Staff Directory

Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute

555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA | +1 202/292-6447 | religion@newseum.org

 

Robert A.

Prof. Robert A. Destro

Distinguished Fellow

Robert A. Destro

Distinguished Fellow, Religious Freedom Center

Email: rdestro@newseum.org

Professor Robert A. Destro (J.D.) is a distinguished fellow at the Religious Freedom Center where he is updating textbook materials and developing a “layered” religious liberty curriculum that can be used to educate religious leaders, educators, journalists and lawyers.

He is currently on sabbatical from the The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. where his is a Professor of Law and founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion. He has been a member of the Catholic University faculty since 1982 and served as Interim Dean from 1999-2001.

From 1983 to 1989 Professor Destro served as a Commissioner on the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and led the Commission’s discussions in the areas of discrimination on the basis of disability, national origin and religion. He has served as Special Counsel to the Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio Secretary of State on election law matter; as General Counsel to the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law at Marquette University; and was was engaged in the private practice of law with the law firm of Squire, Sanders & Dempsey in Cleveland, Ohio.

With Michael S. Ariens, he is co-author of Religious Liberty in a Pluralistic Society (2001), and is co-founder with Dr. Carole O’Leary of the Iraqi Kurdistan Religious Freedom and Cultural Mapping Project, an Initiative of the Program in Law & Religion at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law and Michael-Moran Associates.

Professor Destro was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1972 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and his law degree (J.D.) in 1975 from the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of specialization, scholarship and litigation include: freedom of speech and religion in the United States and abroad; comparative constitutional law; election law; private international law (conflict of laws); legal ethics, and bioethics.

Professor Destro lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife Brenda. They have two adult children, Gina and Mark.