Richard Cizik is the President of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a faith-based organization committed to an agenda that fosters values consistent with an open and free society.
He served for ten years as Vice President for Governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, the top staff position of the organization, a post he left in 2008 after enduring years of political opposition from the Religious Right. An interview with NPR's "Fresh Air" in which he expressed support for civil unions, climate change, and political collaboration with the newly-elected Obama Administration, led to a national uproar within the movement and over one-hundred top evangelical leaders defecting to a "New Evangelical" agenda.
As a result, Cizik founded the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good (www.newevangelicalpartnership.org) and has been a leader in bringing evangelicals, scholars, and policy-makers together in the search for common ground on a host of national and international challenges, including climate change, civil liberties, economic justice, and national security. He travels frequently to speak on these topics, here and abroad, and is considered one of America's "most dynamic public speakers," according to Science magazine.
In 2002, Cizik was a participant in Climate Forum 2002, at Oxford, England, which produced the "Oxford Declaration" on global warming. In 2005, the New York Times dubbed him the "Earthy Evangelist" for his advocacy on climate change. He was instrumental in creating the Evangelical Climate Initiative, introduced in 2006. That same year, Fast Company named him one of its "Most Creative Minds" and Belief Net.com selected him among the "Most Inspiring Persons of the Year."
The following year, Cizik formed a group of scientists, including nobel laureate Eric Chivian and Harvard Professor Emeritus Edward O. Wilson, along with leading evangelical pastors and professors, to together release a groundbreaking document entitled the "Scientist and Evangelical Call to Action" as well as to hold first-ever dialogues on religion and science. In 2008 he was named to TIME Magazine's list of "TIME 100" most influential people.
Cizik has published many articles and editorials and is the author and editor of The High Cost of Indifference (Regal Books). He conceptualized and directed the landmark document "For the Health of the Nation: An Evangelical Call to Civic Engagement,"and has written for the Washington Post, Huffington Post, New York Times, and many other publications. His expertise is sought by government officials, Congressional committees, and non-governmental organizations around the world.
From 2008-2010, he served as co-Chair of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs Taskforce on Religion and the Making of U.S. Foreign Policy to advance understanding of the role of religion in world affairs and to develop a framework to appropriately integrate religion into U.S. foreign policy. The Taskforce comprised thirty-two high level and influential policy makers, academics, constitutional lawyers, religious leaders and members of the media. The Report "Engaging Religious Leaders Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy" was released in 2010 and is available online at www.thechicagocouncil.org.
Cizik graduated with a B.A., cum laude, Political Science, Whitworth University (1973); Master of Divinity, Denver Seminary (1979); M.A., Public Affairs, The George Washington University School of Public & International Affairs (1985). In 2005, he was awarded the Ecclesiastical degree of Doctor of Divinity, honoris causae, The Methodist Episcopal Church, USA.
On May 18, 2014, Whitworth University, awarded Cizik an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. The University's Provost stated that "Richard Cizik, an alumnus from the class of 1973, is a pastor, writer, environmentalist, thinker, and activist...For his commitment to truth and to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to the health of our planet and the well-being of humanity, and in recognition of his strength of purpose and his courage in speaking out on crucial issues as a thoughtful and fully committed man of God, I am proud to represent Whitworth University as we confer upon Richard Cizik this degree of doctor of humane letters, honoris causa."
He was awarded a post-graduate fellowship from the Scottish Rite Foundation to study at the George Washington University (1973-1974) and by the Rotary International Foundation to study at the Political Science University in Taipei, Taiwan (1975-1976). Cizik sits on advisory boards of Model Forest Policy Program, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, and the Public Religion Research Institute.