The 1st Amendment Partnership (1AP) was established in 2014 and is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting religious freedom for Americans of all faiths. Based in Washington, DC, our focus is in state legislatures, the Congress, and on public education about religion’s value to the common good. 1AP grew out of the American Religious Freedom Program, an initiative begun in 2011 at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. 1AP works alongside and receives funding from a diverse array of religious organizations and foundations, and complies with all federal and state laws concerning donor disclosure.
The mission of the 1st Amendment Partnership is to promote and protect religious freedom for people of all faiths. We represent the common voice of our partnering faith communities that encompass millions of Americans. We focus on public policies and education that recognize the profound contribution of faith and religious freedom to the common good.
Board of Directors
Rev. George P. Wood is executive editor of Assemblies of God Publications, including Influence magazine, and coordinator of Religious Freedom Initiatives for the national office of the Assemblies of God. He lives in Springfield, Missouri, with his wife and three children. Wood holds a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, a Masters in Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Mr. Hardy is a partner at Venable LLP in Washington, DC. He has served on a number of boards of directors and boards of trustees for both for-profit and nonprofit entities. He is currently a partner in Venable’s Corporate Group. While in private practice, he has spent many years as an officer and director of First Media Corporation, a privately-owned investment holding and broadcasting company he co-founded with the Marriott family. Mr. Hardy is also the founding chairman of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, a fifteen-thousand-member, twenty-five-year-old worldwide association of attorneys, members of the judiciary and law students. He is a member of the National Advisory Council of the University of Utah.
Mr. Ventimiglia is Chairman of the Leavitt Partners Board of Managers and Vice Chairman of Leavitt Partners Board of Directors. He also leads the Leavitt Partners D.C. office, including the firm’s alliances and federal advocacy work. In previous roles, Vince was the assistant secretary for legislation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Prior to his time at HHS, he served on the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee as Health Policy Director of the Chairman´s Health Policy Team. In 2005, he moved with Chairman Judd Gregg to serve as Policy Director for the Senate Budget Committee, where he also worked on entitlement programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and welfare. From 1998 to 2001, he served as director of the Government Affairs Office for Medtronic, Inc., one of the world´s leading medical technology companies. Mr. Ventimiglia graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and holds a juris doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon is the Vice President of Wesley Seminary in Marion, Indiana. Lyon was previously the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church. Lyon was elected as the first woman General Superintendent at the June 2008 General Conference. In 2012 she was elected as the only General Superintendent of the denomination and in 2016 she was honored with the title of General Superintendent Emerita. Lyon was ordained as a minister in the Wesleyan Church in 1996 the same year that she founded World Hope International, an organization desiring to alleviate suffering and injustice through education, enterprise, and community health. She serves on the National Association of Evangelicals Board of Directors, holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Cincinnati, a Masters in Counseling from The University of Missouri-Kansas City and completed further graduate work at St. Louis University in Historical Theology.
John Lewis is president of Lewis Legal News, Inc. and related companies that publish four weekly newspapers and process legal advertisements in newspapers throughout Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa. Mr. Lewis devotes much of his free time to Catholic voter education efforts. He holds a B.S. in Accounting from Kansas State University.