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Former Advisor to US President Delivers Speech at Vice-Chancellor’s Lunch

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President Barack Obama’s former Faith Vote Director delivered a guest presentation at a lunch organised by St Mary’s University, Twickenham, on Tuesday 13th May 2014. Michael Wear, a leading expert and strategist in politics and religion, gave a talk entitled ‘God, Government, The White House and Social Action’ at an event hosted by St Mary’s Vice-Chancellor, Dr Arthur Naylor, in London. Mr Wear had been working at the White House for three and a half years before being appointed the role as Faith Vote Director, assisting President Obama with faith outreach during his 2012 re-election campaign. As one of the youngest members of staff to serve the White House, his expertise has led him to become one of the most sought after consultants within the religion and politics sphere, helping religious organisations, political organisations and businesses. At the event he said, “We are in a unique moment in both the United States and the UK where we can learn from each other about how we figure out what religion and religious political engagement looks like in a pluralistic society. We agree that faith still has a powerful role to play in society and we need to support that role, rather than undermine it or try to excise it from the public square.” “I think UK institutions like St Mary’s have an opportunity that is unprecedented in the modern era to provide leadership not just in this country, but to the global community. When it comes to helping solve religious tensions, which are very deep and fraught but need to be solved to move forward as a society that is able to be fruitful and focus on the common good, St Mary’s has a pivotal role to play in that conversation.” Guests who attended the presentation included Tim Bissett, CEO of the BBC Radio 4 St Martin In The Fields Appeal; Dr Stephen Hopgood, Reader in International Relations at SOAS; David Godfrey, CEO of the South East Local Economic Partnership and Phillip Blond, an internationally recognised political thinker and social and economic commentator. The event was organised by Vice-Chancellor Designate Francis Campbell in collaboration with St Mary’s Centre for Initiatives in Spirituality and Reconciliation (InSpiRe) and the Cathedral Innovation Centre.
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