Our team of issue experts, comprised of some of the country’s most knowledgeable family advocates, provides a timely, critical analysis of the most important cultural and policy issues of the day.
Our spokespeople are readily available to the media for interviews by contacting our public relations team. Skype and satellite uplink interviews are available thanks to our in-house studios.
Contact Info: If you are a member of the media and would like to schedule an interview with one of our analysts, please contact Carrie Kintz: 719-531-3312 or Carrie.Kintz@fotf.org.
Jim Daly, president/chief executive officer of CitizenLink
Tom Minnery, executive director of CitizenLink
Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of Issues Analysis for CitizenLink
Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst
Candi Cushman, education analyst
Dawn McBane , bioethics analyst and managing editor of RisingVoice
Chad Hills, gambling analyst and abstinence education analyst
Jeff Johnston, gender issues analyst
President/Chief Executive Officer
Jim Daly has earned a national reputation as a next-generation evangelical leader who puts biblical principles before politics while continuing his organization’s long-standing and highly effective advocacy for social policies that affirm and strengthen families.
Daly, the handpicked successor of CitizenLink’s founder, Dr. James Dobson, was called “a surprisingly different kind of leader” by Newsweek when the magazine named him one of the Top 10 most influential new voices among Christians involved in shaping American public policy. He has also been the subject of major features in The Wall Street Journal (which noted his “bridge-building style”), the Denver Post (which called him “results-oriented, not an ideologue”) and the New York Times; he wrote in a piece he co-authored for cnn.com that when Christians engage in insults and name-calling in the pursuit of a cultural “victory,” it represents inexcusable “debasement” of fellow human beings.
“God calls Christians to stand up for our convictions when they are rooted in His truths. But He also calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves,” Daly wrote in The Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog, to which he is a regular contributor. “Those are not mutually exclusive exhortations. Every human being deserves dignity and respect.” He has added: “Standing for God’s Truth with Christ’s heart is essential in showing to our ‘opponents’ the life-changing love of our Proponent, Jesus.”
Daly often describes his approach to matters of policymaking as rooted in “expanding the message” beyond traditional conservative Christian means, while still standing on Christian principles. That was evident during the national dialogue generated by a February 2010 TV commercial CitizenLink’s sister organization, Focus on the Family, aired during Super Bowl XLIV. The ad, featuring Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother, Pam, carried the theme of “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life,” and gave Daly a national stage to talk about how America can do better than aborting up to 1 million of its babies each year. According to Barna Group research, the ad led more than 5.5 million Americans to reconsider their opinion on abortion.
Daly’s brand of family advocacy has led U.S. News & World Report to identify him as “one of the first, if not the first, of the major Christian leaders to support the notion that working with pro-choice supporters to reduce the number of abortions in the United States is a noble goal. In doing so,” the magazine continued, “he’s testing the sincerity of Democrats like (President Barack) Obama or Hillary Clinton, who say they want abortion legal and safe – but also rare.” In 2011, he began a series of meetings with abortion-rights groups that continues to this day.
Daly, who is the host of Focus on the Family’s National Radio Hall of Fame-honored daily broadcast, was born in 1961 and has been married to his wife, Jean, since 1986. They have two sons and reside in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Tom Minnery, Executive Director of CitizenLink, has led the Government and Public Policy division since 1988, serving as a steady voice articulating the conservative Christian viewpoint on family, marriage and religious civil liberties issues. His views and influence have helped to shape public policy at both the national and state levels.
Minnery and his staff track federal policy in bioethics issues from abortion to euthanasia; sexual abstinence education; pornography and obscenity; education; marriage; religious civil liberties; homosexuality; and gambling. The expert commentary they provide helps mobilize informed grassroots participation of Christians in the political process. This is accomplished mainly by providing family advocates with trusted news and information on pressing social issues through Focus’ Citizen magazine, CitizenLink daily e-mail, Family News in Focus radio broadcast, as well as a variety of online videos ranging from the humorous Stoplight commentaries to in-depth analysis and the Turn Signal news videos. Minnery himself regularly appears in the weekly “Focus Action Update” webcast.
Minnery also oversees the network of 38 state-level family policy councils (FPCs) that often serve as the front lines for the organization of grassroots participation. These FPCs are increasingly helping to affect the tone of national policy, including playing a major role in passing the 31 marriage amendments that have garnered media attention across the U.S.
Like the team he leads, Minnery is one of the first people journalists call when seeking a voice to articulate the conservative Christian viewpoint. He has been featured on countless media programs and print outlets, including CNN, Fox News, all network news programs, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.
Minnery also serves as a member of the board of the Alliance Defense Fund, a national organization devoted to the legal strategy, training and funding of court cases involving pro-life, religious freedom and family-values issues.
Prior to coming to Focus on the Family, Minnery was senior editor at Christianity Today magazine in the Chicago area. He also worked as a Capitol Hill correspondent and was a manager in the Washington bureau of Gannett Newspapers. Minnery has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Ohio University and Master of Arts in religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of the book Why You Can’t Stay Silent, published by Tyndale House (2002).
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Carrie Gordon Earll
Senior Director, Issue Analysis
Carrie Gordon Earll is the senior director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at CitizenLink, where she leads the staff that provides expertise on a range of social policy topics affecting life issues, marriage and religious liberties.
