2023 DC Forum

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Speakers

 

Stanley Carlson-Thies  

Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies

Dr. Carlson-Thies is the Founder and President of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, a D.C.-area nonpartisan think tank that focuses on safeguarding the religious identity and faith-shaped standards and services of faith-based service organizations. A former Director for Faith-Based Policy Studies at the Center for Public Justice, he remains a Senior Fellow there and also consults with the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Carlson-Thies has authored numerous publications and holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Toronto.

     
John Ashmen  

John Ashmen

John has served as President and CEO of Citygate Network since 2007, leading the organization to significant growth through reassessment, relocation, re-staffing, refocusing, rebranding, and a pandemic. John holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible, with a social work emphasis, from Cairn University, and a Master of Organization Management from the University of Phoenix. His writings have appeared in numerous books, journals, and websites, and he speaks nationally and internationally, as well as serving on the board of the National Association of Evangelicals.

     
Doug Lamborn  

Congressman Doug Lamborn

Congressman Lamborn earned a law degree from the University of Kansas before serving in the Colorado General Assembly from 1995 to 2006, in both the state House and Senate. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, the congressman has represented Colorado’s fifth district, providing strong leadership on pro-family and small business issues. He serves as a high-ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, and is a ranking member of the Readiness Subcommittee, and the Strategic Forces subcommittee.

     
Jeff Olivet  

Jeff Olivet

Jeff serves as the Executive Director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) and has worked to prevent and end homelessness for more than 25 years. Throughout his career, he has worked extensively in the areas of homelessness and housing, health and behavioral health, HIV, education, and organizational development. Deeply committed to social justice, racial equity, gender equality, and inclusion for all, he has a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama and a master's degree from Boston College.

     
Joe Savage  

Dr. Joe Savage

Dr. Savage, a Senior Regional Advisor at the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), is a recognized leader with over 15 years of experience in the fields of homelessness, social policy, economic development, and human services administration. His passion for this work has cultivated years of skills and expertise that have helped bring over $150 million of funding to support housing and services for the homeless and community development projects. Dr. Savage's commitment to this work is rooted in his belief in the dignity of human life. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware.

     
Tim Schultz  

Tim Schultz

Tim serves as President of the 1st Amendment Partnership, working with faith groups to ensure that religious freedom is legally protected. He chairs a broad and diverse religious coalition to influence federal policy and public opinion about the value of faith, which was instrumental to the passage of the historic Respect for Marriage Act in 2022. He regularly counsels with lawmakers in both parties, and he is frequently quoted by national media sources. Tim graduated from Kansas State University and Georgetown University School of Law.

     
Rev. Dr. Que English  

Rev. Dr. Que English

Dr. English serves as the Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a coalition builder and network strategist, Dr. English brings a wealth of knowledge in working with the criminal justice system, substance abuse issues, health and mental health, human trafficking, domestic violence, and more. She received her Masters and Doctorate degrees from New York Theological Seminary, where she received the Excellence in Ministry Award, the highest award given to a graduating doctoral student. 

     
Heidi Christensen  

Heidi Christensen

Heidi is a Public Affairs Specialist for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. With a focus on strengthening the capacity of faith and community organizations and the social and economic issues challenging the health of our nation’s communities, she created the Practical Toolkit: Overdose Prevention and Recovery Support in Community Settings and Roadmap to Recovery Support for Faith and Community Leaders: Getting Back to Work. Heidi has an MTS degree from Virginia Theological Seminary.

     
 

Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon

Dr. Delphin-Rittmon is committed to promoting recovery-oriented, integrated, and culturally responsive services and systems that foster dignity, respect, and meaningful community inclusion. She brings a 20-year career in the behavioral health field to her role as Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including serving on the faculty of Yale University, and as a White House appointee working as a Special Advisor to the Administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

     
 

Kimberly Casey

Kimberly serves as the Communications and Prevention Specialist at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Trafficking in Persons. A subject matter expert on human trafficking prevention, public awareness, and outreach, Kimberly has more than 14 years of experience in program leadership with specific expertise in child sexual exploitation, human trafficking, and violence prevention and protection within marginalized populations. She has a Master of Public Policy from George Mason University and studied international organizations and human rights at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

     
Deborah Birx  

Dr. Deborah Birx

Dr. Birx spent four decades serving the United States, first as an Army Colonel and later, running high-profile, influential programs at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Department of State. A world-renowned medical expert and leader, she has focused on clinical and basic immunology, infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, vaccine research, and global health. She formerly served as the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator and is now a Senior Fellow at the George W. Bush Institute.  

