Dear friends and BJC supporters,
I am pleased to inform you that, on September 26, 2016, the Baptist Joint Committee Board of Directors named our next executive director: Amanda R. Tyler.
The vote was held upon the recommendation of the BJC’s Search and Succession Committee, which I had the pleasure of chairing. Over the past 11 months, we identified areas of giftedness and expertise we desired in our executive director, solicited and received recommendations from trusted advisors in the Baptist world, and considered candidates through the application review process and interviews.
We were honored to serve on your behalf, and we were pleased with the caliber and diversity of the candidates. Because of the prominence of the BJC and its excellent reputation, we received many stellar resumes and had the opportunity to speak with some exciting people in the world of religious liberty. When we spoke with Amanda Tyler, it became clear to us that she possessed the qualities we desired.
Amanda is well-prepared and eager to lead the BJC staff in implementing our vision. She represents both the BJC’s history and its future. Having served on staff at the BJC under the leadership of James Dunn and Brent Walker, Amanda knows the rich legacy of ministry and advocacy we enjoy. She also
realizes the steep climb we have before us, for our work is never done. Her history with and passion for the BJC, paired with her professional experience, give her a unique ability to articulate the value of the BJC and the ideals we champion.
In our conversations together, Amanda clearly voiced the Baptist principles of religious liberty and the separation of church and state — why they are important not only in the history of our nation, but also to her personally and spiritually. Drawing upon the BJC’s visioning statement, she articulated her ability to lead us in outreach, mobilizing, and being first-responders when threats to religious liberty arise.
Amanda is an excellent and experienced communicator, and she has leadership qualities that complement the current staff and fit our vision in important ways. We believe that Amanda will bring fresh thinking to how we apply our mission today and build support with new audiences.
Amanda Tyler is the right person to lead the BJC forward with grace and tenacity to defend and extend religious liberty in an ever-changing world. She will assume her role as executive director at the beginning of January.
With prayerful excitement,
Chair, BJC Board of Directors
Amanda Tyler, a native of Austin, Texas, grew up hearing about the cherished Baptist principles of religious liberty and the separation of church and state as a member of Highland Park Baptist Church. Because she was committed to these principles, Tyler sought out the Baptist Joint Committee when she moved to Washington to attend Georgetown University, and she began volunteering in the office.
Tyler graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown with a bachelor’s degree in foreign service, magna cum laude. She was hired by the BJC to serve as assistant to the general counsel, working closely with Brent Walker, James Dunn, Melissa Rogers, and Holly Hollman. During this time, she wrote columns for Report from the Capital, drafted statements on religious liberty issues, presented educational programs, and coordinated the broad coalition in support of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.
Tyler left the BJC to enroll in The University of Texas School of Law. After graduating with honors, Tyler worked in private practice and served as a law clerk for a U.S. district court judge in Dallas, Texas. She later joined the staff of U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett in Austin and Washington, D.C.
In Austin, Tyler served as the congressman’s district director, leading the staff in the development and execution of an outreach agenda for a 7-county congressional district, as well as serving as a spokesperson for his office. She is currently Rep. Doggett’s counsel for the Ways and Means Committee.
Throughout her career, Tyler continued to stay connected to the BJC. She is a long-time monthly financial supporter and served on the board from 2010-2016.
A member of First Baptist Church of Washington,
D.C., she lives in the city with her husband, Robert Behrendt, and their son, Phelps.