Russell Moore serves as the eighth president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral and public policy agency of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination.
A widely-sought cultural commentator, Dr. Moore has been recognized by a number of influential organizations. The Wall Street Journal has called him “vigorous, cheerful, and fiercely articulate” while The Gospel Coalition has referred to him “one of the most astute ethicists in contemporary evangelicalism.”
Dr. Moore blogs frequently at his website RussellMoore.com, and hosts the podcast Signposts. In addition, he is the author of several books, including Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel, Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ and Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches.
An ordained minister, Dr. Moore has served as a pastor for a number of Southern Baptist churches—most recently serving as preaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church from 2008-2012. A native Mississippian, he and his wife Maria are the parents of five boys.
Prior to his election to this role in 2013, Moore served as provost and dean of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also taught as professor of theology and ethics.Jim Daly View Bio
Jim Daly is an author and broadcaster, president of Focus on the Family and host of the daily broadcast, heard by more than 6.3 million listeners a week and honored as 2012 Program of the Year by the National Religious Broadcasters.
Under his leadership, the ministry has reinvigorated its traditional focus on helping couples build strong marriages and raise healthy, resilient kids. In just the last 12 months, with the help of Focus on the Family, 770,000 couples have built stronger marriages and 870,000 moms and dads built stronger, healthier, and more God-honoring families.
Daly and his wife, Jean, have two sons and are currently parenting two children in foster care. They live in Colorado Springs, Colorado.Jenny Yang View Bio
Jenny Yang is the Vice President of Advocacy and Policy at World Relief, where she provides oversight for all advocacy initiatives and policy positions at World Relief. She has worked in the Resettlement section of World Relief as the Senior Case Manager and East Asia Program Officer, where she focused on advocacy for refugees in the East Asia region and managed the entire refugee caseload for World Relief. Prior to World Relief, she worked at one of the largest political fundraising firms in Maryland managing fundraising and campaigning for local politicians. She is co-author of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate, serves as Chair of the Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) Africa Work Group, and was named one of the “50 Women to Watch” by Christianity Today.Rich Stearns View Bio
Rich Stearns is the president of World Vision U.S., one of the world’s largest nonprofit humanitarian organizations. In 1998, in the midst of a lucrative business career as the CEO of Lenox, Inc., he felt an unexpected, irresistible call to exchange “success” for service to those affected by poverty and injustice. Since then he has tirelessly exhorted the American church to recognize and respond to God’s heart for children and families in need.
Today, Rich is known among both Christian and secular audiences as a trustworthy voice illuminating the critical issues that affect the world’s poor, and urging those who can to make a difference. Rich is also the author of two acclaimed books — The Hole in Our Gospel and Unfinished — that address the vocation of Christ-followers to live out the whole gospel, bringing the good news to a hurting world in not only word but also deed. In his time with World Vision, Rich has traveled to more than 40 of the nearly 100 countries where World Vision works, and has a firsthand understanding of the issues that affect the poor. Driven by his passion to raise awareness of those issues, Rich has appeared on CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, and PBS, and written pieces for the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and other media outlets.Shane and Shane View Bio
In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun.” For Shane & Shane, the current season can be distilled into two words: discipleship and community.
After more than a decade of relentless touring, where the duo played everywhere from the college circuit to worship arenas to far-flung places, Shane & Shane have shifted the focus of their ministry. Rather than cramming as many dates on the calendar as demand will allow, the dynamic praise & worship duo—known for their celebrated guitar work and trademark harmonies—are pouring their lives into others, discipling musicians and training them in their craft.
Putting their convictions into practice, the result is The Worship Initiative. What began as an organic spark of an idea has developed into an online resource and community for all things worship. More than just a digital jukebox for worship geeks, however, The Worship Initiative is a one-stop shop for training, a hothouse environment where all—musicians, worship leaders, budding songwriters—can grow and flourish in their craft and creativity and devotion to the Lord.
“Just making music and playing concerts, I know that there’s a small aspect of discipleship involved in that,” Shane Barnard says. “But we want to encourage people to go to the Fountain, enjoy the Fountain, drink from the Fountain. That’s the ethos of The Worship Initiative. Not just training in songwriting and musicianship.”Ann Voskamp View Bio
Ann Voskamp is the wife of a farmer, mom to 7, and the author of the four New York Times bestsellers The Broken Way — A Daring Path into the Abundant Life, The Greatest Gift, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, and the sixty-week New York Times bestseller One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, which has sold more than one million copies and has been translated into more than twenty two languages.
Named by Christianity Today as one of fifty women most shaping culture and the church today, Ann knows unspoken brokenness and big country skies and an intimacy with God that touches wounded places. Millions do life with her at her daily photographic online journal, one of the Top 10 most widely read Christian sites: annvoskamp.comJoni Eareckson Tada View Bio
Joni Eareckson Tada, the Founder and CEO of Joni and Friends International Disability Center, is an international advocate for people with disabilities. A diving accident in 1967 left Joni Eareckson, then 17, a quadriplegic in a wheelchair, without the use of her hands. After two years of rehabilitation, she emerged with new skills and a fresh determination to help others in similar situations.
During her rehabilitation, Joni spent long months learning how to paint with a brush between her teeth. Her high-detail fine art paintings and prints are sought-after and collected.
Her best-selling autobiography Joni and the feature film of the same name have been translated into many languages, introducing her to people around the world. Mrs. Tada has also visited more than 47 countries, several many times.
Joni has written over 50 books and is a regular columnist in several magazines. She was inducted into the Christian Booksellers’ Association’s Hall of Honor in 1995 and received the Gold Medallion Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003 from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.
Joni’s works cover topics ranging from disability outreach to understanding the goodness of God and the problem of suffering. Her books include: A Christmas Longing, depicting her best-loved Christmas paintings, and Life and Death Dilemma, addressing the complex issues surrounding physician-assisted suicide. The mystery of suffering is systematically examined in When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty, a book written with Steve Estes in 1997 which won ECPA’s Gold Medallion Award.
