The Hon. KAy Coles James
Kay Coles James is the founder and President of The Gloucester Institute, an organization which trains and nurtures leaders in the African American community. The Gloucester Institute is committed to providing an intellectually safe environment where ideas can be discussed and transformed into practical solutions that produce results.
Mrs. James has an extensive background in nearly every sector of America’s economy. She has worked at the local, state, and federal levels of government under the administrations of former U.S. president George H. W. Bush (1989-1993), former Virginia governor George Allen (1994-1998), and former U.S. president George W. Bush (2001-2009), and has served dozens of organizations in the corporate, nonprofit, and academic arenas.
During her nearly 30-year career, Mrs. James has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, the Virginia Empowerment Commission, the National Commission on Children, the Medicaid Commission, the Carter-Baker Commission, the NASA Advisory Council, the Fairfax County School Board, the Virginia State Board of Education, the boards of Focus on the Family and Young Life, and the board of the Amerigroup Corporation, on which she chaired the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Mrs. James also served as secretary of the Republican National Convention in 1996 and twice chaired the Virginia State Republican Convention before co-chairing former Virginia governor Robert McDonnell’s transition team.
Mrs. James served under former president George H. W. Bush as associate director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and as assistant secretary for public affairs at the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mrs. James also served during that time as a senior fellow and director of The Citizenship Project at the Heritage Foundation, as dean of the School of Government at Regent University, as the senior vice president of the Family Research Council, and as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for One to One Partnership, a national umbrella organization for mentoring programs.
As Secretary of Health and Human Resources under former Virginia governor George Allen, Mrs. James designed and implemented Virginia's landmark welfare reform initiative, affecting fourteen state agencies and over 19,000 employees.
Mrs. James was appointed Director of the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) by President George W. Bush in 2001 and led a department of 3,600 employees. As director, she served as President Bush's principal advisor in matters of personnel administration for the 1.8 million members of the federal civil service, and was responsible for all personnel practices and programs, including stewardship of over 650 billion dollars in federal retirement, health, life, and long-term care insurance assets. In this position, Mrs. James played an instrumental role in conducting one of the largest personnel mergers in history by designing the process and system through which nearly 170,000 employees from 22 different agencies—each with different cultures and human resources services, and represented by 17 separate labor unions—merged into the new Department of Homeland Security.
John Jay Statesmanship Award Recipient
The Hon. Frank Wolf
Frank Wolf has been widely recognized as the “conscience” of the Congress. First elected in 1980, he announced in December 2013 that he would leave the House of Representatives at the end of his 17th term to focus exclusively on human rights and religious freedom.
In announcing his decision, Wolf said that as a follower of Jesus, he is called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. In January 2015, Wolf was appointed the first-ever Wilson Chair in Religious Freedom at Baylor University. That same month he joined the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a newly created religious freedom group, as Distinguished Senior Fellow.
Wolf is the author of the International Religious Freedom Act, which infused America’s first freedom – religious freedom – into U.S. foreign policy by creating the International Religious Freedom Office at the State Department headed by an Ambassador-at-Large. It also established the bipartisan, independent U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom as both a watchdog of repressive regimes and a truth-teller to our own State Department, which is too often reluctant to champion human rights issues abroad lest it complicate bilateral relations.
Wolf also is the author of the legislation to create a special envoy at the U.S. State Department to advocate for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. Long before the “Arab Spring” turned into an “Arab Winter,” Wolf sounded the alarm about the worsening plight of religious minorities, notably the ancient Christian communities in both Iraq and Egypt.
Wolf founded and served as co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan organization made up of nearly 200 Members of Congress who work together to raise awareness about international human rights issues. He has traveled to Ethiopia, Sudan, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and other countries in Africa to see firsthand the tremendous suffering due to corrupt governments, war, AIDS and famine. He led the first congressional delegation to Darfur. He also has worked to call attention to the human rights abuses and religious persecution in the People's Republic of China, Tibet, Romania, Nagorno-Karabakh, Chechnya, Bosnia, Kosovo, East Timor and the Middle East. Wolf's 2011 memoir, "Prisoner of Conscience," focuses on some of the work he has done.
Wolf has been honored by a number of organizations for his work on human rights and religious persecution. Among them: the Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights; the Christian Legal Society’s William Bentley Ball Life and Religious Liberty Defense Award; the Alliance for Defending Freedom’s Originalism & Religious Freedom Award; and Prison Fellowship Ministries William Wilberforce Award. He also received the 2014 Democracy Service Medal from the National Endowment for Democracy and the Leadership Award from Freedom House. Wolf was named World Magazine's Daniel of the Year for 2014.
In addition to his work on human rights and religious persecution, Wolf has been a leader in a number of other areas in Congress addressing some of the most challenging issues of our time. He is the author of the legislation that created the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission, which played a critical role in building public support among the American people for the “surge” of U.S. troops in 2007 that effectively defeated the insurgency.
He was the driving force behind the National Commission on Terrorism, the National Gambling Impact Study Commission and the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, also known as the Meese Commission. He also worked with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to lower the national blood alcohol, making .08 BAC the new standard for drunk driving.
Wolf authored legislation to create a National Hunger Commission to find ways to alleviate hunger in the United States. He also successfully pushed for the creation of a bipartisan blue ribbon commission to reform our nation’s prisons named after the late Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship.
Wolf was born in 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received his B.A. degree from Penn State University in 1961 and his law degree from Georgetown University in 1965. He lives in Vienna, Virginia, with his wife, Carolyn. They have five adult children and 16 grandchildren.
The REv. Dr. Peter Leithart
Peter Leithart is President of Theopolis Institute and an adjunct Senior Fellow of Theology at New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho. He is ordained in the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC).
He is the author of many books, most recently of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor, 2014) and Traces of the Trinity (Baker, forthcoming). He writes a blog at firstthings.com, where he also writes a regular bi-weekly column. He has published articles in many periodicals, both popular and academic.
Leithart has served in two pastorates: He was pastor of Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church (now Trinity Presbyterian Church), Birmingham, Alabama from 1989 to 1995, and was pastor of Trinity Reformed Church, Moscow, Idaho, from 2003-2013. From 1998 and 2013 he taught theology and literature fulltime at New St. Andrews College, Moscow, Idaho.
He received an A.B. in English and History from Hillsdale College in 1981, and a Master of Arts in Religion and a Master of Theology from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia in 1986 and 1987. In 1998 he received his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in England.
He and his wife, Noel, have ten children and seven grandchildren.