Evangelical Think Tank Names Interim President

The Institute of Religion and Democracy, an evangelical think-tank based in Washington D.C., appointed an interim president today, nearly three months after its past president died of cancer-related complications.

Alan F. H. Wisdom worked with the IRD since 1985 – just four years after the IRD was established. He served as Director of the Institute’s Presbyterian Action for Faith and Freedom committee since 1990, and since 1994, he was the vice president.

When the late IRD President Diane Knippers took a leave of absence in early April 2005, Wisdom had already stepped-in as the acting head of the IRD staff.

“His appointment as interim president recognizes the work he has already been doing as acting head of staff, and gives him the authority he needs to do it even better,” said Jay Budziszewski, the IRD Board Chairman. “It also sends a clear message that during the search for a permanent president, our programs are going full speed ahead.”

Wisdom will serve as president for one year or until a permanent replacement is found. This move will allow the IRD board to conduct that search in a more deliberate manner, according to a press release Friday.

The IRD is a conservative watch-dog group that works to reform mainline churches from within by monitoring denominational agencies and leaders. It also works to promote democracy and religious freedom at home and abroad through its Religious Liberty Program.

Wisdom is an elder at Georgetown Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C., and has written numerous articles for the IRD and other publications. Wisdom holds Bachelor’s degrees from Rice University and the University of Maryland. Wisdom, his wife Esther, and his two children Esther Lynne and Daniel, live in Falls Church VA.