In 2003, Joni wrote her memoir The God I Love, chronicling a lifetime walking with Jesus. In 2011, A Place of Healing was released, recounting her journey through physical pain and addressing questions concerning prayers for healing. After battling stage III breast cancer in 2010, Joni wrote Diagnosed with Breast Cancer: Life after Shock, released in the fall of 2012. Joni & Ken: An Untold Love Story was released in 2013. Joni’s book detailing her latest health challenges, Beside Bethesda: 31 Days Toward Deeper Healing, was released in 2014. In October 2016, her new daily devotional, A Spectacle of Glory was released by Zondervan – it won best devotional book in ECPA’s 2017 Christian Book Awards. Joni is General Editor of the new Beyond Suffering Bible, a special edition published by Tyndale for those who suffer chronic conditions, and their caregivers.
Beginning in 1982, she began hosting “Joni and Friends,” a daily five-minute radio program of information and inspiration. Four minutes in length, the program airs on more than 1,000 outlets and reaches one million listeners a week. Her one-minute inspirational program, “Diamonds in the Dust,” also airs daily on more than 800 stations nationwide. In May 2017, the “Joni and Friends” radio program celebrated 35 years of broadcasting.
Joni served as host of a 30-minute television series called “Joni and Friends,” which highlights the stories of people enduring difficult trials while continuing to trust in God. In 2012, the TV episode “Cancer – Joni’s Journey” was released, detailing her battle against stage III breast cancer, including surgery and chemotherapy. Episodes can be viewed on the television page.
She has been interviewed or featured on TV shows such as “Larry King Live,” “ABC World News Tonight,” and Fox News’ “The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly.” PBS’s “Religion & Ethics” program featured Joni and her work among persons with disabilities worldwide. She has appeared in print outlets such as Christianity Today, World Magazine, The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times and on radio shows such as “Breakpoint,” “Focus on the Family” and “FamilyTalk with Dr. James Dobson.” Joni’s commentary on disability related issues has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and TIME Magazine.
Joni and her husband, Ken Tada, have been married since 1982 and enjoy serving the Joni and Friends ministry together. On July 30, 2017, Joni celebrated 50 years of living well in her wheelchair, a remarkable testimony to God’s sustaining grace.Kelly Rosati View Bio
Kelly Rosati is the Vice President of Advocacy for Children at Focus on the Family where she serves as the ministry spokesperson on child advocacy issues. Rosati oversees the Adoption and Orphan Care Initiative, the Sanctity of Human Life department, Option Ultrasound, and Community Care efforts.
Rosati is a frequent public speaker on the topics of sanctity of human life and adoption and orphan care. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the national “March for Life” and has been featured in various media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, New York Daily News, Christianity Today, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, and numerous radio stations throughout the country.
Rosati received her undergraduate degree from Marquette University and graduated cum laude from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Rosati and her husband have been married since 1991 and live with their four children in Elbert, Colorado.Senator Ben Sasse View Bio
Ben Sasse is a United States Senator, representing the great state of Nebraska.
He was elected in a 2014 landslide, winning each of Nebraska’s 93 counties, and securing the second-largest margin for a new senator in the history of the state. Living off of a rickety old campaign bus, he and his family campaigned tirelessly on a common-sense platform of restoring the Constitution to its rightful place and encouraging a more constructive politics where every public official works to make the American Dream achievable for every family. He believes in term limits and a humbler Washington, where the federal government does fewer things, but the more important things, more urgently, more transparently, and with less partisan screaming. Healthy lives are lived primarily in the private sector, and the vast majority of good policy is created at the state and local level — and Washington should get better at talking honestly about these essential American realities.
A fifth-generation Nebraskan, Ben grew up walking beans and detasseling corn, experiences that taught him the value of hard work. A graduate of Fremont High School, he was recruited to wrestle at Harvard and then earned a PhD in American history at Yale. Ben comes to the Senate having spent the last five years as a college president. When he was recruited to take over the failing Midland University, Ben was just 37 years old, making him one of the youngest college presidents in the nation. The 130-year-old Lutheran college was on the verge of bankruptcy when he arrived, but became one of the fastest-growing higher education institutions in the country by the time of his departure.
Most of his career has been spent guiding companies and institutions through times of crisis with straight talk about the core issues. He has worked with the Boston Consulting Group and McKinsey and Company, as well as private equity firms and not-for-profit organizations, to tackle failing strategies across a broad array of sectors and nations.Dan Dumas View Bio
Dan Dumas is the CEO of Red Buffalo and presently serves as Special Advisor for Foster Care and Adoption to the Governor of Kentucky. Dan is a teaching pastor and elder at Crossing Church in Louisville, KY. He is passionate about all things leadership, adoption, expository preaching, biblical manhood and being an idea-generating, transformational and organizational leader. He is the author of Live Smart, the co-author of A Guide to Biblical Manhood and the editor of A Guide to Expository Ministry. Dumas served as a Senior Vice President of Southern Seminary from 2007 – 2017. He currently also serves as a special advisor to the President of Southern Seminary and Faculty member. Dan actively writes on Leadership and Preaching at his blog: Leaders Don’t Panic, and provides a variety of coaching and consulting for businesses, churches, and their leaders. Dan has served in a variety of ministry capacities in many local churches, including Executive Pastor at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Prior to his time in ministry, Dan served in the US Navy as a search and rescue swimmer. Dan is married to Jane and has two children.Joy White View Bio
As an adoptive mom, pro-life issues are especially near and dear to Joy White’s heart. Joy received her B.S. from the University of Florida and earned her Masters of Divinity and Masters of Theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She resides in Cedarville, OH with her husband Thomas, who serves as president of Cedarville University. Joy stays busy serving alongside her husband and homeschooling their two children, Rachel and Samuel. Joy teaches a Biblical Theology of Womanhood course at Cedarville University and a Women’s Ministry course at Word of Life Bible Institute. She also enjoys leading a Bible study for the Cedarville Women’s Soccer team, mentoring students, hosting student groups in their home, and playing with their German Shepherd, Duchess.Roland Warren View Bio
Roland C. Warren was appointed Care Net CEO in October 2012. With our 1100 affiliated pregnancy resource centers, Care Net is one of the nation’s largest network of centers providing a Christ-centered and compassionate alternative to abortion. Since 2008, 603,474 unborn children have been saved through Care Net’s affiliated pregnancy centers. Prior to his tenure at Care Net, Roland served as president of the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), where he was dedicated to the mission of improving the well-being of children by increasing the proportion of children that are raised with involved, responsible and committed fathers.
