Helen M. Alvaré – Keynote Speaker
Helen M. Alvaré is an Associate Professor of Law who prior to joining the George Mason faculty was an associate professor at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. Professor Alvaré received her law degree at Cornell University in 1984 and a master’s degree in systematic theology from The Catholic University of America in 1989.
Professor Alvaré practiced with the Philadelphia law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young, specializing in commercial litigation and free exercise of religion matters. For three years, she worked at the Office of General Counsel for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, where she drafted amicus briefs in leading U.S. Supreme Court cases concerning abortion, euthanasia and the Establishment Clause. For the next ten years, she worked with the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities at the NCCB. There, she lobbied, testified before federal congressional committees, addressed university audiences, and appeared on hundreds of television and radio programs on behalf of the U.S. Catholic bishops. She also assisted the Holy See on matters concerning women, marriage and the family, and respect for human life.
Professor Alvaré chaired the commission investigating clerical abuse in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and is an advisor to Pope Benedict XVI’s Pontifical Council for the Laity, as well as an ABC News consultant. Her scholarship regularly treats current controversies about marriage, parenting, and the new reproductive technologies.
Lila Rose – Panelist for “Women Leaders of the Pro-Life Movement”
Lila Rose, a recent UCLA graduate, has dedicated herself to building a culture of life and ending abortion. At age fifteen, she founded Live Action, a pro-life nonprofit which specializes in investigative journalism, media and youth education. Lila has led numerous undercover investigations exposing corruption and illegal activity at Planned Parenthood, the nation’s biggest abortion chain. As a freshman at UCLA, Lila founded the pro-life student magazine The Advocate. The Advocate is now the largest pro-life student publication in the country, distributed at over 300 high school and college campuses with a circulation of 200,000. Lila is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, including The O’Reilly Factor, The Glenn Beck Show, CNN, EWTN, and The Laura Ingraham Show. She has written for magazines and news groups including Politico, the Hill and First Things. Lila also serves on the board for the Queen of Angels Charitable Trust Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has received a number of awards and Lila is a national and international pro-life speaker.
Melissa Ohden – Panelist for “Women Leaders of the Pro-Life Movement”
Melissa is the survivor of a failed saline infusion abortion in 1977. Earning a Master’s Degree in Social Work, she has worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence/sexual assault counseling, and child welfare.Melissa was formerly a College Outreach Speaker with Feminists for Life, traveling to college campuses to share her story while advocating for resources and supports for pregnant and parenting college students and advocating for the rights of the unborn. She now works with individuals and organizations across the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Melissa has been featured on television and radio programs including: The 700 Club, EWTN’s Life on the Rock and Defending Life, Fox News, Facing Life Head On, Focus on the Family, and American Family Radio. Her life and ministry is featured in the award winning pro-life documentary, A Voice for Life.
Marjorie Dannenfelser- Panelist for “Women Leaders of the Pro-Life Movement”
Marjorie Dannenfelser is an original organizer of the Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List), and is the organization’s President. In this role, Marjorie directs the mission of SBA List and serves as its primary spokeswoman. Under her leadership, the organization has grown to more than 330,000 members nationwide. She also appears regularly as a commentator on news shows such as Fox News in addition to appearances on “The O’Reilly Factor,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” “Fox & Friends,” CNN’s “John King Live,” EWTN’s “The World Over” and CBN. Marjorie serves on the boards of the Alliance Defense Fund, Constituting Culture Foundation and Chosen Families, a ministry to families who have special needs children. Prior to launching the Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie served on Capitol Hill as staff director of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus. Prior to her work on Capitol Hill, she worked at the Heritage Foundation. She is originally from North Carolina and is a graduate of Duke University. Marjorie lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Marty and their five children, ages 11-20.
Sr. Veronica Mary, S.V. is a native of Waterbury, CT and one of six children. She attended Providence College and Rhode Island College – and graduated with a BS in nursing and a specialization in gerontology. She entered the Air Force and served for 6 1/2 years as an R.N. at Andrews AFB, DC, and Beale AFB, in No. California. She volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center, Carolyn’s Place, for a number of years before entering the Sisters of Life in 1999 and professed her solemn vows in 2007. She has served her community as vocations director, postulant director, local superior of their Holy Respite home for mothers in Manhattan, and most recently, as the Director of the Family Life / Respect Life Office for the Archdiocese of New York.
