Father Patrick Keane, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

father_keaneFr. Keane received a Bachelor’s (1984) and a Master’s (1990) degree in Civil Engineering from N.C. State and worked as a Civil Engineer for 13 years before he was called to become a Catholic priest.  He first visited El Salvador in 1996 and lived in Santo Domingo de Guzman from 1997-1998 while discerning the priesthood, and it was then that he heard a special call to devote his efforts in a special way to the least and poorest among us.  He was ordained for the Diocese of Raleigh in 2003 and is currently pastor at St. Mark Catholic Church, Wilmington, North Carolina.  Along with Leonard Nelson, he founded The Least Among Us in 2001 and continues to be a powerful voice for his “hermanos” in El Salvador.  Fr. Keane travels to El Salvador three times a year to check on the progress of the projects and to maintain contact with the scholarship recipients.

Walter Ulloa, Field Officer


Walter Ulloa, left, stands with Father Keane and several students in front of a TLAU-funded classroom at Santa Familia.

A part-time teacher and resident of Apaneca, Ahuachapan, Walter Ulloa was prinicipal of the parochial school in Santo Domingo de Guzman when The Least Among Us was founded in 2001.  He officially joined us soon after and to this day remains the most indispensable member of our team.  As a native Salvadoran familiar with not only the ambient culture but the specific needs of the educational system in his country, Walter brings valuable experience and insight to our team that safeguards and makes the most of each donor’s dollar.  His responsibilities include organizing and overseeing the sponsorship program, purchasing and delivering raw materials for capital projects, reviewing and editing proposals submitted by solicitant schools, and relaying information to TLAU officers in the US.

John T Nelson, President

johnnyA native of Raleigh, North Carolina, John first visited El Salvador with Father Keane as a high school student in 1999 and officially joined TLAU as an officer in 2004 while an undergraduate student at the University of Dallas. In addition to maintaining the website, he visits El Salvador on a yearly basis to survey and dedicate capital projects as well as visit with the sponsored students.  He received a medical degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and currently resides in Detroit, Michigan where he is completing an orthopaedic surgery residency.

Thomas Nelson, Vice President and Content Manager

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Thomas lives in Montreat, North Carolina, where he teaches high school biology and is taking classes at University of North Carolina at Asheville. He first took a trip with the least among us when he was 15 years old for a groundbreaking ceremony. He is now responsible for managing content and social outreach for The Least Among Us.