Earll also serves as the senior policy analyst for bioethics, researching and writing on a range of topics including abortion, end-of-life medical decisions, physician-assisted suicide.
A strong advocate for the pro-life position, Earll talks and presents sanctity of human life issues. She is partly driven by her own abortion in college, which taught her that “women deserve better than abortion.”
As a media spokesperson for Focus on the Family, Earll has been interviewed by hundreds of print and broadcast media outlets, including “ABC World News Tonight,” Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Earll is a fellow with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. She holds a master of arts in Bioethics from Trinity International University in Chicago.
In her home community of Colorado Springs, Earll served in medical ethics through her roles as a board member of the Pikes Peak Forum for Health Care Ethics and as a member of the Memorial Hospital Ethics Committee.
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Bruce Hausknecht, J.D. is an attorney in charge of research and analysis of legal and judicial issues related to Christians and the family, including First Amendment freedom of religion and free speech issues, judicial tyranny, marriage, homosexuality, and pro-life matters. He also tracks the legislative enactments affecting these issues.
Hausknecht regularly provides legal analysis and commentary for the nation’s top media outlets such as the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Boston Globe. He also serves as judicial correspondent for Citizen magazine and a frequent contributor and analyst for CitizenLink daily news and Family News in Focus.
Prior to joining Focus in 2004, Hausknecht practiced law for 17 years. He earned his J.D. from Northwestern University Law School. Hausknecht and his wife reside in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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Candi Cushman is a leading national expert on education issues affecting public and private education, including school choice and home school initiatives, the promotion of homosexuality in public schools, censorship of Christian students and the evolution debate.
Cushman’s passion for helping parents reclaim their rights and ability to protect their children from adult agendas taking over the curriculum was the spark that led her to create True Tolerance, an online tool available to parents at www.TrueTolerance.org. This resource instructs parents on education law and policy and equips them so they can engage their local school officials.
Cushman has been a guest on several national radio shows, including Janet Parshall’s America, The Janet Mefferd Show and the Focus on the Family broadcast. She’s also appeared on CNN’s Anderson Cooper and on MSNBC, where she represented Focus’ position on anti-bullying policies.
Cushman has a background in investigative journalism, serving for more than four years as an editor for Focus on the Family’s Citizen magazine. Prior to joining Focus, she was an investigative reporter for WORLD, a weekly national news magazine. Cushman also served six years at Focus on the Family’s associated state organization in Texas as the media liaison and program director for the 700-member physicians’ grassroots coalition.
Cushman graduated cum laude from Baylor University. She currently lives in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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Bioethics Analyst, RisingVoice.com Manager
Dawn McBane serves as the bioethics analyst at CitizenLink and the manager of Rising Voice, an outreach to millennials.
McBane earned a biology degree in college where she developed a passion for seeing life protected in the way God designed it to be – from conception to end of life. As part of her job, studies, writes and speaks on life issues, including human cloning, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, stem-cell research and genetic technologies. McBane specializes in analysis of state and federal legislation and utilizes her expertise as a consultant for CitizenLink media channels.
With a heart for her generation, McBane also oversees Rising Voice – an outreach that provides resources to equip young adults to live out their faith in a way that tangibly helps others. Rising Voice, which launched in 2010 at the XPAC and CPAC conferences, tackles tough issues such as abortion, preventable diseases, sex trafficking and the environment.
McBane graduated from Cedarville University and currently lives with her husband in Colorado Springs, Colo.
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Gambling Analyst, Abstinence Education Analyst
Chad Hills is a research and policy analyst on the issue of gambling and sexual health/abstinence-centered education for Focus on the Family Action. Educated in the sciences and various fields of research, Hills analyzes new policies, investigates existing legislation and addresses the impact of gambling expansion and sex-education policies on families.
Hills writes, speaks and testifies from a pro-family stance against the harmful impacts of gambling and in support of character-based, abstinence-centered education. He encourages citizens to defend their families against dangerous policies, while helping nurture those who are – or have been – hurt by gambling addictions or sexual activity outside the context of marriage.
Hills was a guest on The John Stossel Show and has been featured in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.
Prior to joining Focus on the Family in 2000, Hills worked as a microbiologist and chemist. He is a graduate of Colorado State University and enjoys living in Colo., with his wife and children.
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Gender Issues Analyst
Jeff Johnston works as the gender issues analyst for CitizenLink, where he researches and writes about a variety of subjects related to homosexuality, gender, sexual abuse and healthy sexuality.
Though raised in a Christian home and actively involved in his church growing up, Johnston struggled for years to reconcile his Christian faith with his unwanted same-sex attractions and sexual addiction. While working as a youth intern at a church in San Diego, Jeff attended a conference, “Hope and Healing for the Homosexual,” which launched his journey of healing and change. Since then, Johnston has shared his story of hope and healing with churches, youth groups and schools, and the news media.
Before joining CitizenLink, Johnston served as a director on the boards of Exodus International and PFOX, ministries dedicated to providing resources and support for churches, ministries and men and women who experience same-sex attraction. In addition, Johnston served as executive director of Exodus-member ministries in Baltimore and San Diego, in which he helped men and women overcome same-sex attractions.
Johnston graduated from San Diego State University and lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., with his wife and three sons.Print