Board & Advisory Council

Board of Trustees

Matthew D. Kane, Chairman

President and Principal of Compass Ion Advisors

Matt  is one of the founding members of Compass Ion Advisors and currently serves as the firm’s President, a role he started to serve in 2010. Matt held various sales and support positions with SEI Investments and Merrill Lynch, where he gained expertise in both the institutional and retail ends of Compass Ion’s business. Matt also served for ten years as an Area Director for Young Life, a non-profit organization that cares for young people in hundreds of communities in the US and overseas. He earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Eastern University where he now serves as Chair of the Agora Institute for Civic Virtue and the Common Good.  Matt and his wife Kim live in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania with their five very active sons.

Matthew Brach

Vice President of Argosy Capital

Matt is a local private equity and real estate investment professional, having been involved in over $1 billion of transactions in the middle market.  Prior to his private equity career, he was a Senior Manager at both The Reznick Group and Ernst & Young where he worked with entrepreneurial operating and real estate entities. He earned his MBA from the University of Maryland, where he was twice named a James A. Dingman Distinguished Scholar of Entrepreneurship, and a BS in Accountancy from Villanova University. He has sat on several business case competitions and panels at both alumni institutions.  Matt and his wife Bina reside in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania with their four children.

Jeffrey Dill

Research Director of the Agora Institute

Jeffrey Dill is Research Assistant Professor of Social Thought at the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University and Research Director of the Agora Institute.  He received his B.A. in English from Wheaton College and his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Virginia, where he was a Bradley Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. His research focuses on questions of pluralism and difference in educational systems, moral and citizenship education, and socialization processes in schools.  He is author of The Longing and Limits of Global Citizenship Education: the moral pedagogy of schooling in a cosmopolitan age.  His work has been published in Social Forces, the Journal of Moral EducationSociety, and The Huffington Post.  He is currently researching the culture of homeschooling and its effects on moral and civic education.  Dr. Dill is married to Heather, and they have four sons. When not at work, he spends a good deal of time playing Whiffle Ball in the backyard.

Andy Krider

Vice President at Bryn Mawr Trust Mortgage Company

Andrew J. Krider, Vice President and Senior Mortgage Banker at The Bryn Mawr Trust Company, has more than 13 years of mortgage banking experience and has been a sales leader throughout his career.  He is an active member of the community and serves on committee for the Western Philadelphia Suburbs Young Life as well as the Agora Institute’s Board.

Mr. Krider is a graduate of Taylor University, where he earned a B.A. in Biblical Literature and Philosophy and played on the football team.  He and his wife, Leah, have three children.

Advisory Council

The Rev. Alan R. Crippen II

President of the John Jay Institute

The Rev. Alan R. Crippen II is founder and president of the John Jay Institute. Previously Mr. Crippen served for nine years as founding rector of the Witherspoon Fellowship, a leading civic and cultural leadership development program for college-age students based in Washington, D.C. He has two decades of experience in non-profit executive management and college level teaching including vice-president for policy and academic affairs at Family Research Council, senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and director of development at International Students, Inc. in Colorado Springs. His military service includes platoon and battery command as well as various battalion staff operations and planning positions in the U.S. Army Field Artillery. Mr. Crippens vocational passion is for the formation of young leaders who aspire to public life. He is particularly inspired to prepare them with the contours of a worldview, knowledge, and piety requisite for faith-informed service in the public square. Mr. Crippen holds degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary (M.A.R.) and Philadelphia Biblical University (B.S.) and is an ordained presbyter in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). He, and his wife, Michelle, have five children and reside in Bala-Cynwyd, a western suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Michael Cromartie

Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center

Michael Cromartie is Vice President at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and he directs both the Evangelicals in Civic Life and Faith Angle Forum programs.

On September 20, 2004, Mr. Cromartie was appointed by President George W. Bush to a six-year term on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. A senior advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and a senior fellow with The Trinity Forum, Mr. Cromartie is also an adjunct professor at the Reformed Theological Seminary. He is an advisory editor of Christianity Today, and served as an advisor to the PBS documentary series With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Christian Right in America.

Mr. Cromartie has contributed book reviews and articles to First Things, Books and Culture, Crisis, the Washington Times, The Reformed Journal, Insight, Christianity Today, Stewardship Journal, World Magazine, and The Presbyterian Journal. He is the co-editor, with Richard John Neuhaus, of Piety and Politics: Evangelicals and Fundamentalists Confront the World (1987) which was named one of the twenty-five best books of 1988 by Eternity magazine.

