The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) recently named Galen Carey, a longtime employee of World Relief, the NAE's humanitarian arm, as director of government affairs. His appointment comes six months after Richard Cizik resigned after saying he was shifting his views on same-sex unions.
"What impresses me with all of this is that Galen is not someone who's a theoretician," said Leith Anderson, president of the NAE. "He's a veteran practitioner in the issues that are of great concern in our culture and among evangelicals."
The new director's résumé spans four continents and numerous job descriptions. Carey spent 26 years working for World Relief, three of them in Washington as director of World Relief's advocacy and policy. Most recently, Carey built a church network to combat HIV/AIDS in Burundi, Africa.
Carey will be responsible for representing the NAE and its constituents — which include 45,000 churches from more than 50 denominations — to lawmakers and advocacy groups. Several media outlets reported during the 2008 election that evangelicals have recently broadened their agenda to address climate change and poverty, but Carey argues that the trend has been ongoing for a long time.
"Evangelicals have been more apt to be directly engaged in addressing issues like poverty or HIV/AIDS on the community level. As a result, we recognize a public policy dimension, which leads us into more political engagement," said Carey, who attends a multicultural church in Maryland. "It's probably people in the mainstream belatedly discovering that evangelicals do have quite a variety of interests."
Carey also spent 14 years in Chicago working with churches and refugees, worked for the United Nations High Commissioner ...