     
Conrad Washington  

Conrad Washington

Conrad serves as the Director for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. He provides collaborative strategic leadership to develop and cultivate partnerships with faith-based, non-profit, and community organizations, increasing awareness and enrollment in VA program and services. Previously, he worked with senior management at the VA and served for 20 years with the Marine Corps. An active, licensed minister, Conrad received his MDiv in Pastoral Studies from Moody Theological Seminary.

     
Andy Barr  

Congressman Andy Barr 

Congressman Barr has served as the U.S. Congressman for Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District since 2013. He is a senior or ranking member of numerous committees, including the House Financial Services Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee. In 2021, he unveiled the Housing Promotes Livelihood and Ultimate Success (Housing PLUS) Act in an effort to end the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) exclusive reliance on the Housing First methodology. Many in Washington believe this reform legislation has the highest chance of passing in a divided Congress.

     
Sandra Swirski  

Sandra Swirski

Sandra founded Integer and is a trusted executive, thought leader, and expert at the intersection of policy and philanthropy. She leverages coalition building expertise and industry knowledge to build solutions and progress, demonstrating expertise in collaborating with both political parties to accomplish client goals. Her expertise comes from years on Capitol Hill as well as leading government relations teams in the private sector. Sandra is a frequent speaker and author, providing insightful analysis of breaking financial issues and policy trends to watch in Washington.

     
Brian Walsh  

Brian Walsh

Brian spends much of his time as a Washington, D.C.-based attorney while also serving as the Executive Director of Faith & Giving, a multi-religious, multi-denominational initiative working to protect and promote faith-based and other charitable giving. With decades of notable experience in fundraising and marketing, Brian advocates for faith-based nonprofits, with special attention on securing tax-free charitable deduction legislation, as well as child and earned-income tax credit legislation.

     
Donald Whitehead  

Donald Whitehead

Donald brings more than 20 years of experience in serving and advocating for persons experiencing homelessness to the National Coalition for the Homeless (NCH), including five years living on the streets himself. Previously, Donald directed several programs including outreach and case management, health care, emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing. He brings a unique combination of direct service and advocacy for systemic change to end homelessness through increased federal investment in housing and services as well as an end to policies that criminalize homelessness.

     
Kevin McCarthy  

Speaker Kevin McCarthy

Invited

Speaker McCarthy has proudly served California’s 20th District since 2006 and currently holds the Speaker of the House title for the House of Representatives. He prioritizes a strong, fiscally responsible, and free America where every person has the ability to achieve the American dream. His “Commitment to America” initiative seeks to cut out-of-control government spending, create good-paying jobs, and promote an efficient and effective government and vibrant civil society. His wife, Judy, serves on the board of the Mission at Kern County.

     
David Beckmann  

Rev. David Beckmann

Rev. Beckmann coordinates the Circle of Protection, an advocacy coalition of church bodies and agencies with 100 million members. Based at Virginia Theological Seminary, he learns and teaches at the seminary and more widely. He formerly served as president of Bread for the World, a national Christian citizens' movement, and was awarded the World Food Prize for his contribution to reducing hunger. Before that, he was a World Bank economist and holds graduate degrees in theology and economics and eight honorary doctorates.

     
Nicole Frazier  

Nicole Frazier

Nicole is no stranger to Washington, D.C. or to Citygate Network. Immediately following her college graduation from Cornerstone University, Nicole served as the association’s Director of Public Relations for five years before moving on to work as a Regional Director for Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), and then as the White House Office of Public Liaison’s Director of African American Outreach during the former administration. Currently an Associate Partner for Dentons Global Advisors, Nicole lives and works in our nation’s capital.