His national media appearances include The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, CNN, C-SPAN, Dateline NBC, Fox News Channel, and Black Entertainment Television. He has been interviewed by major radio and newspaper outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, O Magazine, Ebony, Sports Illustrated, Christianity Today, Essence, the Tavis Smiley Show, and Janet Parshall’s America. He also has written a monthly column called “Pop Culture” for The Washington Times. And, he is the author of a new book, Bad Dads of the Bible: 8 Mistake Every Good Dad Can Avoid.Emily Chapman Richards View Bio
Emily serves alongside the Show Hope staff as Vice President and Assistant Executive Director. Born and raised in Franklin, TN, Emily has enjoyed watching Show Hope, a nationally recognized voice for adoption advocacy and orphan care support work, grow from a dream in her parents’ heart into an organization that has helped thousands of children and families.
After earning her BA in International Studies and Religion from Baylor University (‘07), Emily continued her education while living abroad, graduating from Queen’s University Belfast (‘12) with a Masters of Theology. Emily enjoys traveling and talking theology over a cup of coffee. She is a visionary and a dreamer, and has long remained a passionate advocate for adoption and orphan care efforts. Emily married her husband, Tanner, in 2008, and they are the proud parents to three beautiful girls.
Senator James Lankford View Bio
After serving four years in the U.S. House of Representatives, James was elected to the U.S. Senate to complete an unexpired term on November 4, 2014 and re-elected to a full six-year senate term on November 8, 2016. As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, Lankford fights unnecessary and burdensome regulation and advocates for a more restrained federal government.
Personal faith, local decision-making, and opportunity for every person, regardless of their background, are core values for Senator Lankford. Before his time in Congress, from 1995 to 2009, James served as Director of Student Ministry at the Baptist Convention of Oklahoma and Director of the Falls Creek Youth Camp, the largest youth camp in the United States, with more than 51,000 individuals attending each summer. James lives in Edmond, OK with his wife Cindy. They have been married for 25 years and have two daughters: Hannah and Jordan. He enjoys spending time with his family, sport shooting, and reading.
Benjamin Watson is a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens. Majoring in finance at the University of Georgia, Benjamin went on to play for the New England Patriots, Cleveland Browns, and New Orlean Saints before signing with the Ravens. Off the field, Benjamin stays busy with his foundation One More, his growing family, and the NFL Players Association, where he serves on the Executive Committee. He is the 2018 recipient of the Bart Starr Award. The award honors the NFL player who best exemplifies outstanding character and leadership in the home, on the field and in the community. He has also authored two books, including Under Our Skin.Kristen Waggoner View Bio
Kristen K. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of the U.S. legal division and general counsel, Arizona, with Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, Waggoner oversees the U.S. legal division, a team of 60 attorneys and staff who engage in litigation, public advocacy, and legislative support. Since she assumed this role, ADF has prevailed as lead counsel in six U.S. Supreme Court victories. Waggoner currently serves as lead counsel in two pivotal artistic freedom cases: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which she will argue at the Supreme Court in fall 2017, and Arlene’s Flowers v. State of Washington. Waggoner has also testified before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on religious freedom issues.
Waggoner has extensive experience in civil litigation, employment, education, nonprofit, and constitutional law. After clerking with Washington Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders and interning with U.S. Rep. Linda Smith, Waggoner joined Ellis, Li & McKinstry, a Seattle law firm, where she became a partner in 2004. At ELM, Waggoner participated as counsel in hundreds of legal matters including constitutional cases such as Andersen v. King County (same-sex marriage), Stormans v. Wiesman (pharmacists’ conscience rights), State ex rel Gallwey v. Grimm (financial aid to religious university students), and State v. Hamlin (clergy-penitent privilege).
Waggoner is Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent™ in Martindale-Hubbell. Washington Law & Politics selected her as a “Rising Star” for many years, and she is a sought-after national speaker on legal and cultural issues. She regularly comments on religious freedom issues in television, radio, and print media, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Times, BBC News, CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox News. Waggoner is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.Chuck Johnson View Bio
Chuck serves as president and CEO of the National Council For Adoption. He is responsible for all aspects of NCFA, including management as well as implementing the organization’s mission. He is an advocate for children, birth parents, and adoptive families, and is a frequent writer, speaker, and commentator on adoption policy and practice. Chuck currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Council on Accreditation (COA).
Prior to joining NCFA, Chuck served 17 years with a licensed child-placing agency in Alabama, including eight years as its executive director. He was a consultant and on-camera participant to Hallmark Entertainment’s A Family for Li. His recent citations include CBS News, Good Morning America, CNN International, FOX News Channel, USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, and Family News in Focus. Chuck is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Social Work and holds a Masters degree from Birmingham Theological Seminary. He is a father by adoption and lives with his wife and three children in Maryland.Kathryn Jean Lopez View Bio
Kathryn Jean Lopez is the former editor and current editor-at-large of the widely read and cited daily webzine, National Review Online, where she has written and edited for more than a decade. She is also a Senior Fellow at the National Review Institute. An award-winning opinion journalist who has been praised for her “editorial daring,” Lopez is also a nationally syndicated columnist with United Media’s Newspaper Enterprise Association. Lopez’s work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, New York Post, The Human Life Review, First Things, and Stars and Stripes, and on the websites of the New York Times, CNN, and other international publications. She writes frequently for a variety of Catholic publications, including Our Sunday Visitor, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register and the Knights of Columbus’s Headline Bistro.
