National interfaith leader to head Religion Communicators Council

New president of the Board of Governors brings decades of religious leadership and networking to role

Rev. Bud Heckman

CHICAGO (March 31, 2017) — The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) today elected The Reverend Bud Heckman to serve as president of the Board of Governors at RCC’s annual convention in Chicago. Heckman serves as the convener of the Interfaith Funders Group and, presently, as a transitional executive director of Religions for Peace USA.

The RCC is an 89-year-old professional development association for communicators who work for a wide array of faith and interfaith organizations. RCC provides an annual convention, trainings and webinars, local meet-ups and chapters, and resources and networking for its members. The election occurred amidst RCC’s annual convention in Chicago.

Heckman succeeds Mrs. Casey Tom of Faith for Today Ministries, a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and a distinguished line of faith leaders. RCC executive director Shirley Struchen said, “We welcome Bud’s leadership for RCC, as he brings respected fundraising and organizing expertise, a record of developing non-profits, and unique insights into diverse religious networks.”

An ordained United Methodist clergyperson, Heckman has been leading faith-based and academic nonprofits for more than two decades and brings experiences with three different foundations that advance interfaith cooperation. Principally, he has advanced interfaith cooperation being seen as a movement, through concerted efforts in higher education, national and international interfaith organizations, and philanthropy. Heckman served on the Interreligious Cooperation Task Force of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships under President Obama.

“Few things are more misunderstood and yet, at the same time, more important in our world today than the contributions of faith and religious communities,” said Heckman. “It is a privilege to serve with RCC, not just because it is a respected and storied leader in the field, but because its mission is an absolutely vital component to resolving conflict in the world and advancing peace.” Casey Tom, whose two-year term of service as president was celebrated by RCC, added, “Religion is part of everything, and RCC helps people talk about it. Bud brings a passionate intensity to further our historic mission.”

Tom also notes that RCC announced the launch of a four-year strategic plan, crafted with Heckman’s guidance. The RCC 2020 Plan outlines in detail the implementation of five key foci of RCC’s work. In addition to offering professional development resources for religious communicators and recognizing and cultivating excellence in religious communication, RCC seeks to advance religious literacy, address religious discrimination and conflict, and act as a public resource on communication about religion and faith values.


RCC logoReligion Communicators Council (RCC) is a professional association whose mission is to provide opportunities for networking and professional development for people working in communications for a wide variety of faith-based organizations. RCC recognizes and cultivates excellence in communications of religious faith and values, as well as advances the public’s religious literacy.

Contact: Shirley Struchen, [email protected], 212-870-2402

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