Erin Daly

Founder of Riverbend Press

Erin Daly graduated from Grove City College with a degree in Economics. She is the Founder of Riverbend Press and studies extensively the work of Charlotte Mason, a British educator who invested her life in improving the quality of children’s education.  She is married to Andy and is a mother of two children.

Thomas C. Kohler

Concurrent Professor of Law and Philosophy

Thomas C. Kohler is an internationally recognized authority on the labor and employement law of the United States and other western nations, with a special emphasis on German law.  He has served as a Fulbright Professor on the Law Faculty of the Johan Wolfgang Goethe Uiversitat (Frankfurt am Main), and has taught at the University of Texas School of Law and Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.  Among other honors, he has been a Fellow of the German Marshall Fund and a Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation Research Fellow.  He has served as a member of the Advisory Board for the E.U.-sponsored European Labour Law Network (ELLN), a Consultant to the Industrial Relations section of the Department of Sociology of the University of Warsaw, a member of the Internaitonal Board for the National College of Ireland, and as a a Scientific Expert to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences at the Vatican.  He also has acted as a consultant to governments, NGOs and other international organizations on labor and employment law and policy matters.

(Left) Kohler, Thomas. 2015. Photograph. Boston College Law School. Web.

Abram Pafford

Founding Partner of Pafford Lawrence & Ross

Abram Pafford is a founding partner of Pafford Lawrence & Ross, and practiced commercial litigation for nearly ten years with two of the nations largest and most well-respected law firms.

He served as one of the lead attorneys for the appellate team representing Mississippi resident Cory Maye in connection with the high-profile appeal of Mr. Mayes capital murder conviction. Mr. Pafford has also had a significant role in appellate matters before a number of other appellate courts, including the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

In addition to his prior law firm experience, Mr. Pafford served as a law clerk to Judge Eric G. Bruggink of the United States Court of Federal Claims and Judge D. Brooks Smith of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Mr. Pafford obtained his undergraduate degree from Liberty University, and his J.D., with high honors, from the George Washington University Law School. Mr. Pafford is admitted to practice in New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

R. R. Reno

Editor of First Things

R. R. Reno is editor of First Things magazine and professor of theology at Creighton University. Reno is the author of several books, including Fighting the Noonday Devil, a theological commentary on the Book of Genesis in the Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible series for which he also serves as general editor, In the Ruins of the Church, and Redemptive Change: Atonement and the Cure of the Soul. He has also coauthored two books, Heroism and The Christian Life and Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible. His scholarly work ranges widely in systematic and moral theology, as well as in controverted questions of biblical interpretation.

Yehuda Seif

Rosh Yeshiva & Executive Director of the Yeshivat and Midreshet Torah v'Avodah

Rabbi Dr. Yehuda Seif is a scholar and community builder whose dream it has been to open an integrated yeshiva/midrasha program. 

He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion and received his ordination from Rav Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg. He received his BA from Columbia College, his MA in Religion and Education from Columbia's Teacher's College, and Israeli Teacher Certification from Herzog College.  He was a fellow at the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at the Cardozo School of Law, and he completed his PhD in Religious Studies at University of Pennsylvania. Rabbi Seif has extensive formal and informal educational experience teaching and leading programs for high school and college students. He served as a Senior Program Officer at the Tikvah Fund, a foundation devoted to Jewish excellence and promoting serious Jewish thought about the enduring questions of human life and the pressing challenges that confront the Jewish people.  After initiating a high school scholars program at the foundation, R' Seif taught Tikvah Scholars classes at Kohelet Yeshiva High School, focusing on the intersection between Jewish law, thought and Western Humanities. He served as the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus educator at the University of Pennsylvania from 2002-2006.

He, along with his wife Orit and their five sons currently live in Efrat after moving to Israel this past summer.

David Skeel

S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School

David Skeel is the S. Samuel Arsht Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  He is author of The New Financial Deal: Understanding the Dodd-Frank Act and its (Unintended) Consequences (Wiley, 2011); Icarus in the Boardroom: The Fundamental Flaws in Corporate America and Where They Came From (Oxford, 2005); Debt's Dominion: A History of Bankruptcy Law in America (Princeton, 2001); and numerous articles on bankruptcy, corporate law, Christianity and law, law and literature, gambling, and other topics.  He is currently working on his fourth book, tentatively entitled The Sermon on the Mount in American Law.  His commentary has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Weekly Standard, Books & Culture, and elsewhere.  He is an elder at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia.  

