Dr. Jeremy Gunn, Expert on Religious Freedom, To Lead New ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief

July 14, 2005 12:00 am

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Jeremy Gunn

Dr. Jeremy Gunn

NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union today announced that Dr. Jeremy Gunn has joined its national staff as Director of the ACLU’s new Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

The program was founded earlier this year to help promote the American Constitutional value of freedom of religious opinion. “I could not be more pleased to have Jeremy joining our team at the ACLU,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. “His globally recognized work on religious freedom, his expertise on the establishment clause and his deep commitment to civil liberties will further the ACLU’s vital mission — to protect the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution.”

Dr. Gunn comes to the ACLU from Emory Law School in Atlanta where for the past five years he has been a Senior Fellow for Religion and Human Rights and a Senior Associate at the Washington-based Institute for Global Engagement. He is a member of the Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion and Belief of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, working on behalf of evangelical Christians and other religious minorities.

Before his work in Atlanta, Dr. Gunn was Director of Research at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. He has also served as a Senior Advisor for the U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom at the Department of State and as a Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute for Peace. Dr. Gunn spent four years at the JFK Assassination Records Review Board as General Counsel and Executive Director.

“Religious freedom is an essential element of our democracy — indeed it is the very reason America is the most religiously diverse nation in the world,” said Dr. Gunn. “The two critical components of religion are the free exercise and the establishment clauses in the First Amendment of the Constitution and neither should be overlooked. The ACLU has been at the forefront in defending our religious freedom, and I look forward to engaging in the ongoing debate about the need for government neutrality in matters of religious opinion.”

Dr. Gunn received his Ph.D. in Religion and Society from Harvard University in 1991, and he holds a J.D. from Boston University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1987. He earned his M.A. in Humanities at the University of Chicago and his B.A. in International Relations and Humanities at Brigham Young University, where he received high honors with distinction.

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