Diament, Ratzan named to Obama’s faith-based council


President Obama has named leaders of the Orthodox Union and the National Council of Jewish Women to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Nathan Diament, public policy director of the O.U., and Nancy Ratzan, president of NCJW, both were appointed to one-year terms on Monday, joining Religous Action Center of Reform Judaism directeor Rabbi David Saperstein who was appointed to the panel in February.

The 25-member advisory council is designed to identify best practices, suggest improvements and make recommendations on the delivery of social services. The council was established earlier this year as part of Obama’s revamping of President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiative. The full White House release, with the entire list of members of the council, after the jump:


President Barack Obama today announced additional members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  The Advisory Council is part of the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and is composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds.


Each member of the Council is appointed to a one-year term.  The members of the Council are:

Diane Baillargeon, President & CEO, Seedco
New York , NY


*Anju Bhargava, Founder, Asian Indian Women of America

New Jersey


*Bishop Charles Blake, Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ

Los Angeles, CA


Noel Castellanos, CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Chicago, IL


*The Rev. Peg Chemberlin, President-Elect, National Council of Churches USA

Minneapolis, MN


Dr. Arturo Chavez, President & CEO, Mexican American Catholic College
San Antonio , TX


Fred Davie, Senior Adviser, Public/Private Ventures
New York , NY


*Nathan Diament, Director of Public Policy, Orthodox Jewish Union

Washington, DC


Pastor Joel C. Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland, a Church Distributed
Longwood, FL


*Harry Knox, Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign

Washington, DC


Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie, Presiding Bishop, 13th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Church
Knoxville, TN


*Dalia Mogahed, Executive Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies

Washington, DC


Rev. Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church
Cleveland, OH


Dr. Frank S. Page, President emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention
Taylors, SC


Eboo S. Patel, Founder & Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core
Chicago, IL


*Anthony Picarello, General Counsel , United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Washington, DC


*Nancy Ratzan, Board Chair, National Council of Jewish Women

Miami, FL


Melissa Rogers, Director, Wake Forest School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs

Winston-Salem , NC


Rabbi David N. Saperstein, Director & Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Washington , DC


Dr. William J. Shaw, President, National Baptist Convention, USA
Philadelphia , PA


Father Larry J. Snyder, President, Catholic Charities USA
Alexandria , VA


Richard Stearns, President, World Vision
Bellevue , WA


Judith N. Vredenburgh, President and Chief Executive Officer, Big Brothers / Big Sisters of America
Philadelphia , PA


Rev. Jim Wallis, President & Executive Director, Sojourners
Washington , DC


*Dr. Sharon Watkins, General Minister and President, Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)

Indianapolis, IN


NOTE: Members marked with an asterisk were announced today. The White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will be a resource for nonprofits and community organizations, both secular and faith based, looking for ways to make a bigger impact in their communities, learn their obligations under the law, cut through red tape, and make the most of what the federal government has to offer.  Other members of the Advisory Council were announced earlier this year.

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