The Team


Rev. Dr. Robert Schenck  (Washington, D.C.)

The Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck is an ordained evangelical minister and President of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, located in Washington, DC. A leader among American evangelicals, Dr. Schenck served a 2-year term as chairman of the Evangelical Church Alliance, America’s oldest association of independent evangelical clergy, and is now an Executive Advisor to the Office of the Secretary General to the World Evangelical Alliance.

Dr. Schenck holds a B.A. in religion, M.A. In Christian Ministry, D.Min in Church and State, and is a Senior Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy at Oxford. He serves on numerous boards and committees, including the National Advisory Board on Community Engagement in the State Courts. His professional memberships include the National Association of Evangelicals, the American Academy of Religion, the Capitol Forum Club, and the National Press Club.

Dr. Schenck is the subject of the Armor of Light, Abigail Disney’s Emmy-winning documentary examining evangelicals and American gun culture. His essays on current affairs have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Time Magazine, and The Hill, among other national journals. Stories about him have appeared in Christianity Today, the Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Constitution, the Houston Post, and many other newspapers and magazines. Interviews with him have been featured on NPR, PBS, CNN, among numerous other networks and online platforms, and his interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air was one of the most popular among her line-up.

Dr. Schenck is the author of Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister’s Rediscovery of Faith, Hope and Love, published by HarperCollins. He lives in Arlington, VA, with his wife, Cheryl, a psychotherapist in private practice.

Our Board of Governors

Rev. Steve Martin (Washington, D.C.)

Rev. Steve Martin is an ordained Evangelical Methodist minister and Director of Communications for the National Council of Churches.  Martin is also a founding board member of The New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, and an award-winning filmmaker/documentarian.  He is a notable scholar on the German Church Crisis during the rise of Nazism.  Martin is also a consultant to NBC news on religion features.

Mr. Richard Jones (Maryland)
Richard C. Jones, Jr.
March 27, 1941 – August 25, 2019

Governor #1
Dr. Abigail Disney (New York, NY)

Dr. Abigail E. Disney is an American documentary filmmaker, scholar, philanthropist, and activist known for her documentary films focused on social themes. She is the Executive Producer and Director of the film The Armor of Light, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival.

Governor #2
The Honorable Suzan D. Johnson Cook D. Min. (New York, NY)

Rev. Dr. Cook is a presidential advisor, pastor, theologian, author, activist, and academic who served as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom from April 2011 to October 2013. She has had a wide-ranging career in a number of fields, serving as a policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and later to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros, a dean and professor of communications at Harvard University, a professor of theology at New York Theological Seminary, and a pastor at a number of churches.

Governor #3
Dr. Mary McQueen (Virginia)

Dr. Mary C. McQueen has served as president of the National Center for State Courts since August 2004. She served as president of the Conference of State Court Administrators in 1995-96 and is a former chair of the American Bar Association/Judicial Administration Division. Dr. McQueen received the American Judicature Society’s Herbert Harley Award in 2004. She holds a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Georgia and a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University Law School.

Governor #4
Prof. Connie Rice (Washington)

Professor Connie Rice is now “happily working at retirement” after spending more than 23 years as an English and Psychology Professor at Northwest University. She received her BA from California State University in Chico and her MA from Tennessee State University.


Administrative and Program Director
Hope Christensen

Hope Christensen has served in leadership and other roles in a variety of non-profit organizations for over 15 years and is a TDBI Founding Fellow. With a deep and abiding passion for advocacy for and with marginalized people and communities, she made her way to the DC metro area by way of Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. She holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina Greensboro, is currently a seminarian at Bexley Seabury, and is a Postulant for Holy Orders in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.


Dr. Michael W. Austin

Dr. Michael W. Austin is Professor of Philosophy and former Department Chair at Eastern Kentucky University. He holds a B.A. in Political Science (Kansas State University), M.A. in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics (Biola University), and a Ph.D. in Philosophy (University of Colorado at Boulder). Dr. Austin is President of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and a member of various professional philosophical societies. His research and teaching interests focus on ethics, both normative and applied, with a particular focus on virtue ethics and character development. Dr. Austin is the author of numerous books, including Conceptions of Parenthood: Ethics and the Family (Routledge, 2007), Wise Stewards: Philosophical Foundations of Christian Parenting (Kregel Academic, 2009), Humility and Human Flourishing: A Study in Analytic Moral Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018), and his forthcoming title, God and Guns in America (Eerdmans, May 2020). As an evangelical, Dr. Austin’s writings – books, journal articles and online essays — focus on ethical and religious questions and he believes that Christian ethics is relevant to all of life. He lives in Richmond, Kentucky with his family.