Jennifer Lahl – Breakout speaker on Bioethics
Jennifer Lahl is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and in senior-level nursing management with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, theDallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBC, PBS, and NPR, and called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address egg trafficking. She serves on the North American Editorial Board for Ethics and Medicine and the Board of Reference for Joni Eareckson Tada’s Institute on Disability. In 2009, Lahl was associate producer of the documentary film, Lines That Divide: The Great Stem Cell Debate, which was an official selection in the 2010 California Independent Film Festival. She made her writing and directing debut, producing the documentary film, Eggsploitation, which has been awarded Best Documentary by the California Independent Film Festival, has sold in over 20 countries, and is showing all over the U.S. http://www.cbc-network.org/about/board-of-directors/
Fr. Connor – Breakout speaker on Cardinal O’Connor and the Culture of Life
Father Charles P. Connor, Assistant Professor of History, as well as Systematic Theology, Pastoral Theology and Spirituality at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, graduated from the University of Scranton, where he also received his Master’s Degree in United States History. In 1979,he received his Ph,D. in United States History from Fordham University, New York City. He served as Adjunct Professor of History at the University of Scranton, and his articles have appeared in numerous scholarly journals and Catholic publications. His latest book is titled A Transformative Element: The Contributions of John Cardinal O”Connor to the Culture of Life in the United States. Fr. Connor has co-produced several series for EWTN as well as appearing as appearing multiple times as a guest on Mother Angelica Live. Additionally, he has addressed numerous national Catholic conventions.In 2008 Fr. Connor received an S.T.L, Magna Cum Laude from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studes on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.Ordained a priest of the Diocese of Scranton in 1990,Father Connor currently serves as Censor Librorum and Historian for the Diocese of Scranton. He joined the faculty of Mount Saint Mary’s in the Fall of 2010.
Thomas Peters – Breakout Speaker on Pro-Life Media
Thomas Peters grew up in Southern California and attended college in Michigan. He is the founder of the popular “American Papist” blog which can be read at www.CatholicVote.org. Thomas appears in dozens of TV, radio and online media outlets each year discussing political and Catholic-related topics as well as frequently speaks to audiences about social media and pro-life, pro-family activism. Since 2007 he has lived and worked in Washington, DC where he completed his second master’s degree in theology, and now serves as the Cultural Director at the National Organization for Marriage. You can follow him on Twitter @AmericanPapist and like him at Facebook.com/AmericanPapist.
Sally Winn – Breakout speaker on the History of Pro-life Feminism
Sally A. Winn began her tenure with Feminists for Life in 2001 as Vice President, sharing her own experience with an unplanned pregnancy in college and advocating for pregnant and parenting college students across the country. Before coming to FFL, she founded Indiana Democrats for Life in 1996 and soon after co-founded Democrats for Life of America. Sally has also served as the Director of Operations for a therapeutic group maternity home serving pregnant and parenting teens in the Pacific Northwest. She proudly carried on the legacy of our feminist foremothers as Executive Director of the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum in Adams, Massachusetts. Today Sally splits her time between FFL’s office in DC and her home in the Pacific Northwest with her two daughters and continues to serve as Feminists for Life Vice President, moderating FFL Pregnancy Resource ForumsSM and speaking internationally. http://www.feministsforlife.org/cop/speakers.htm
Steven Mosher – Breakout speaker on the international Pro-Life movement
Steven W. Mosher is an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author, speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years. Steven has appeared numerous times before Congress as an expert in world population, China, and human rights abuses. He has also made TV appearances on Good Morning America, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, 20/20, FOX and CNN news, as well as being a regular guest on talk radio shows across the nation. He is also the author of the best-selling A Mother’s Ordeal: One Woman’s Fight Against China’s One-Child Policy. Other books include Hegemon: China’s Plan to Dominate Asia and the World, China Attacks, China Misperceived: American Illusions and Chinese Reality, Journey to the Forbidden China, and Broken Earth: The Rural Chinese.
