Obama appoints Covenant House CEO, CUA professor to faith-based panel

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama has appointed two Catholics to his third Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Kevin Ryan, CEO and president of Covenant House International, and Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University in Washington, were among the 18 appointed announced Sept. 24.

The presidential advisory council brings together religious and secular leaders as well as scholars and experts in fields related to the work of faith-based and neighborhood organizations. It focuses on steps the government should take to reduce poverty and inequality and create opportunity for all, including changes in policies, programs, and practices that affect the delivery of services by faith-based and community organizations and the needs of low-income and other underserved people.

Ryan has led Covenant House since 2009. From 2008 to 2009, he served as chief operating officer of the U.N. Special Envoy for Malaria. From 2006 to 2008, he was the first commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families. From 2003 to 2006, Ryan served as the first state child advocate in the Office of the Child Advocate in New Jersey.

Prior to his government service, he served as director of the youth advocacy center at Covenant House New Jersey. From 1992 to 1997, Ryan worked as a Skadden fellow and staff attorney at Covenant House New York.

Schneck has been at the helm of Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at Catholic University since 2005. From 1996 to 2005, he was chair of the university's politics department, and from 1990 to 2005, he was an associate professor of politics. Schneck earned a bachelor's degree from Rockhurst University, and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Notre Dame.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2015