Former ERLC legislative counsel joins Trump administration

Shannon Royce, formerly with the Family Research Council and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has been named director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the Department of Health and Human Services.(Photo/ Sarah Stierch - Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16518455)

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WASHINGTON (BP)—Shannon Royce, a former leader at the Family Research Council and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, has been appointed as the Trump administration’s director of the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Part of the Department of Health and Human Services, the center seeks to forge government partnerships with faith-based and community organizations to address community needs.

During Royce’s tenure, the center’s focus will include combatting opioid addiction, childhood obesity and mental illness, as well as fostering health reform.

Shannon Royce 200Shannon Royce “I am eager to work with our faith and community partners in their service and stewardship to bring help and healing in their communities,” Royce said. “In doing so, I believe our work can help HHS fulfill its mission to enhance and protect the health and wellbeing of all Americans. The faith-based and neighborhood partners are instrumental in addressing community needs and concerns in the work they do every day, serving their members and neighbors and meeting the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Royce, who began her work at the center in May, served as chief of staff and chief operating officer at the Family Research Council from 2015 to 2017. As ERLC director of government relations and legislative counsel from 1999 to 2003, she directed the commission’s Washington office.

Additionally, Royce has served as counsel to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and as executive director of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

The mother of a child with special needs, Royce has worked to raise awareness of mental health issues within the Southern Baptist Convention and beyond, including service on SBC Executive Committee’s Mental Health Advisory Council.

“She has served Southern Baptists in numerous ways in the past,” said Frank Page, president of the Executive Committee. “She was the prime motivator for our mental health advisory group. Her competency and compassion will be used by God in this service to our country.”

Royce received her law degree from George Washington University. She and her husband, Bill, have two adult sons.

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