The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships coordinates Centers across government that engage faith-based and neighborhood organizations. In the coming days, I’d like to introduce you to the directors of those Centers and have them share a bit about their important work with the White House Office. The first profile is of David Myers, the director of our Center at the Department of Homeland Security.
David, tell us a little about yourself.
Prior to my appointment as the director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith Based and Community Initiatives, I led faith communities and community-based organizations for 26 years, mostly in Chicago. And I am the father of two adult children. I am a graduate of Portland State University (B.S.) and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries (M.Div.), and am an ordained Mennonite minister. I also happen to be a die-hard White Sox fan. Go Sox!
Can you share a few of the highlights of the work of the Center at DHS?
We have been working on five initiatives, endeavoring to:
- Foster collaborative relationships between America’s diverse faith traditions by exploring opportunities to foster preparedness and appropriate responses to disasters.
- Transform DHS’ image with faith-based and community groups by participating in DHS policy and practice review and formation that impact faith based groups.
- Strengthen and develop government partnerships with FBCOs by conducting “listening visits” and holding preparedness workshops around the country.
- Empower faith-based and community organizations that want to help in a disaster but are not linked to the formal national, state, and local networks, by developing a comprehensive pilot training model.
- Herald the partnership stories that already exist between government and faith-based and community groups through presentations in multiple formats.
What are you most excited about in your role as Center Director at your agency?
I am thrilled to be part of the President’s team. At a part of that team, I am excited to have a direct and positive impact on individuals, families, and communities through preparedness partnerships with America’s diverse faith-based communities and neighborhood leaders.
What are some of your personal interests and/or hobbies?
I love to take walks with my family. I play golf with long-time buddies, read novels and newspapers, and write not quite publishable poetry.