Staff

Stanley Carlson-Thies is Founder & Senior Director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance.

Stanley Carlson-Thies is Director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, a division of the Center for Public Justice. He is also a Senior Fellow at CPJ and at the Canadian think tank Cardus. He convenes the Coalition to Preserve Religious Freedom, a multi-faith alliance of social-service, education, and religious freedom organizations that advocates for the religious freedom of faith-based organizations to Congress and the federal government. In 2009-2010 Carlson-Thies served on a task force of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, helping to draft recommendations on how to clarify the church-state rules that apply to federal funding of social-service providers, and has consulted with federal departments and several states. Carlson-Thies served with the White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives from its inception in February, 2001, until mid-May, 2002. He assisted with writing “Unlevel Playing Field: Barriers to Participation by Faith-Based and Community Organizations in Federal Social Service Programs,” a report released by the White House in August, 2001, and “Rallying the Armies of Compassion,” the initial blueprint for President George W. Bush’s faith and community agenda.

Previously, Carlson-Thies was Director of Social Policy Studies for the Center for Public Justice and directed the Center’s project to track the implementation and impact of the Charitable Choice provision of the 1996 federal welfare reform law, and following his term in the White House, he returned to the Center for Public Justice as the Director of Faith-based Policy Studies.

Carlson-Thies received the William Bentley Ball Life and Religious Liberty Defense Award from the Center for Law and Religious Freedom and the Christian Legal Society in October, 2004. He was named as one of twelve advocates who are “reinterpreting God and country” by the National Journal in May, 2004. He holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Toronto. His dissertation is on the role of Protestants and Catholics in the development of Dutch politics in the 19th and 20th centuries. Besides the United States, he has lived in Canada, the Netherlands, and Japan, where he was born of missionary parents.

For a full list of Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies’ publications please click here. To download a print quality photo of Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies’ please click here.


Chelsea Langston is the Director of Membership and Equipping for the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance.

jcp_6445Chelsea Langston joined the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance as the Director of Equipping and Membership in January of 2014. In this role, Chelsea will focus on building IRFA’s membership base and providing educational opportunities for faith based organizations in the areas of organizational religious freedom policy, best practices, and public witness. Before joining IRFA, Chelsea served as Learning Director for Maryland Nonprofits for approximately a year. At Maryland Nonprofits, Chelsea was responsible for collaborating with staff, members and key community stakeholders to facilitate learning opportunities and collaboration across MD Nonprofits’ diverse membership. Before coming to Maryland Nonprofits, Chelsea worked for over two years at the National Association  of Consumer Advocates (NACA) in Washington, D.C., serving as their Manager of Education and Development.  Chelsea has also served as the Legal Services Manager for a community mental health organization in Michigan called Common Ground. Additionally, Chelsea has worked as a fellow for the Irish Center for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland and the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance (IRFA) in Washington, D.C. Chelsea currently serves as a volunteer fellow for the Center for Public Justice in Washington, D.C.  In her free time, Chelsea can be found hanging out with the toddlers and preschoolers at her church children’s ministry program. Chelsea holds a B.A and a J.D from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a member of the State of Michigan Bar Association. To download a print quality photo of Chelsea Langston please click here.