Christian Smith

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society, University of Notre Dame

Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. Smith's research focuses primarily on religion in modernity, adolescents, American evangelicalism, and culture. Smith received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1990 and his B.A. from Gordon College in 1983. Smith was a Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 12 years before his move to Notre Dame. He is the author of several books, including Lost in Transition: the Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood, What is a Person? , Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults and Moral, Believing Animals: Human Personhood and Culture.

(Left) Smith, Christian. 2014. Photograph. University of Notre Dame. Web.

 

W. Bradford Wilcox

Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia

W. Bradford Wilcox is Director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, and a member of the James Madison Society at Princeton University. He earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. at Princeton University. Prior to coming to the University of Virginia, he held research fellowships at Princeton University, Yale University and the Brookings Institution.

Mr. Wilcox's research focuses on marriage, parenthood, and cohabitation, and on the ways that gender, religion, and children influence the quality and stability of American marriages and family life. He has published articles on marriage, cohabitation, parenting, and fatherhood in The American Sociological Review, Social Forces, The Journal of Marriage and Family and The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. His first book, Soft Patriarchs, New Men: How Christianity Shapes Fathers and Husbands (Chicago, 2004), examines the ways in which the religious beliefs and practices of American Protestant men influence their approach to parenting, household labor, and marriage. With Nicholas Wolfinger, Wilcox is now writing a book titled, Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Children, & Marriage among African Americans and Latinos, for Oxford University Press. With Eric Kaufmann, Wilcox is editing a book on the causes and consequences of low fertility in the West.

Professor Wilcox has received the following two awards from the American Sociological Association Religion Section for his research: the Best Graduate Paper Award and the Best Article Award. His research has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Boston Globe, CNN, The Los Angeles Times, CBS News, NBC's The Today Show, and on NPR. He also writes regularly for publications like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

(Left) Wilcox, Bradford. 2011. Photograph. Fatherhood Channel: News for Fathers and Families. Web.

Joshua J. Yates

Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia and Director of the Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change, Institute of Advanced Studies in Culture

Joshua J. Yates is Research Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia and Director of the Program on Culture, Capitalism, and Global Change at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.  Professor Yates is a sociologist specializing in the study of culture and cultural change in the late modern world, with an emphasis on moral and ethical life. 

 

His work thus far has concentrated on two overlapping questions: (1) How is globalization changing, challenging, and complicating our inherited moral outlooks and ethical practices? and (2) What does it mean and take to thrive in a globalizing world? 

 

He is currently working on two separate, but related lines of research. The first is a book project on the moral and ethical dimensions of contemporary globalization, entitled: The Problem of ‘the Good’ World: Global Culture and Our Changing Moral Imaginaries. The second is “The Thriving Cities Project,” a multi-year, interdisciplinary initiative to create a new form of community  assessment based on a holistic understanding of “thriving” in 21st century cities."

(Left) Yates, Joshua. 2014. Photograph. Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture, University of Virginia. Web.

Leah Sioma

Alumni Member, Class of 2014

Leah Sioma recently graduated from the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics.  Read her biography.

Cassie Detwiler

Alumni Member, Class of 2013

Cassie Detwiler graduated from the Templeton Honors College at Eastern University in 2013 with a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics.  Read her biography.

Austin Detwiler

Alumni Member, Class of 2013

Austin graduated in 2013 with a degree in Philosophy and Political Theory and now works as a philanthropic consultant at the Jack Miller Center.  Read his biography.

Nathan Farris

Alumni Member, Class of 2013

Nathan Farris is a native son of Overland Park, Kansas. He earned his Bachelor's of Arts in Economics and Philosophy from Eastern University in 2013 where he was a member of the Templeton Honors College.  Read his biography.

Jack Newman

Alumni Member, Class of 2013

As an undergraduate at Eastern's Templeton Honors College, Jack studied Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Upon graduation in 2013, he joined the sales team at Sovereign Insurance Group in Devon, PA - a firm specializing in Property & Casualty insurance solutions for religious non-profits. Read his biography.