She has been recognized by Feminists for Life and Manhattan’s Midtown Pregnancy Support Center for her culture-of-life commentary and reporting. Lopez is a frequent guest on national and international radio and television programs, from PBS and CNN to EWTN and Vatican Radio. She has been a guest host on William J. Bennett’s nationally syndicated morning show. In 2002, Lopez and National Review Online were awarded the Center for Military Readiness Spotlight Award for national-defense coverage.
Commonly known as “K-Lo” on the Internet, on talk radio, and around Washington, Lopez speaks frequently on faith and public life, the dignity of human life, and feminism, among other topics. She has addressed audiences at events sponsored by Legatus, the Knights of Columbus, the American Political Science Association, the Heritage Foundation, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, the Milken Institute, Lincoln Center, and the National Press Club, and has spoken on the campuses of Harvard, Yale, the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Ave Maria University.
Lopez is a graduate of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where she studied philosophy and politics. She has been a fellow at the Claremont Institute and serves on the Archdiocese of New York’s Pro-Life Commission.Danny Akin View Bio
Dr. Akin is the sixth president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been serving in the role since 2004. Known as an advocate for international missions and expository preaching, he also has a reputation as a faithful husband and father and genuine man of God. Akin and his wife Charlotte have four sons, three daughters-in-law, and 12 grandchildren.Robyn Chambers View Bio
Robyn Chambers is Director of Sanctity of Human Life at Focus on the Family. In this role, she oversees our pro-life content and communications, Evangelicals For Life campaign and all aspects of Option Ultrasound, which provides ultrasound machines and sonography training to qualified pro-life medical clinics in high-abortion communities.
Chambers works with a variety of other pro-life organizations that partner with Option Ultrasound, visits pregnancy resource centers and hosts nurse trainings across the United States. She’s also a member of the Leadership Alliance for Pregnancy Care Organizations.
She has served at Focus on the Family for more than 25 years, starting in the ministry’s Family Help Center taking calls from people seeking help from Focus. Subsequent to this, she worked on a team responsible for translating Focus resources into other languages and as a legal coordinator drafting book contracts to distribute Focus resources worldwide.
Chambers is an avid scrapbooker and can often be found reading leadership and history books with the occasional mystery novel thrown in the mix, as well. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, and they have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Daniel Darling is the Vice President for Communications at the ERLC. He is a contributor to Christianity Today, In Touch and a columnist for Homelife. His writing has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Washington Times, CNN, FaithStreet, and The Gospel Coalition. Daniel is the host of The Way Home Podcast and is the author of several books, including his latest, The Original Jesus. He personally blogs at danieldarling.com.Kevin Theriot View Bio
Kevin Theriot, Esq., serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is vice president of the Center for Life.
Since joining ADF in 2003, Theriot has been successful as lead counsel or co-counsel in numerous cases preserving religious freedom. In American Atheists v. City of Detroit Downtown Development, he defended the freedom of churches to participate in a city improvement program. In Children First Foundation v. Martinez, he received a favorable ruling eliminating unconstitutional discrimination against “Choose Life” auto license plates. He also successfully defended the First Amendment freedom of federal employees to express their faith at work in Lister v. Defense Logistics Agency.
Theriot earned his J.D. in 1991 from Vanderbilt University Law School. He is admitted to the bar in the states of Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Missouri, Kansas, and Arizona. He is also a member of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Circuits, and numerous other federal courts.Lauren McAfee View Bio
Lauren McAfee serves as Corporate Ambassador for Hobby Lobby, and likes to think she is a professional fan of Museum of the Bible. She is a speaker, writer, connector, and brunch enthusiast with a heart to engage others in the Bible.
Originating from Oklahoma City, but having lived in Manhattan, her heart considers both places her “home” and she often commutes back and forth between the two. Lauren is committed to Jesus Christ and is happily married to her high school sweetheart Michael McAfee.Nathan Lino View Bio
A fourth generation African, Pastor Nathan Lino was born in South Africa, where he lived until he was 11 years old. After his family immigrated to America, Nathan earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Texas A&M University and then his Masters of Divinity with Biblical Languages at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
In addition to serving as the Senior Pastor of Northeast Houston Baptist Church since its inception in 2002, Nathan as served as the first Vice President of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and has served on the Board of Trustees of the International Mission Board (IMB). He presently serves as the President of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
Nathan and his wife, Nicole, have been married since 1999 and have four children.Palmer Williams View Bio
Palmer Williams is a founding partner of The Peacefield Group, where she specializes in legal and policy analysis related to international human rights, sanctity of life, non-profit operations and government affairs. As a licensed attorney knowledgeable in international law, she has extensive experience advocating for human rights on the international stage, including at the United Nations. Additionally, she has worked with government agencies and faith-based organizations to launch statewide initiatives and grassroots organizing campaigns. Palmer assists clients in crafting messaging, long-term strategic planning and operationalizing their values.
She earned her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law School and her B.A. in Political Science and Community Development from Vanderbilt University. Palmer also spent several years living and serving in sub-Saharan Africa, working with grassroots NGOs serving vulnerable children and victims of the HIV epidemic. Palmer and her husband, Joseph, have two sons, and live in Nashville, TN.Tim Goeglein View Bio
Tim Goeglein is the Senior Advisor to the President and Vice President for External Relations at Focus on the Family in Washington. He served in high-level government posts for the past two decades. He worked as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, where he was the Deputy Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison from 2001 to 2008. He was the President’s principal outreach contact for conservatives, think tanks, veteran’s groups, faith-based groups, and some of America’s leading cultural organizations. He was a member of the President’s original 2000 campaign and White House staff, serving for nearly 8 years.
Goeglein is the author of the evocative political memoir The Man in the Middle: Faith and Politics in the George W. Bush Era, which was published in September, 2011.
