Still Rising: The Increasing Role of Women as Heads of Religious Freedom Organizations

December 13, 2018 @ 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Knight TV Studio
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Free and open to the public. Registration required.
Still Rising: The Increasing Role of Women as Heads of Religious Freedom Organizations @ Knight TV Studio | Washington | District of Columbia | United States

We have recently seen several long-time leaders in the field of religious freedom — with various political perspectives and of diverse faiths — step down from their positions, some to seek other opportunities and others to enjoy a well-earned retirement. Interestingly, as these friends of the Religious Freedom Center have moved on, the new leaders of these organizations, which have been historically led by men, are now mostly women.

While each organization is different, and doubtless each of them sought the best person for the job, this development raises several interesting questions: Has something changed at these institutions to expand the talent pool in which they are looking — and does that have something to do with changes in their respective faith traditions? Is there some change, from the perspective of the candidates for these jobs, in terms of seeing these positions as right for them? What are the top advocacy issues on which these new leaders are working, and does their bringing a woman’s perspective to the job make a difference? What are the implications of current religious freedom issues for women in particular? To what extent, if any, do these leaders see part of their role as influencing the role of women in their respective faiths and denominations, as opposed to dealing with external legal and societal issues?

Join the Freedom Forum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center for a panel discussion among current female executive directors of prominent religious liberty organizations on the rising role of women in leading these organizations. Melissa Rogers, former special assistant to the president and director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will moderate.

The panelists include:

  • Amanda Tyler, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee
  • Satjeet Kaur, executive director of Sikh Coalition
  • Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Kim Colby, director of Center for Law & Religious Freedom, Christian Legal Society

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