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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

FFRF hires director of governmental affairs

Mark Dann has joined FFRF’s staff as its first full-time director of governmental affairs.

The hiring of Dann will raise the national profile of FFRF in Washington, D.C., where he will be based. Dann will shape FFRF’s government relations policy to uphold the separation of church and state and the rights of nontheistic Americans.

Dann previously worked as the director of governmental affairs for the Secular Coalition for America (SCA) and he will continue to support SCA’s work. (FFRF is a member organization of SCA.) He has also served as the federal affairs director at Compassion & Choices, an end-of-life advocacy group, and as a democracy development consultant with the National Democratic Institute in Moldova and Iraq.

The secular movement continues to increase its prominence on Capitol Hill. Ten years ago, the secular movement had only one lobbyist dedicated to making its voice heard in Washington. Today, there are also governmental affairs representatives from SCA, the American Humanist Association, Center for Inquiry and American Atheists.

“Public officials, politicians and candidates have failed to catch up with the changing demographics of the United States, where the ‘Nones’ (nonreligious), at almost 24 percent, are the fastest-growing segment, outnumbering Roman Catholics,” says FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “We believe it is vital for our voice to be heard in order for reason and our secular Constitution to prevail in social policy and in our laws.”

Established nationally in 1978, FFRF has a legal department that ends over 300 state/church entanglements a year, and conducts over a dozen ongoing lawsuits.

The Secular Coalition for America is the nation’s premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Located in Washington, D.C., the SCA lobbies the U.S. Congress, White House, and federal agencies on issues of concern to our constituency.

The SCA coordinates activities with and provides resources to local secular communities across the country. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all.

Mark Dann has recently been hired as FFRF’s first director of governmental affairs. (Photo by Chris Line)