Between his time with the Senate and Bush campaign, Tim served as Communications Director for Gary Bauer at the Campaign for Working Families and in the Bauer presidential bid. Tim is a member of the Board of Directors for Coalitions for America, and a member of the board of governors of the Young America’s Foundation which owns and operates the Ronald Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara, California.Sharen Ford View Bio
Dr. Sharen Ford is the program director for Focus on the Family’s adoption and orphan care efforts. In this role, she helps raise awareness of the need for adoptive families to provide loving and stable homes for the more than 100,000 waiting children in the U.S. foster care system. She also makes post-placement resources available for adoptive families.
Prior to her current role, Ford worked for child welfare services at the State Department of Human Services where she served as the manager for permanency services. She also has previous experience teaching middle school, high school, adult and remedial education courses.
Ford has spoken at a variety of conferences on adoption and orphan care issues including the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) annual conference, Bethany Christian Services’ annual conference, the White House Conference on Adoption and the Federal Children’s Bureau Child Welfare Conference.
Ford has won a number of awards including the Paul Singer Award from the Congressional Coalition for Adoption Institute; the Adoption Activist Award from the North American Council for Adoptable Children; the Adoption Excellence Award from the Federal Department of Health and Human Services; and the Minority Adoption Leadership Development Institute Award.
Ford received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Benedictine College, a Master of Education from the University of Missouri – St. Louis and holds a doctorate in counseling psychology from Cornerstone University.
Ford lives in Aurora, Colorado. She has one daughter and loves watching her grandson play sports. She also enjoys traveling and wants to see Egypt, Rome, Israel, Australia, and Fiji. She hopes to go on mission trips to Africa, as well.Steve Grcevich View Bio
Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of the Family Center by the Falls in Chagrin Falls, OH, a multidisciplinary behavioral health group that exclusively serves children, teens and their families. He previously served as Key Ministry’s Board Chairman following ten years of service as the ministry’s founding President.
Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED). He served a residency in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). He is a faculty member in the divisions of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at CWRU and NEOMED and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He has been a featured speaker or presenter at over 35 national and international medical conferences and is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Dr. Grcevich is the principal author of Church4EveryChild, recognized among the Top 100 children’s ministry blogs by Ministry-To-Children.com, and serves as the Program Committee Chairman for Inclusion Fusion, Key Ministry’s Disability Ministry Web Summit. In 2013 he was recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health.Elizabeth Graham View Bio
Elizabeth Graham serves as Director of Events. Her responsibilities include strategic planning related to events for the Executive team, project management, budget management and logistics. Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is married to Richmond, and they have a son and a daughter.Wesley Smith View Bio
Wesley Smith is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism. He is also a consultant to the Patients Rights Council.
In May 2004, because of his work in bioethics, Smith was named one of the nation’s premier expert thinkers in bioengineering by the National Journal. In 2008, the Human Life Foundation named him a Great Defender of Life for his work against assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Smith left the full time practice of law in 1985 to pursue a career in writing and public advocacy. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books. His Human Exceptionalism blog, hosted by National Review Online, is one of the premier blogs dealing with human life and dignity.
His latest book (2016) is Culture of Death: The Age of “Do Harm” Medicine, a revised and updated edition of his award-winning Culture of Death: The Assault on Medical Ethics in America, a warning about the dangers of the modern bioethics movement, was named one of the Ten Outstanding Books of the Year and Best Health Book of the Year for 2001 (Independent Publisher Book Awards).
He formerly collaborated with Ralph Nader, co-authoring four books with the consumer advocate. In addition, Smith co-authored (with Eric M. Chevlen, MD), Power Over Pain: How to Get the Pain Control You Need.
Smith has published hundreds of articles and opinion columns on issues such as the importance of being human (human exceptionalism), assisted suicide, bioethics, eugenics, transhumanism, legal ethics, medical ethics, and public affairs.
Smith is an international lecturer and public speaker, appearing frequently at political, university, medical, legal, disability rights, bioethics, religious, industry, and community gatherings across the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and at the United Nations.Charles Camosy View Bio
Charles Camosy is Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University. Among other places, his articles have appeared in the American Journal of Bioethics, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, Journal of the Catholic Health Association, USA Today, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Commonweal. He is the author of four books, including Beyond the Abortion Wars: A Way Forward for a New Generation. In addition to serving as an adviser for the Humane Society of the United States and the Children’s Hospital of New York, Camosy received the 2012-13 Robert Bryne award from the Fordham Respect Life Club. He is also a member of the international working group “Contending Modernities” which attempts to bring secular liberalism, Catholicism, and Islam into dialogue about bioethics. Camosy has facilitated several projects which attempt to deal with polarized issues, including a major international conference at Princeton (2010) designed to find new ways to think and speak about abortion.Anne O’Connor View Bio
Anne O’Connor, J.D. is an attorney with the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a public interest law firm serving pregnancy resource centers and clinics. As Vice President of Legal Affairs, she assists centers in understanding their legal rights and responsibilities and maintaining best practices in order to serve women and their families with excellence.Kevin Smith View Bio
Kevin Smith is the executive director of the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. He previously served as assistant professor of church history and Christian preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, and president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and chairman of its Mission Board. He and his wife Patricia are the parents of three children.Brian Fisher View Bio
Author, speaker, and business leader Brian Fisher co-founded Human Coalition after years serving in executive management in the for-profit and non-profit arenas.
Originally piloted in 2007, Human Coalition invented and applies abortion-ending strategies that fuse technology, best practices, and tangible help to compassionately serve the unreached abortion-determined woman, Human Coalition has six major divisions: marketing outreach, contact center, women’s care clinics, continuum of care, church outreach, and incubating services.
Brian is a Certified Financial Planner® and the author of four books (including the new release, Abortion: The Ultimate Exploitation of Women) and numerous articles. His columns have appeared in publications such as FoxNews.com, the Washington Post, Independent Journal Review, and CBN.com. Brian and his wife, Jessica, have two sons.Cindy Hopkins View Bio
Cindy Hopkins joined the Care Net team in 2006 where she currently serves as Vice President of Center Services & Client Care. In this role, Cindy is committed to helping Care Net’s network of more than 1,100 pregnancy centers effectively achieve their mission of serving women, men, and families at risk for abortion.
