Mr. Gudaitis currently serves as Executive Director & CEO of New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), Chair of New York VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), and President of the National Disaster Interfaiths Network (NDIN).
Founded in 2001, NYDIS is a 501(c)(3) federation of 61 faith-based human service providers, charitable organizations and faith communities working in partnership to provide disaster readiness, response, and recovery services for New York City. NYDIS collaborates with local, state, and national organizations to facilitate the delivery of non-sectarian spiritual care, relief, recovery services and planning support – as well as providing mitigation education, preparedness training, and risk communication tools to the New York City faith sector and its partners. NYDIS’ relief and recovery services are principally targeted toward under-resourced victim’s families, survivors, and impacted under-served communities. NYDIS currently has 26 employees and a $4M annual operating budget funded by donations, grants, and government contracts. NYDIS’ 2018 recovery caseload includes over 3,000 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, and Puerto Evacuee clients – its resilience programs annually provide training, preparedness tools and other programming to over 6,000 religious leaders.
He has over 30 years of experience in chaplaincy, disaster emergency management, faith-based philanthropy, program management, and social services administration – including almost a decade in Emergency Medical Services.
Currently, Mr. Gudaitis is a member of the Faith-based Caucus of the International Association of Emergency Managers; Guest Lecturer and Advisory Board member for the Metropolitan College of New York, Emergency and Disaster Management Program; Contributing Fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California; Chair of New York State VOAD (Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster) and, has served on the Board of Directors of New York City VOAD for over fifteen years.
In 2012, he was appointed to the New York State Respond Commission by Governor Andrew Cuomo. In 2015, he was appointed to the New York City Charitable Organization & House of Worship Recovery Task Force by then New York City Council Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito. Since 2016 he has been the Co-Chair of the NYC Faith Sector Community Preparedness Program Advisory Board of the NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene. In 2017 he was elected to the National VOAD Emotional & Spiritual Care Committee. And, in 2018, he was appointed to the New York State Puerto Rico Recovery & Reconstruction Committee by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Gudaitis holds a B.A. from Kenyon College and an M.Div. from the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. He lives in the Borough of Manhattan in New York City, with his husband of 19 years, the Hon. Anthony Cannataro, a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court and Administrative Judge of the Civil Courts of the City of New York.