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CVT Executive Director Curt Goering to Step Down July 1, 2021

Published January 8, 2021

ST. PAUL, Minn. —The Center for Victims of TortureTM (CVT) today announced that Curt Goering will resign from his role as executive director, effective July 1, 2021.

At the time of his departure, Goering will have served as director for more than nine years, during which time he oversaw successful expansion of programming, staff and budget, as well as the numbers of clients who received rehabilitative care in CVT’s global locations. Indeed, the number of survivors receiving direct mental health care annually more than doubled during Goering’s tenure. As a result, CVT now rebuilds the lives and restores the hope of nearly 30,000 survivors and family members each year.

“It has been a very difficult decision for me to leave, yet it is my firm belief that CVT has never been better placed to have a greater impact in the world,” Goering stated. “I feel more strongly than ever about the importance of CVT’s role in the world and its further potential, and I will forever remain part of the CVT community.”

Goering joined CVT in 2012 after a lengthy career at Amnesty International USA, where he served as chief operating officer and led numerous global missions. He was inspired to join CVT because of its focus on survivors of torture—from his work with Amnesty, he was well aware of the deep impacts of torture on so many people around the world. “Survivors of torture, CVT’s raison d’être, have been and remain a constant source of strength and inspiration for me. I will carry their example with me as I move to the next stage in my career,” Goering said. His plans are to relocate to the East Coast and continue his life’s work in the international humanitarian field.

Carleen Rhodes, chair, CVT board of directors, expressed her gratitude for Goering’s service, noting the growth that CVT experienced during his time as director, and reflecting on the strength of the organization. “Curt steered CVT through an unprecedented period of growth,” said Rhodes, “to a budget at $26 million this year, a significant and critically important increase from CVT’s budget of $10.8 million in 2012.” She noted that under Goering’s leadership, CVT’s staff level rose to more than 450 people, and CVT added centers in U.S. locations including Georgia, as well as in urban and refugee camp locations in Africa and the Middle East. CVT also strengthened its global programming during Goering’s tenure, including development of specialized tools and training for human rights activists, policy advocacy on refugee/asylum policy and national security/human rights issues, and capacity development for colleague torture rehabilitation centers and human rights defenders in countries throughout the world.

In addition, in recent months Goering steered CVT through uncharted waters as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc globally and forced necessary changes in the ways CVT connected with and served its clients. “These are only a few of the important developments supported and implemented under Curt’s watch,” Rhodes said. “Care for survivors of torture begins with the individual, but Curt helped bring benefits much more widely across communities, improving lives and restoring hope for thousands.”

Rhodes said that the board is taking steps now to begin the search for a successor and will work closely with Curt Goering through this transition. “My priority will be to focus on continuing the vision that Curt set for CVT,” she said. “As the global refugee crisis worsens, it is critical that CVT reach more survivors of torture than ever, and following the strategy realized under Curt’s leadership will allow that to continue to happen.”

For 35 years, survivors of torture and war have been at the heart of every aspect of CVT’s work. This client-centered focus is shared throughout the organization, Goering notes, and is what drives him to serve. “It has been my honor to work with this team and to serve our clients,” Goering said. “I know CVT’s best days lie ahead.”


The Center for Victims of Torture is a nonprofit organization headquartered in St. Paul, MN, with offices in Atlanta, GA, and Washington, D.C.; and healing initiatives in Africa and the Middle East. Visit www.cvt.org.

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