Press Release Jan 25, 2017

Russell Moore appoints former Tennessee GOP executive director, Brent Leatherwood, as director of strategic partnerships

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 25, 2017—Russell Moore, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has appointed Brent Leatherwood as the new ERLC director of strategic partnerships.

In this role, Leatherwood will work to further the organization’s reach in the public square through coalition building and mobilizing, and by serving as an advisor on both state-level and national policy goals.

Leatherwood brings significant experience to his new role with the ERLC. He served as the executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party from December 2012 to December 2016, where he managed the organization’s campaign apparatus at the federal, state and local levels. Under his guidance, the Tennessee GOP helped elect over 800 candidates, including several statewide offices—the most in any four-year timeframe in the organization’s history.

Leatherwood also has policy-making experience. He worked on Capitol Hill as a senior legislative aide to former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla. In that role, he guided the domestic priorities for the Congressman on the House Budget Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

“Brent Leatherwood is the perfect fit to serve as our director of strategic partnerships,” Moore said. “He comes to this role with far-reaching political and organizing experience, deep concern for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and a unique ability to join these together on issues in the public square. I can't wait to unleash his skill on our task of equipping churches and advancing issues critical to Southern Baptists around the country.”

After learning about the news, Sen. Bob Corker welcomed the announcement. “I cannot think of a better pairing than Brent Leatherwood and the ERLC,” said Corker. “He's an articulate young man who builds bridges and makes a difference. I look forward to continuing to work with Brent and the ERLC,” he said.

House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black, R-Tenn., said, “The ERLC is an important voice in the American debate and an agent of healing for our broken world. That’s why I am so excited that a young conservative Tennessean like Brent Leatherwood is joining this important mission and I look forward to working with ERLC in the years ahead.”

Matt Pinnell, the national state party director of the Republican National Committee, said, “In his four years as the executive director of the Tennessee GOP, Brent proved to be an invaluable asset. Whether it was his stewardship of the party or his ability to build relationships with peers across the nation, Leatherwood is the consummate professional. His addition to the ERLC shows Dr. Moore is serious about raising the profile of this organization and engaging on the issues that matter.”

“It’s an honor to join the talented team Dr. Moore has put together,” said Leatherwood. “For years, I’ve worked in the political arena alongside some very good men and women. But I’ve come to realize that politics flows downstream from culture. So, if I truly want to make a difference, I have to be active upstream. That means engaging the culture with gospel principles and Christian conviction. I’m grateful for this opportunity.”

Leatherwood and his wife Meredith have three children and are members The Church at Avenue South, a church plant of Brentwood Baptist Church, where Brent serves as a deacon. Leatherwood will serve the ERLC from its Nashville office.