Cindy also provides leadership to Care Net’s call center, Pregnancy Decision Line (PDL-help.org), where everyday Pregnancy Decision Coaches offer compassion, hope, and help to women and men considering abortion.
Cindy has been actively involved in the pregnancy center movement since 1990. She has served as a peer counselor, board member, abstinence leader, and as executive director for the Pregnancy Care Center of Ogden, Utah. Before accepting a position with Care Net, Cindy served as the Director of Outreach for the Assist Pregnancy Center in Annandale, VA.
Cindy earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah and and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. Originally from Southern California, she spent her high school years in England. Before relocating to Northern Virginia in 2004, Cindy and her husband lived in Utah where they raised their three children. Today Cindy’s greatest joy is being “Grammy” to grandkids, Milo and Clementine.Andrew Walker View Bio
Andrew Walker serves as the Director of Policy Studies at the ERLC. In his role, he researches and writes about human dignity, family stability, religious liberty, public theology, and the moral principles that support civil society. He also directs the ERLC’s Research Institute. Andrew is currently a Ph.D. student in Ethics at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His first book with co-author Eric Teetsel is titled Marriage Is: How Marriage Transforms Society and Cultivates Human Flourishing (Nashville: B&H) and was published in June 2015. He is the editor alongside Russell Moore of the Gospel for Life series (B&H 2016). His most recent book, published in August 2017, is God and the Transgender Debate: What the Bible Actually Say About Gender Identity? He is married to Christian, and they have two daughters.Justin Lopez View Bio
Justin currently serves as the Executive Director of For the City, an Austin-based nonprofit that sets the pace for strategic city restoration movements in urban centers across the country.
After graduation from Texas A&M University with an engineering degree in Industrial Distribution, Justin went to work at Dell Inc. in logistics. After specializing in maximizing performance and increasing quality, while minimizing (and ideally eliminating) wasted time, money and resources, Justin transitioned from the marketplace into the not-yet-formed-but-quickly-developing For the City Network, where he’s been since 2009.
Justin’s background in supply chain management has strategically grown the vision, impact, and effectiveness of For the City. With an intentional focus on earned revenue models whenever possible, For the City has grown (expanding to four new cities in the past twelve months) while reducing the financial burden on donors.
Deeply invested in God’s call to love the poor and marginalized, Justin and his family believe deeply in seeking restoration wherever God is opening doors to work. Justin and his wife Sally have four kids: Annabel “Annie”, Lucy, Heidi, and Abraham “Abe”. They live in Austin, where Justin also serves as a pastor and elder at the Austin Stone Community Church.Shannon Royce View Bio
Shannon Royce serves as Director of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS Center). The HHS Center was formed in 2001, under the George W. Bush administration, to ensure that faith partners and non-profits faced no barriers and were engaged as full partners in serving the poor and helping the vulnerable.
Shannon’s professional background includes both government and private sector experience. In government, she worked for over seven years on Capitol Hill, including serving as Counsel to Senator Chuck Grassley (now Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee).
In the private sector, Shannon worked in several faith-based non-profits. Early on, she led the D.C. office of the ERLC. Most recently, Shannon served as Chief of Staff and C.O.O. at the Family Research Council (FRC), managing day to day operations for a team of 80 in fulfilling the FRC mission of promoting “a culture in which all human life is valued, families flourish, and religious liberty thrives.”
Shannon brings personal experiences that have shaped her perspective to the job as well. As a cancer survivor, Shannon knows what it is like to be a patient coping with an often confusing healthcare system. In addition, Shannon’s family has been challenged and strengthened through their experiences as a family with special needs. As a result of her experiences, Shannon has been an advocate in her community to ensure that families with special needs have the supports they need to thrive.
She received her Juris Doctor from the George Washington University School of Law. Shannon is married with two grown sons and enjoys running half-marathons for fun.D.J. Jordan View Bio
D.J. Jordan is the Communications Director in the Office of United States Senator James Lankford (Okla.). Prior to coming to Capitol Hill in 2008, D.J. worked in broadcast journalism at CNN and then Fox News. He obtained a Bachelors of Science in Communications from Liberty University and a Masters in Public Management from The Johns Hopkins University. In 2016, he completed a four-year term on the Virginia State Board of Social Services, which overseas the foster care system and welfare programs in Virginia. D.J. has spoken at Christian Alliance for Orphans events for several years. He and his wife, Glorya, have four children, and have fostered and also adopted from foster care.Carmem Carmo View Bio
Carmem Carmo serves as the director of the First Life Center for Pregnancy, a ministry of First Baptist Church, Orlando.Joel Dillon View Bio
Joel serves as President & CEO at Jill’s House, a role he has played since early 2015. Prior to his service at Jill’s House, he served “at risk” children at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls (Chicago, IL), lived alongside adults with intellectual disabilities in a L’Arche community in Germany, and helped advance the mission of Trinity International University (Bannockburn, IL) as a member of the Advancement team.
Joel is a 2004 graduate of Wheaton College (IL), where he studied German. He enjoys pretty much anything outdoors, particularly golfing and running. He and his wife Hannah live in Northern Virginia, where they are raising two children, Lucy and Jonah.Hannah Sultemeier View Bio
Daniel Patterson serves as Vice President for Operations and Chief of Staff at the ERLC. In these roles, he directs the executive office of the president, public relations, and helps drive operations across the organization. He completed an MDiv and PhD in systematic theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Molly have been married since 2010, and together they have two daughters, Emma and Claire.Denise Harle View Bio
Denise Harle serves as legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Center for Life. In this role, Harle focuses her litigation efforts on defending the First Amendment freedoms of medical and support staff working in pregnancy resource centers, as well as pro-life sidewalk counselors. She also works to defend pro-life legislation around the nation.