Articles by Steve have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, The New Republic, The Washington Post, National Review, Reason, The Asian Wall Street Journal, Freedom Review, Linacre Quarterly, Catholic World Report, Human Life Review, First Things, and numerous other publications.
Steven Mosher lives in Virginia with his wife, Vera, and their nine children. http://www.pop.org/about/our-president-803
Hanna Klaus – Breakout Speaker on Theology of the Body
Hanna Klaus is a Medical Mission Sister who directed the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Currently she is the Executive Director of the Natural Family Planning Center of Washington, D.C., Inc. and the Teen STAR Program. She is a gynecologist who has conducted use-effectiveness research and training of teachers in sexuality education programs. Teen STAR, “Sexuality Teaching in the context of Adult Responsibility”, is an international proactive sexuality education program for teens which currently operates in 27 countries. Holistic Sexuality is a program for college students offered either as a credit course, or an elective. Born in Vienna, Austria, she is a graduate of the University of Louisville and the University’s Medical School. She served residencies in Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Barnes and Allied Hospitals, St. Louis, MO. After a year as a teaching fellow at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston, and Harvard Medical School she joined the Medical Mission Sisters. She has been a consultant for Natural Family Planning seminars and projects for USAID in the Philippines, Kenya, and Chile. She has published 60 scientific articles, and 42 popular articles. Dr. Klaus presently lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
William L. Saunders, J.D. – Breakout Speaker on Pro-Life Law
William L. Saunders, Jr. is Senior Vice President of Legal Affairs at Americans United for Life (AUL). For the past decade, he served as Senior Fellow in Bioethics and Human Rights Counsel at the Family Research Council. A member of the Supreme Court bar, he has authored numerous legal briefs in state, federal, foreign, and international courts.
Mr. Saunders has appeared often in the media, including BBC World News, CNN, Fox News, Vatican Radio, and National Public Radio. Mr. Saunders served on the United States delegation to the UN Special Session on Children in 2001/02. In 2004, he served on the NGO Working Committee in connection with the Doha Intergovernmental Conference for the Family. He served on the organizing committee for the conferences of the World Congress of Families in Mexico City (2004), in Poland (2007), in Amsterdam (2009), and is a member of that organization’s Management Committee. Mr. Saunders is Chairman of the Religious Liberties Group for the Federalist Society. He is Vice President of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and a member of the boards of the International Right to Life Federation, the International Association of Catholic Bioethicists, the Christian Institute on Disability, and the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity. Mr. Saunders is a founding member of Do No Harm: the Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Center for Law, Philosophy and Culture at the Catholic University of America.
Kristen Day – Breakout Speaker
Kristen Day is the Executive Director of Democrats For Life of America and oversees all operations of the Washington, D.C. office. Working for the Democratic Co-Chair of the Bi-partisan House Pro-life Caucus, Kristen set up a whip operation to alert pro-life democrats when important pro-life votes were going to come on the Floor or in Committee. Also, in this capacity, she helped Democrats For Life connect with other pro-life Democratic elected officials and private citizens who were interested in helping the organization grow. Day’s articles have been published in the Harvard Crimson, the National Review and other Publications. She is the author of Democrats For Life: Pro-Life Politics and the Silenced Majority published by New Leaf Press in July, 2006. The book outlines the the history of the pro-life Democrat movement. She was published in the 2006 Notre Dame Journal on Law and Public Policy with a piece entitled, “Politics and the Culture of Life-Why I am Still a Democrat.”
Msgr. Stuart Swetland – Breakout Speaker on the Death Penalty
Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland, S.T.D., was ordained a priest in 1991 for the Diocese of Peoria, IL.
He currently serves as the Vice-President for Catholic Identity and Mission and holds the Archbishop Flynn Chair of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Maryland. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Catholic Higher Education and the Executive Secretary for the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.Msgr. Swetland was named a Prelate of Honor in 2000 by Blessed John Paul II and is a Knight Commander for the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus. Msgr. Swetland hosts the weekly television show Catholicism on Campus on EWTN and co-hosts the showGo Ask Your Father on Relevant Radio.
Stay tuned for more speaker details as they become available.
To view a list of past speakers, click here.