Melissa Rogers

Nonresident Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution

Visiting Professor, Wake Forest University School of Divinity

Rogers is a nationally known expert on religion in American public life. Her areas of expertise include the First Amendment’s religion clauses and the interplay of religion, law, policy, and politics. Rogers previously served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (2013-2017), Chair of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (2009-2010), Director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs at the School of Divinity (2003 – 2013), Executive Director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2000 – 2003), and Associate Counsel/General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (1994 – 2000).  

Rogers is author of Faith in American Public Life (2019) and co-author of Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court (2008).  In 2014, Rogers gave the baccalaureate address at Wake Forest University and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity.  In 2017, President Barack Obama appointed Rogers to serve as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.  Baylor University awarded her its Pro Texana Medal of Service and the First Freedom Center gave Rogers its Virginia First Freedom Award.  She has been recognized by National Journal as one of the church-state experts “politicians will call on when they get serious about addressing an important public policy issue.”

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