Over the last 20 years, Peter Balleis SJ has worked in a number of management roles in humanitarian work with the Society of Jesus. Although he was appointed as International Director of JRS on 1 November 2007, Fr Balleis is no stranger to JRS. At the end of 1994, he took up his first position with JRS in west Tanzania, responding to the Rwandan refugee crisis. It was only six months after the genocide and Fr Balleis was asked to go to Tanzania to prepare the groundwork for a more comprehensive JRS intervention.
The following April, he was appointed regional director of the new JRS Southern Africa Region. In this period, Mozambican refugees were starting to return home from Malawi and JRS was involved in assisting the repatriation process.
In 2000, before taking up his role as International Director, Fr Balleis worked as the Jesuit mission procurator in Germany where he was responsible for fundraising for and funding of development and refugee projects throughout the world.