted the newly created post as director of Foundations in Charity, one of the foundations created last year through the “We Stand With Christ” capital campaign.

Prior to his move to the non-profit world at Catholic Charities, Mike spent 32 years working in New York City for Wall Street finance and investment firms.

Mike Donoghue and Bishop Frank Caggiano

“Mike Donoghue brings the passion, zeal, intellect, experience and love of faith to take Catholic Charities to the next level in its mission of creating a more loving community that serves the most vulnerable and respects the dignity of all people,” said Bishop Caggiano.

“While Mike has had considerable business success, he prepared for this new assignment through years of outstanding volunteer service to the diocese, his parish and the community. He brings great understanding and compassion to those left out of the benefits of our economy and also a commitment to empower them through Catholic Charities programs to move forward in their own lives.”

The bishop said he believes Donoghue will build on the success of Al Barber who left an outstanding business career to take the helm of Catholic Charities for the past 15 years.

“At this time of transition I’m very personally grateful to Al Barber under whose faithful leadership the agency expanded its nutrition, child development and family support services,” the bishop said. “Al rolled up his sleeves to engage with those served by the agency and to build community support, and we are grateful for his service.”

Catholic Charities is one of the largest private social service providers in Fairfield County. Its programs include nutrition, housing mental health, adoption and pregnancy service, immigration and family support service that help more than 10,000 people of all faiths each year.

Mike Donoghue: After earning a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dartmouth College in 1982 and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1986, he began his Wall Street career at Morgan Stanley & Co where he worked for 19 years and was named managing director in 1996.

Mike was a founding member of Morgan Stanley’s High Yield Sales and Trading business which he helped grow from inception with eight employees to a $1 Billion business with over 200 employees globally. 

He joined startup investment management firm Phoenix Investment Adviser in April 2006 as president of the firm. During his tenure, the firm’s assets under management grew from $35 million with four employees to over $1.5 billion with 24 employees.

Among his many Church and volunteer commitments, Mike Donoghue was invested as a Knight of Malta in 2004 and currently leads the Fairfield County chapter as Area chair with his wife Cece. He has participated in eight Order of Malta pilgrimages to Lourdes, France where the order brings sick people and their caregivers in search of spiritual, emotional and physical healing. Mike was elected to the Order of Malta board of councillors in 2018 and recently completed a five year strategic plan for the American Association. He was also a founding member and the founding co-president of the recently formed (2017) Legatus chapter in Fairfield County.

He has worked as an active volunteer at New Covenant Center, Malta House, Thomas Merton Center, St. Catherine’s Center for Special Needs and the Shepherd’s mentoring program.  

Mike and his wife Cece are perhaps best known by Catholics throughout the diocese for their work as the campaign co-chairs for the Annual Catholic Appeal in 2013-2014 during Bishop Caggiano’s first year in the diocese. They are also active supporters and donors to the Ignatian Spirituality Center at Fairfield University, Foundations in Education and the new Veritas Catholic Radio network. 

His passion for working with individuals with Special Needs and volunteering led him to serve as head coach and commissioner of the Darien Challenger Baseball League, a position he has held since 2010.  He also served as a board member of St. Catherine Academy in Fairfield from 2004–2009 and has been as member of the board of directors of the Ataxia Telangiectasia (A-T) Children’s Project since 1996. A-T is a rare genetic fatal disease that attacks children. 

Mike and his wife Cece and have five children ages 19 to 28 and are members of St Thomas More Parish in Darien.

Catholic Charities sponsors more than 30 programs and services in offices throughout Fairfield County. The main office is located at 238 Jewett, Avenue, Bridgeport 06606 in the Catholic Center.

(For more information call: 203.416.1370 or visit: