This speaker participated in our 2020 Conference. Learn more about our 2023 conference speakers here.
Rachel Laser is the President and CEO at Americans United for Separation of Church and State as well as a lawyer, advocate and strategist who has dedicated her career to making our country more inclusive. She has a proven track record of uniting both faith and secular leaders and advocacy organizations to make tangible progress on some of the most important issues of our time. And as a religious minority–she was raised as a Reform Jew–she understands personally how much it matters that our laws treat everyone fairly and equally. She is an advocate for racial justice and has led workshops, given speeches and worked with schools and universities to challenge racism and expose privilege. As the deputy director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (the RAC), Rachel worked to further its historic mission of strengthening the separation of religion and government. She also ran interfaith campaigns on a number of critical issues, including LGBTQ equality, immigration reform, gun violence prevention, and paid sick, family and medical leave. Before the RAC, Rachel directed the Culture Program at Third Way (a Washington, D.C., progressive think tank specializing in understanding and reaching moderates) and was senior counsel at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). She is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Chicago Law School. She also serves as a national board member of NARAL Pro-Choice America. Her religion is an important part of her identity. “I believe that religion can provide guidance, ritual and structure for celebrating, reflecting on and dealing with life,” she says. At the same time, many in her immediate family identify as atheist or agnostic. “Some of the people I love and respect the most are non-believers. They are also some of the most moral, ethical and principled people I know.”