From 2015 to 2017, prior to joining ADF, Harle served as deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Florida Attorney General, where she drafted appellate briefs and presented oral arguments on behalf of the state in a wide variety of constitutional cases. In that position, she frequently took a lead role in handling case strategy, briefing, and argument—advancing the office’s high-profile initiatives. Additionally, in 2017, Harle participated in the prestigious Supreme Court Fellow program, sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General.
After clerking for Florida Supreme Court Justice Ricky L. Polston, Harle joined the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, where she worked as an associate in the litigation and appellate practice groups from 2011 to 2015. In that position, she advised and represented clients on high-stakes matters raising questions of constitutional law and statutory interpretation.
Harle earned bachelor’s degrees, summa cum laude, in psychology and interdisciplinary social science from Florida State University. She subsequently acquired a master’s degree in political science from Stanford University, followed by a Juris Doctor at Duke University School of Law. At Duke, she served as the executive editor of Law & Contemporary Problems, the law school’s oldest journal. A member of the state bars of California and Florida, she is admitted to multiple federal district and appellate courts.Kimberly Merida View Bio
Kimberly Merida is the wife of Tony Merida, pastor of Imago Dei Church, Raleigh, and the author of Orphanology and Ordinary. Kimberly is the mother of five adopted children, four from Ukraine and one from Ethiopia. Kimberly speaks at various women’s conferences, and justice ministry events. She homeschools some of their children, serves alongside other pastors’ wives in ministering to women in their faith family and volunteers as a Justice Advocate with the International Justice Mission. She is also a musician, playing weekly at Imago Dei, and at other events. You can follow her blog at www.shownmercy.blogspot.com.Travis Wussow View Bio
Travis Wussow serves as the Vice President for Public Policy and General Counsel at the ERLC. Travis led the ERLC’s first international office located in the Middle East prior to joining the Washington D.C. office. He received a B.B.A. in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. He and his wife, Katie, have two daughters.Trillia Newbell View Bio
Trillia Newbell is the Director of Community Outreach at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Trillia has a degree in political science from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and is currently pursuing her M.A. in biblical counseling from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is the author of two books, United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity and Fear and Faith. Trillia lives in the Nashville area with her husband Thern and their two children.Becky Weichhand View Bio
Becky came to CCAI in 2009 from the beautiful Great Lakes State of Michigan to serve as CCAI’s Director of Policy. For five years in that role, Becky worked to educate Members of Congress and their staff on domestic and international adoption and child welfare policy. As Director of Policy, Becky led CCAI’s Congressional Resource Program to daily serve congressional offices with relevant information in the field. In her work with CCAI’s 20/20 Vision Program she coordinated congressional delegations to Los Angeles, Columbus, the United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Vietnam, South Korea, and Haiti. Becky also managed The Way Forward Project, which focused policymakers and funders on the need for family care of children in six African nations. After serving as Interim Executive Director beginning in June 2014, Becky was named CCAI’s Executive Director in December 2014. Becky has a J.D. from Regent Law, and is a licensed attorney in Virginia.Dean Inserra View Bio
Dean Inserra is the founding and senior pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Fla. Dean has served as a Youth Minister in Tallahassee and regularly speaks at campus organizations at Florida State University. He has a degree in Biblical Studies from Liberty University and also attended The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a MA in Theological Studies from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and is pursuing a D.Min from Southern Seminary. He married Krissie in December of 2003. They have three children.Steven Harris View Bio
Steven Harris serves as the Director of Advocacy, working out of the ERLC’s Washington office. In this role, he works with government leaders in the legislative and executive branches to advocate for the ERLC’s position on important issues, while also analyzing legislation and producing content for ERLC outlets. He holds a B.S. in Religion from Vanderbilt University, an M.Div. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and an M.A. in Religion from Yale University. Steven lives in the D.C. metro area with his bride, Sunni, and son, Jude.Cindi Boston View Bio
A long-time leader in the pregnancy help community at the local, state, and national levels, Cindi Boston was named Heartbeat International’s Vice President in January 2016.
Cindi previously served on Heartbeat International’s Board of Directors from 2013-15, and was recognized as a 2011 Heartbeat International Servant-Leader honoree. She chaired the board for Missouri’s Alliance for Life that played a role in passing a state resolution honoring the work of pregnancy help organizations, as well as directing funds for specific services covered under Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Cindi has worked in the business, education and non-profit sectors in Kansas, Ohio, and Missouri since 1985. She was first elected to the first Board of Directors for the initial setup of Pregnancy Care Center (PCC) in the winter of 1998. She oversaw the center’s growth from startup through the first 15 years of service, where the ministry reached 285,150 local women and men.
Cindi is a graduate of Evangel University. She is a certified Life-Affirming Specialist (LAS) and was selected as one of the top 12 non-profit directors of underserved populations in Missouri. Cindi is the proud mother of two sons, Josh and Caleb.Brian Kuiper View Bio
Brian Kuiper is the Executive Event Producer at Focus on the Family, where he has worked for the last 22 years. Brian has a passion for loving, helping, supporting, and encouraging both the Down Syndrome and disabled communities.
He graduated with a degree in communications from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Brian and his wife Treshia met at Focus and have been married for 15 years. They are the proud parents of four amazing children.
Smooth Via is a pastor and church planter in East Africa. He, his wife Kelly, and their 6 kids live in Jinja, Uganda where they work with Arise Africa International, a native organization. Although they had been involved in short-term projects in Uganda since 2001, it wasn’t until they failed to acquire a visa for their adopted daughter Chloe that they decided to make their home in Uganda in 2014. If they couldn’t bring Chloe home, then they would take home to Chloe. Since that day, they have helped plant more than 20 churches, seen thousands become followers of Jesus, helped provide free medical care in villages around the country, and even helped save vulnerable street kids from a violent sexual predator. They don’t feel much like missionaries. They have just always tried to follow Jesus wherever he leads. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.Alison Centofante View Bio
Alison Centofante is the Director of Alliance Relations at Alliance Defending Freedom working to serve, strengthen, and expand the alliance on life, marriage, and religious freedom. Speaking on those issues, Centofante has been featured on Fox News, ABC, NPR, The Christian Broadcasting Network, and other media outlets explaining how limited government empowers American families. Her work has been published in National Review Online, World Magazine, Red Alert Politics, and The Blaze.
