The Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale Joins Political Research Associates as Interim Director
The board of Political Research Associates, the 24-year-old Somerville, MA-based independent, nonprofit research center on the U.S. Right, proudly announces the Rev. Dr. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale has agreed to serve as interim director.
"We are pleased that Katherine, with all of her organizational expertise and knowledge of the Christian Right, is bringing that experience to Political Research Associates as it moves into its next phase," said Vivien Labaton, chairwoman of the board.
To assume this position, Rev. Ragsdale has taken a leave from the board, where she served as co-chair. She replaces Dr. Roberta Salper, a former dean and Latin American specialist whose leadership for the past year helped the board and staff take the first steps in identifying key decision points about PRA's structure following the departure of its founding director Jean V. Hardisty. The interim director's role will be to oversee the restructuring before opening a search for a permanent director.
"This is the political moment when PRA's research on the Right is most needed," Rev. Ragsdale said. "We will ensure that PRA evolves with the times and has the optimal organizational structure for helping defend human rights against assaults by the Political Right."
Rev. Ragsdale served for 17 years (8 of them as chair) on the national board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. As chair, she led the Coalition through a change of its name, mission, and organizational structure. During that time, the Coalition more than doubled in size of both staff and budget. She also serves on the board of NARAL: Pro-Choice America, The White House Project, the Progressive Religious Partnership, as well as the bi-national advisory board of The Center for the Prevention of Sexual and Domestic Violence.
She has testified before the United States Congress as well as numerous state legislatures, and is a widely sought speaker on public policy issues affecting women, professional ethics, and lesbian/gay rights. She is an Episcopal priest serving as Vicar of St. David's Church in Pepperell, MA; the editor of Boundary Wars: Intimacy and Distance in Healing Relationships; the author of "The Role of Religious Institutions in Responding to the Domestic Violence Crisis" in Albany Law Review (vol. 58, number 4, 1995), and Hannah, a short story about late term abortion, as well as many other articles and speeches.
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