FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2023
Jonny Levenfeld, West End Strategy Team
Interfaith Alliance Welcomes New Board Members and Staff
WASHINGTON—Interfaith Alliance announced today that Catherine Gillis Carmody, Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, and Richard L. “Jake” Siewert, Jr. have joined its board of directors. As members of the board, Carmody, Harkins, and Siewert will advise the organization as it works to mobilize communities nationwide in defense of democracy and inclusive religious freedom. Interfaith Alliance also welcomed Tranée McDonald as its new policy and advocacy associate and Adam Friedman as its engagement and advocacy associate.
“Interfaith Alliance is thrilled to welcome Catherine, Derrick and Jake to our board as we work to protect democracy in the lead-up to the 2024 election,” said Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, president and CEO of Interfaith Alliance. “Their extensive experience at the intersection of media, politics, and religion will help strengthen the organization as it works to bring together diverse coalitions during this critical test of our democratic institutions.”
Catherine Gillis Carmody is a screenwriter and former trial lawyer. She earned a law degree from the University of Tulsa College of Law and began her trial practice with the Texas Attorney General before working in private practice at Baron and Budd. As part of her philanthropic work, she actively supports a variety of civic and community organizations. Catherine currently serves on the board of the Parrish Art Museum and is a past board member of the New York City Opera. A lifelong Presbyterian, she lives in Miami Beach.
The Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins serves as a principal in The Raben Group’s Issue Campaigns practice area, where he draws on expertise from his extensive political and ministerial career to form coalitions and lead initiatives at the intersection of faith and public engagement. In June of 2021, Dr. Harkins was appointed as director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Prior to HUD, he was director of interfaith outreach for The Democratic National Committee, where he also led faith outreach during the 2012 reelection campaign of President Barack Obama.
Richard L. “Jake” Siewert Jr. is the managing director and the head of global public policy and political risk at Warburg Pincus, where he also oversees environmental, social, and governance strategy. Jake joined Warburg Pincus in 2021 from Goldman Sachs, where he was a partner and directed the firm’s global communications, content, and marketing efforts. Jake also worked as a counselor to Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner during the global financial crisis and its aftermath and was an executive at Alcoa. Prior to Alcoa, Jake worked for eight years in the White House during the Clinton Administration in a variety of posts, including as White House press secretary. He is currently a trustee at Mystic Seaport Museum and at Grace Church School in NYC, and previously served as chairman of the board at Kaboom.
Interfaith Alliance also recently welcomed two new staff members to its growing team. Adam Friedman is joining as the organization’s engagement and advocacy associate to help local affiliates expand their capacity to challenge extremism, further true religious freedom, and strengthen democracy in their communities in addition to managing the organization’s democracy and voting rights portfolio. An organizer and advocate originally from Marin County, California, Friedman most recently worked on political campaigns in Northern Virginia.
Tranée McDonald joins Interfaith Alliance as the policy and advocacy associate, working to further the organization’s presence on Capitol Hill and create meaningful grassroots engagement opportunities in all of its core priority areas. McDonald brings a significant commitment to social justice and years of experience advocating for equity through effective policy change, most recently empowering parent advocates to influence education policy at the local level in the District of Columbia.
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.