Rev. Joseph K. Grieboski

Rev. Grieboski holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree and a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies, both from Georgetown University. He also holds a Master’s in Sacred Theology from Agape Seminary and is pursuing a Doctorate in Pastoral Ministry from Agape Seminary. In 2008, Rev. Grieboski received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Marywood University in Scranton, PA, and in April 2019 he was ordained a priest in the Independent Old Catholic Church. In 1999, at the age of 24, he founded THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy, a well-respected and world-renowned non-governmental organization at the forefront of religious freedom advocacy. Many years and several Nobel Peace Prize nominations later, Rev. Grieboski has become an internationally recognized expert in religious freedom, national security, counter-extremism, human rights, and conflict transformation. His company, Grieboski Global Strategies is a global strategic consulting firm employing a unique model of disruptive innovation and implementation to advance human rights, civil rights, human dignity, and to improve lives around the world. Rev. Grieboski lives with his wife in Alexandria, VA.

Rev. Daryl Paul Lobban

Senior Fellow for Development

The Rev. Daryl Paul Lobban serves as Director of Communications for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington in the District of Columbia and is a TDBI Founding Fellow.  Previously, Rev. Lobban served on the ministerial staff of Marble Collegiate Church in New York City and as Director of External Relationships for the Massachusetts Council of Churches. Ordained in the Holiness-Pentecostal tradition, Rev. Lobban is an ecumenist, serving on the ministerial staff of Pentecostal, UCC, RCA, AME, and Baptist churches. He has preached at denominational conventions, led numerous international mission trips, and lectured at colleges. Rev. Lobban graduated with an M.Div in Ethics from Boston University School of Theology and has a B.A. from Nyack College, with a concentration in Biblical Research.

Chaplain (Col.) Timothy S. Mallard

Chaplain Mallard is a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and holds a B.A. (Stetson University), M.Div. (Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), Th.M. (Columbia Theological Seminary), M.S.S. (U.S. Army War College), and a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics (University of Wales Trinity Saint David). A member of the International Society of Military Ethics and the Religious Affairs Initiative of the Council on Foreign Relations, he is a graduate and Grierson Prize recipient as Distinguished Army Master Strategist (U.S. Army Command and General Staff College) and a graduate and former Eisenhower Fellow (U.S. Army War College). Since 1988, Chaplain Mallard has deployed to combat as a Battalion, Brigade, and Division Chaplain, including with the 101st Airborne and 1st Infantry Divisions. He holds the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal (two awards), and the Combat Action Badge. He currently serves as the Command Chaplain, United States Army Europe and Seventh Army, Wiesbaden, DEU, and as Adjunct Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministry in the School of Divinity at Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA.

Dr. David M. Woods

Dr. David Michael Woods is an ordained Evangelical minister and pastor of Zoe Church in San Juan Capistrano, California, where he has served for twelve years.  For the past fifteen years, Dr. Woods has taught students of every age, in both secular and religious settings, as a private tutor, pastor, and classroom instructor. He holds a B.A. from the University of California, Irvine, an M.A. in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway, an M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Irvine.  Dr. Woods teaches classical, medieval, and Renaissance literature, the Bible as literature, literary theory, the literature of war, rhetoric, and writing at the University of California, Irvine and Saddleback College.  In 2016, Dr. Woods was selected as an Andrew W. Mellon “Documenting War” Fellow for his work comparing ancient and contemporary soldiers’ first-hand accounts of returning home from war.  Dr. Woods has also begun to venture into new media opportunities and is currently at work developing a podcast on Christianity in America, entitled, “From Babylon, with Love.”


Tommy Benz

Tommy Benz is currently a Vice President with a communications consulting company that works with the Federal government and the private sector. Tommy has over fifteen years of experience in program management, and currently oversees a multi-million-dollar portfolio of contracts in the public sector. He has a passion for problem solving and bringing people together to seek creative solutions to complex issues. Tommy holds a B.A. from the University of Kentucky and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Rachel C. Couch

Rachel Couch is a producer and photographer based in Washington, DC. She studied comparative literature and religion at the University of Virginia, earning her B.A. in 2011 — and has a passion for telling stories with her work. Rachel’s photographic talent has been published in Billboard, Huffington Post, and Spin, to name a few. Over the course of her career, she’s had the privilege of working with organizations such as We Work, BBC, USAID, Lyft, Voice of America, USO, and with policymakers on the Hill.