WASHINGTON – Interfaith Alliance announced today that Helio Fred Garcia was installed as the new chair of its board of directors at a board meeting earlier this month. Garcia, who has been a member of the board for 7 years, is a highly respected communications consultant and author, most recently of The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively. An active member of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in New York City, Garcia has been a passionate advocate for religious freedom, interfaith understanding and protecting the boundaries between religion and government.
Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy praised the selection of Garcia, saying, “Fred has been a friend and an ally in our work protecting religious freedom for many years. His longtime involvement in interfaith dialogue will be an immeasurable asset to Interfaith Alliance, as will his deep understanding of organizational communication and governance.”
In addition to his role at Interfaith Alliance, Garcia is president of the crisis management firm Logos Consulting Group and executive director of the Logos Institute for Crisis Management & Executive Leadership. He also serves as chair of the board of trustees of the Starr King School for the Ministry, in Berkeley, Calif., and he is an international trustee of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. Garcia has been an adjunct professor at New York University for the last 26 years and also frequently serves as a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.
Garcia said, “It is an honor to take on a leadership role at Interfaith Alliance and to work with my friend Rev. Welton Gaddy as we continue our critical work protecting religious freedom for all Americans regardless of their faith or beliefs. It has become increasingly clear that some in this country are seeking to change the definition of religious freedom to protect only a narrow sectarian view. My goal is to help Interfaith Alliance to hold the line against those efforts, and to help further fulfill its mission of promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism..”
Garcia succeeds Amber Khan who has been the chair of Interfaith Alliance’s board since 2012. A former member of the Interfaith Alliance staff, Khan was the first Muslim-American to lead the board. In stepping down, she said, “Interfaith Alliance is a movement to engage diverse people of faith in our nation to protect religious liberty and freedom and challenge the politics of division. That work is no less important today than it was when I first joined the organization nearly 18 years ago. Fred Garcia is a great leader who well help position this organization for success in the years to come.”
Past chairs of Interfaith Alliance Foundation and its partner organization Interfaith Alliance, Inc., include Denise Davidoff, Rabbi Jack Moline, Rev. Dr. Galen Guengerich, Alex Forger, The Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon, Rev. Albert Pennybacker, The Rev. Dr. Gwynne Guibord, Rev. Philip Wogaman, Arun Gandhi, and founding chair, Dr. Herbert Valentine.
Garcia lives in New York with his wife, Laurel Garcia Colvin. They have two daughters.
Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit interfaithalliance.org.