Roger Severino

Roger Severino

Former Director, DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity

Roger Severino focused on religious liberty, marriage, and life issues as director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society.

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Roger Severino focused on religious liberty, marriage, and life issues as director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

Before joining Heritage in 2015, Severino was a trial attorney in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. He worked in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section on dozens of district and appellate court matters, including issues involving the Fair Housing Act and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

Severino previously was chief operations officer and legal counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, where he argued for the rights of religious believers and houses of worship to be free from discrimination and unjustified government burdens. 

While at the Becket Fund, he led an international coalition in blocking proposed laws in Sri Lanka against converting to Christianity and won asylum for a family facing a death sentence in Iran for doing so. A dissenting opinion from the Supreme Court cited his amicus brief in the Kelo v. New London property rights case. 

Severino has contributed commentary on church and state issues to The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Times, and New Republic Online, and has been interviewed on news topics by CNN, PBS, and C-SPAN, among others.

His publications include “Or for Poorer? How Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty” in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy and “Improving Public Education Through Strengthened Local Control” for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Severino holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Society for Law, Life, and Religion. He also received a master’s degree in public policy, with highest distinction, from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in business from  University of Southern California, where he was a National Merit Scholar.