Alison most recently served as Communications Director for Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization. She was formerly Executive Assistant to Concerned Women for America CEO and President Penny Nance and led CWA’s Washington, D.C.-based Ronald Reagan Memorial Internship Program. Prior to joining CWA, Alison interned at Fox News and worked as a sideline sports reporter for the Flames Sports Network in Virginia.
Centofante was a founding member of the “Young Women for America” chapter at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she graduated with Honors with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications: Advertising/Public Relations, and double minors in Psychology and Journalism. Alison was recently named to the RNC’s list of “Rising Stars” as well as Red Alert Politics “30 under 30” list and Christianity Today’s Reader’s Choice “33 under 33.”Herbie Newell View Bio
Herbie Newell is the President/Executive Director of Lifeline Children’s Services and it’s ministry arms including (un)adopted, Crossings, and Lifeline Village. Herbie holds a Master’s degree in Accounting from Samford University. He joined the Lifeline staff in 2003 as Executive Director. From January 2004 – December 2008, he served as the president of the Alabama Adoption Coalition. Herbie was chosen as a Hague Intercountry Adoption evaluator and team leader by the Council of Accreditation and serves in that capacity currently. Under Herbie’s leadership, Lifeline has increased the international outreach to 23 countries, helped Lifeline attain membership in the ECFA (Evangelical Council on Financial Accountability), and led the creation of foster care ministry. Mr. Newell has been invited to speak regionally for many events concerning adoption and the church’s response to orphan care. He is a regular speaker for the National Council for Adoption, Christian Alliance for Orphans, Together for Adoption and Care-Net. Having witnessed the plight of older orphans on many trips overseas, Herbie’s burden for the fatherless was a catalyst for starting (un)adopted during 2009. He worked with WAKM Companies, LLC, a prominent accounting firm, for many years as an independent auditor before being led to Lifeline. He and his wife, Ashley, live in Birmingham, Alabama, and are parents to son, Caleb, and daughters Adelynn and Emily. During parts of May, June, and July of 2013, the Newell’s traveled for 7 weeks in China working hands-on with (un)adopted and orphanage partners.Eric Brown View Bio
Dan Winters once wrote, “Evidence of a life replete with love is, in my mind, the greatest gift a photographer can give to the world.” Eric Brown couldn’t agree more, and he has sought to do just that in documenting and sharing his family’s life with his youngest daughter, Pearl Joy Brown.
Pearl was born July 27, 2012, and Eric started to realize several months after her birth, that even those closest to their family were unable to grasp what life was truly like in their home, and it seemed necessary for them to understand that in order to know how to engage and relate to them. The typical assumption Eric found over and over was that perhaps their life was a 24/7 festival of thanksgiving, complete with unicorns and cupcakes. Or, considering the gravity of everything, that they just sat around tired and frightened all the time, battling heavy hearts and watery eyes.
It’s neither of those things all the time, though it’s both of those extremes at different times. And sometimes it’s just really boring and ostracizing. Eric’s hope is to do his best in helping others understand… to take them by the hand and walk them through the ins and outs, that they may gain a better perspective on the disproportionate amount of joy that Pearl has brought into their lives. Eric wants to share those gifts while making engagement with her, or other kids like her, less intimidating. It’s a life filled with moments of celebration over the smallest and most mundane gifts, and those gifts are less than obvious if you’re not privy to the intricacies of her life.
As a photographer, he has opted to use his camera along side of his words to portray the clearest, most honest telling he can.Denise Burke View Bio
Denise Burke serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Center for Life. In this litigation role, Burke’s efforts are directed toward limiting the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and ultimately overturning it. She also works to defend pro-life speech and to challenge physician-assisted suicide laws.
Prior to joining ADF, Burke served as vice president of legal affairs for Americans United for Life, where she routinely advised legislators, policy groups, and state attorneys general on life issues. In addition, Burke testified before legislative committees on the constitutionality of pro-life legislation.
Burke began her career with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, United States Air Force, both on active duty and in the reserve. Rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel, she served as an instructor at the USAF JAG School and on the editorial board of the Air Force Law Review. In response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Burke volunteered to serve again on active duty. In recognition of her service, the Air Force awarded her the Meritorious Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
A member of the state bar of Texas, Burke is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and multiple federal district and appellate courts. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Maryland, followed by her Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University.Heather Rice-Minus View Bio
Heather Rice-Minus serves as vice president of government affairs at Prison Fellowship, the nation’s largest Christian nonprofit serving prisoners, former prisoners, and their families. She is a powerful, knowledgeable voice articulating the case for restorative criminal justice solutions.
As leader of Prison Fellowship’s policy staff, Rice-Minus directs lobbying, research, and legislative campaigns on pivotal criminal justice issues at the state and federal levels. She also spearheads its efforts to build coalitions with advocacy groups, think tanks, faith-based organizations, and other key stakeholders in Washington, D.C.
Rice-Minus has contributed to stories about criminal justice reform in outlets including Slate, CBN News, PBS’ Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, and WORLD magazine. She is the co-author of Prison Fellowship’s Bible study curriculum, “Outrageous Justice.” A valued shaper of the criminal justice reform debate because of her wide-ranging policy expertise, Rice-Minus is also personally vested in justice reform as someone who has both been a victim of crime and walked alongside a family member during his incarceration.
A native of Virginia, Rice-Minus resides in Washington, D.C., with her husband and daughter. Prior to her tenure at Prison Fellowship, she managed advocacy efforts on behalf of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. She is a graduate of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School and Colorado State University. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar.
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The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention. The ERLC is dedicated to engaging the culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ and speaking to issues in the public square for the protection of religious liberty and human flourishing. Our vision can be summed up in three words: kingdom, culture and mission.
Focus on the Family is a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God's design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles.