Former Assistant To President Bush Joins Baylor U. Faculty

This story was written by Alex Maxwell, The Lariat

(UWIRE) -- Baylor University has added a new faculty member who "will add changes and increased credibility" to the Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion research programs, said Dr. Byron R. Johnson, professor of sociology and co-director of the institute. Jay Hein accepted the position of Distinguished Senior Fellow and director of the Program for Faith and Service at the institute. Hein will lead the institute in promoting new approaches to social problems through faith-based organizations, according to the press release.

The institute already has a reputation for completing solid research on the efficacy of faith-based social service delivery, Johnson said.

"Jay will greatly enhance our reputation," Johnson said. "Under Jay's leadership, we plan to develop a repository of research, data, and ideas for how faith-motivated individuals and communities may be important partners in addressing difficult-to-address social problems."

Hein served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives until Sept. 2008. His role there was to incorporate President Bush's compassion agenda by engaging public-private partnerships with faith and community based social service organizations across the country and around the globe, according to the press release.

Preceding his work in the White House, Hein was the founding president of the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research, an international public policy research firm.

"My experience in Washington helped me realize that what goes on in Washington is important, but community is more important," Hein said.

Hein directed the institute's research portfolio focusing on a range of community-based policies such as welfare to-work, access to post secondary education, affordable health care and crime prevention.

"We're looking through a national perspective but looking at impact on communities," Hein said. "I'd be very interested in serving Waco and Texas more broadly. We'd also be pleased to provide research and counsel to local organizations."

Prior to working at the Sagamore Institute, Hein was the vice president and chief executive officer of the Foundation for American Renewal providing financial grants and other support to community organizations.

Hein also worked previously as the executive director of Civil Society Programs at Hudson Institute, where he conducted hands-on research of Wisconsin's welfare reforms. He served on the state' s government as a policy director, according to the press release.

Johnson and Hein have known each other for some time and will be working together in the institute. Over the next few weeks they will be discussing the prospects of a number of evaluation projects and demonstration projects, Johnson said.

"As you might expect, we are elated to attract someone of Hein's stature and reputation to Baylor," Johnson said. "Jay's vision is one that is local, national andinternational. Projects to be undertaken will likely be taking place in many different locations throughout the country, including Waco."

Both Johnson and Hein said they look forward to working together and the work the institute will perform.

"Baylor is one of the leading institutions looking at the role of faith in service," Hein said. "I stand ready to help this community. I'm thrilled to be a part of Baylor."

Jade Ortego contributed to this story.
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