NCC's Robert Edgar to head advocacy group 'Common Cause'

May 23, 2007

The Rev. Robert Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), has been named the head of the Washington-based advocacy group Common Cause.


Edgar, a former six-term Democratic Party congressman from the state of Pennsylvania who has been credited with helping to turn around the financial fortunes of the NCC, said in October 2006 he would not seek a third four-year term as the council's general secretary.

In a statement released by Common Cause on May 22, Edgar said he hopes to continue the advocacy group's work as a "people's lobby." He noted, "With devastating consequences, powerful special interests distort and disrupt the democratic process in ways that shift political power away from the American people."

Edgar is expected to end his tenure with the NCC at the end of August while beginning his duties in Washington. The NCC has already appointed a search committee to find his successor.

"Bob Edgar has always demonstrated a zeal for justice, peace, fairness and all that Common Cause stands for. There is no question that the National Council of Churches has benefited from his leadership in many ways and I'm sure that Common Cause will also benefit," the Rev. Michael Livingston, NCC's president, said in a statement.

Common Cause is a citizens' lobby group for issues such as better governance and reforming the U.S. campaign finance and election systems.

"I'm both a pastor and a politician, and this is a perfect fit for someone with my credentials," said Edgar.