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Melissa Rogers is an excellent and truly visionary choice to lead the White House faith-based office. Statement follows:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Joshua DuBois, Former White House Faith-based Director, Comments on the Selection of Melissa Rogers as Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 13, 2013) - "I have known Melissa Rogers for years, as chair of President Obama's faith-based advisory council, as one of the nation's leading experts on religion and public life, and as a close and dear friend. There is no better person to lead the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and bring the federal government into deeper, effective and constitutional partnership with faith-based and other nonprofit groups around the country.

I first met Melissa years ago while working on Capitol Hill, when she provided me and then-Senator Obama with critical guidance on church/state issues. Melissa has been a stalwart advocate for religious freedom, playing a critical role in the implementation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and enactment of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, two of our country's most important religious freedom statutes. Melissa also ably chaired the first-ever Presidential Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in President Obama's first term, helping to bring a diverse coalition of faith-based and nonprofit leaders to consensus on critical church/state and social service issues.

Melissa is also a committed Christian and lifelong Baptist. She is active in her local church – I know that Melissa has taught youth Bible study, she and her family volunteer with the church food pantry, and she takes care of infants in the church nursery – and she truly cherishes the role of people of all faiths and belief in American public life

Under the leadership of President Obama and Melissa Rogers, faith-based and nonprofit organizations around the country will have stalwart allies in the White House, and will be able to expand their partnership with government on behalf of people in need. I am excited for Melissa and for the faith-based office, and look forward to its great success."

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