Jeanné Lewis is a nonprofit executive, faith-based organizer, and authority on creating empowered communities. She has dedicated her career to building bridges, closing equity gaps and creating policies that lead to strong, thriving and self-determined cities.
As the vice president and chief engagement officer at the National Center for Responsive Philanthropy, Jeanné connects social justice organizations to the funding networks they’ve traditionally lacked access to so that they can increase their impact and persuades funders to improve their practice. Prior to that, she was the Director of US Programs at Search for Common Ground, responsible for advancing bipartisan conversations and policies to address racial injustice. She’s further built support networks for military families and worked as a faith-based community organizer in Ohio and Florida.
Her consulting company, I to I Consulting, specializes in conflict resolution, strategic coalition-building and developing and implementing community-led solutions.
Jeanné resides in Washington, DC. She is a member of the DC Working Families Party, St. Augustine Catholic Parish and SongRise, a women’s social justice acapella group. In addition, Jeanné sits on the Board of Directors of Faith in Public Life,1 the Board of Directors of Generations for Peace, USA, the president’s council of Search for Common Ground, is a member of the Faith and Giving Task Force of the Generosity Commission, and is a former candidate for DC Council At-Large.
Jeanné received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and holds a M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Antioch University Midwest.
1 Jeanné Lewis will resign her role on the FPL Board before officially beginning as interim CEO.
A Note from our Founding CEO
When we created Faith in Public Life 17 years ago, George W. Bush had been re-elected by ‘faith voters’ who turned out to ban gay marriage and support policies that divided communities and pitted people against their neighbors. Our founding faith leaders were determined to show that our faith taught us something different: love, respect and acceptance for one another regardless of political party.
Since that time we have built a powerful faith-focused movement. We’ve responded to crucial political and cultural moments in our nation: from landing key votes to ensure the Affordable Care Act passed to demanding every vote be counted in 2020. I am so proud of the work that we’ve done together over the past 17 years.
The challenges we face today are more daunting than I could have imagined when we were founded. From increasing intolerance in our communities, to the January 6 attack on our nation’s Capitol, to the passing of discriminatory bills in statehouses across the country, we are witnessing coordinated attacks – often in the name of Christianity – against our shared values, attacks that keep us, our neighbors and communities from thriving.
In critical moments like this – when our faith is being co-opted to cause harm to our loved ones – our faith voices are needed even more urgently on the front lines, and Faith in Public Life is evolving to meet this moment.
On June 1, 2022, I will transition from my position as CEO to become Faith in Public Life’s Founder in Residence. In this new role, I will focus on writing, teaching and advising both religious and secular social change leaders to build our movement. I’m looking forward to expanding on my recent book’s biblical and theological response to Christian Nationalism. I will continue to advise the board and FPL’s leadership team and connect the organization to new allies in service of our goals.
As I move more deeply into that work, I am thrilled to announce that Jeanné Lewis, who is currently vice chair of the FPL board, will become interim CEO. Jeanné is bringing with her deep experience in faith-based organizing, philanthropy and politics that will be invaluable in this next chapter of Faith in Public Life. As the Vice President and Chief Engagement Officer at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), Jeanné connects social justice organizations to the funding networks they’ve traditionally lacked access to so that they can increase their impact and persuades funders to improve their practice. Her earlier positions have drawn on her expertise in building unlikely alliances that generate new initiatives to promote justice and support marginalized groups. As interim CEO, she will work with FPL staff, board, organizational allies, donors and YOU to build and expand our multi-faith and multiracial democracy and promote faith values and voices in support of justice and democracy.
Lewis started her career as a faith-based community organizer in Florida and Ohio. She has founded and led two young adult ministries, most recently in her current parish of St. Augustine Roman Catholic Parish in Washington, DC, the mother church of Black Catholics in the United States. Lewis has served in a number of leadership roles there over the last 12 years, including serving as vice chair of the Parish Pastoral Council and spokesperson to the press when Pope Francis came to visit Washington, DC in 2015.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jeanné over the past six years that she’s served on Faith in Public Life’s Board of Directors. During this time, we worked together to deepen our racial equity work, build powerful networks of faith leaders across the country and re-imagine what Faith in Public Life can be. I’m so excited to see her step in to lead Faith in Public Life, and I look forward to continuing to work with her and you as we reclaim our faith for justice, equity and the common good.