Melissa Rogers served as special assistant to Barack Obama during his presidency while directing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She discussed her experience in these roles with YDS students on March 31 as part of the School’s new program in Transformational Leadership for Church and Society.
“The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships serves people in need,” Rogers explained. “Our job wasn’t to promote religion. Our job was to work together with faith and neighborhood groups to help people”—whether the challenge was helping veterans understand and access benefits, supporting refugees, addressing the Ebola virus, or innumerable other issues.
Rogers, now a non-resident senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, spoke with about 100 people, taking questions from Associate Dean William Goettler and audience members. She was on campus to guest lecture in a one-credit weekend intensive course titled “Faith and the White House.”