EPPC Welcomes Three New Fellows in Key Areas


January 17, 2023


The Ethics and Public Policy Center is pleased to announce the appointment of three new fellows: Theresa Farnan, Eric Kniffin, and Jennifer Patterson.

“Theresa, Eric, and Jennifer will add invaluable expertise to EPPC’s work on sexuality and gender, healthcare policy, and religious liberty. Through their efforts, we will expand and strengthen our capacity to inform leaders on these critical issues at all levels of civil society, from national opinion-makers and members of Congress to local pastors and parents,” said EPPC President Ryan T. Anderson.

Theresa Farnan joins as a Fellow in EPPC’s Person and Identity Project focusing on the challenges of gender ideology. Farnan is the co-author of two books, Get Out Now: Why You Should Pull Your Child from Public School Before It’s Too Late and Where Did I Come From? Where Am I Going? How Do I Get There? She has taught at St. Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh, Franciscan University of Steubenville, and Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and has worked with the diaconate formation program for the Dioceses of Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. Farnan received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She and her husband, Michael, have ten children.

EPPC’s appointment of Theresa Farnan could not be timelier in light of the ongoing policy debates that fundamentally concern the nature of the human person. Dr. Farnan is not only a superior scholar but has been a remarkable witness personally. I look forward to Dr. Farnan’s further contributions in the years ahead.

Keith Rothfus, Former Member, U.S. House of Representatives

Eric Kniffin joins as a Fellow in EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project and will work on a range of initiatives to protect and strengthen religious liberty. As an attorney in Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice during the George W. Bush Administration, he helped enforce the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons (CRIPA), and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). At the Becket Fund, he contributed to landmark religious liberty decisions including Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC and Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. He holds his B.A. in philosophy from Wheaton College, an M.A. in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and his J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.

Eric Kniffin has been a stalwart defender of religious liberty for nearly two decades. Everywhere he has been—at the Department of Justice, at Becket, and in private practice—he has dedicated himself to protecting the civil rights of others. EPPC will be stronger, and our rights more secure, with Eric Kniffin working on the HHS Accountability Project.

Mark Rienzi, President & CEO, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Jennifer Patterson joins as a Senior Fellow focusing on projects related to religious freedom and overcoming poverty. She is the director of the Institute for Theology and Public Life at Reformed Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. She has worked in public policy for more than 25 years, including serving as a vice president at The Heritage Foundation overseeing research in social welfare, family, and religious liberty issues. Currently a doctoral candidate in moral theology and ethics at The Catholic University of America, she holds masters’ degrees from Reformed Theological Seminary and the Institute of World Politics, and a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College.

Jennifer is a tremendous force for good. She is a creative and intellectually deep policy thinker and a truly gifted coalition builder, and she has an incredible knack for seeing the core principle that must be defended in the midst of a heated and complicated controversy.

Yuval Levin, Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies, American Enterprise Institute

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