Program Director, NextGEN & Learning Communities
Stephen Lazarus brings to Cardus a love for people, public policy and research. He is the Program Director for NextGEN & Learning Communities. He is a public policy researcher with expertise in social policy, Christian political thought, and religious freedom advocacy. Prior to joining the Cardus team in 2016, Stephen was based at the CBC in Toronto, as a television producer, writer, and researcher for CONTEXT with Lorna Dueck. He has also served as a consultant and researcher for the Henri Nouwen Society.
Before immigrating to Canada from the United States, Stephen served for ten years as a public policy researcher and program director in Washington, D.C. at the Center for Public Justice. With Cardus Senior Fellow Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, he helped found the Coalition to Preserve Religious Freedom on Capitol Hill. He consulted with state and federal government agencies to implement policies to improve government partnerships with faith-based social service organizations. Stephen also taught religion and politics at Iowa Wesleyan University, but his real brush with fame was once being interviewed by Stephen Colbert for the Daily Show.
His passion for the kind of social and political insights that animate the Cardus mission was nurtured during his M. Phil. studies with Dr. Paul Marshall at the Institute for Christian Studies. His thesis focused on the moral and political thought of Czech president and playwright Vaclav Havel. He holds additional degrees in political science and German from Central University of Iowa in Pella, Iowa with additional study at the University of Vienna. Stephen and his wife, Judith, live in Toronto with their two energetic boys, Isaiah (11) and Aaron (8). Originally a "southerner," Stephen grew up in Texas and Louisiana, and has a lasting love and deep respect for good fried chicken, the writing of Walker Percy, and his high school alma mater, an innovative boarding school, The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts.