Alan E. Sears
President, CEO, and General Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom
Alan Sears serves as President, CEO, and General Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom, an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith. He leads the strategy, training, funding, and litigation efforts that have resulted in various roles in 39 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court and wins in more than three out of four cases litigated to conclusion. Under his leadership, Alliance Defending Freedom has funded nearly 2,400 grants and legal projects for Allied Attorneys and organizations, and has equipped more than 1,600 Christian attorneys and 1,200 law students to defend religious liberty at its world-class training programs.
Sears earned his Juris Doctor from Louis D. Brandeis School of Law. While serving in numerous positions within the government, he worked for the Department of Justice under Attorneys General William French Smith and Edwin Meese III, including service as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Section. Sears was also appointed as the director of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, and served as associate solicitor with the Department of the Interior under Secretary Donald Hodel. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Sears has continued his education with professional instruction at Stanford University, Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and Pepperdine University.
Practicing law for three decades, Sears is a member in good standing with the American, Arizona, California, District of Columbia (inactive), and Kentucky bar associations. He has helped fashion the language for numerous state and federal laws and has testified before committees of the U.S. House and Senate, state legislatures, and many local governments, and commissions. Legislators in 20 states have adopted his legislative recommendations. Sears has assisted legislators and law enforcement officials from many countries and has spoken before committees of the British Parliament.
Sears' numerous media appearances include television interviews and features on The Today Show, Nightline, CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, The O’Reilly Factor, Oprah, and The Lou Dobbs Show. He has also been a radio guest on various programs, including The Laura Ingraham Show, National Public Radio, and The Dennis Prager Radio Show. Sears has been extensively covered in national print media, including the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the Washington Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Arizona Republic, and the National Catholic Register. He is a regular opinion contributor to Townhall.com and has co-authored several books, including The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today (2003), and The ACLU vs. America (2005), both with Craig Osten. Sears has also written two novels, In Justice (2009) and its sequel Trial and Error (2011).
Jeffery J. Ventrella
Senior Vice President of Student Training and Development
Alliance Defending Freedom
Jeffery Ventrella regularly lectures in churches, campuses, and conferences throughout the United States and has lectured on six continents. After graduating first in his high school class, he received the B.M.E. degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Northern Colorado where he specialized in trumpet performance. He then attended law school, and after serving as the Production Editor for the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, he received the Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He received the Doctorate of Philosophy in Church and State Studies from Whitefield Theological Seminary.
Serving Alliance Defending Freedom as Senior Counsel and Senior Vice President of Student Training and Development, Dr. Ventrella oversees the design and implementation of the Blackstone Legal Fellowship and Collegiate Academy programs. He also engages the culture through formal debate, media interviews, and serves as an “approved speaker” for The Federalist Society. Prior to joining Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in 2000, Dr. Ventrella litigated for nearly 15 years, concentrating his work in complex commercial and insurance litigation, financial litigation, environmental and natural resource litigation, and appellate advocacy. He has presented numerous seminars for a number of organizations, including the Idaho State Bar, regarding a host of topics including motion practice, discovery practice, boundary law, legal reasoning and appellate advocacy. He is a member of the Idaho State Bar and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Bar of the United States Supreme Court.
Dr. Ventrella has testified before a Senate subcommittee concerning the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment and his professional writings have appeared in legal journals, law reviews, and periodicals, such as For the Defense as well as Christian publications such as Citizen Magazine, Fidelity, Penpoint, Christian Culture, Jubilee, Creation Answers, and New Horizons. He is a contributing author to several books, including: The Idaho Appellate Handbook (3rd Ed.); The Standard Bearer (2001); Thine is the Kingdom (2003) Backbone of the Bible (2004), and Speaking the Truth in Love: The Theology of John M. Frame(2009). In 2006, he served as an expert commentator for a two-part History Channel program exploring the role of the Ten Commandments in culture and law. His book, The Cathedral Builder: Pursuing Cultural Beauty (2007) is part of Alliance Defending Freedom’s Blackstone Core Curriculum Project, which he also edits. He is the author of Church and Culture: Isolation, Accommodation, or Transformation? (2012), a booklet exploring how the church ought to function in the world between the Cross and the Consummation.
As an adjunct instructor, Dr. Ventrella taught Ethics and Apologetics at the graduate seminary level. He has held formal ordinations in the CRC and the OPC and currently serves on an ad hoc graduate thesis committee for the Department of Philosophy and Constitutional Law for the University of the Free State, South Africa. Dr. Ventrella is also a Distinguished Fellow of Law and Culture for the Center for Cultural Leadership and a Fellow with the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity. His martial arts training achieved the rank of 2nd degree black belt, Tae Kwon-do. Dr. Ventrella is married, and with his wife, Heather, enjoys the challenge of rearing four very active sons and one beautiful daughter: Jefferson (24), Chandler (21), Kirklan (19), Jackson (17), and McKenzie (8).
Dr. J. Budziszewksi
University of Texas, Austin
Professor Richard Duncan
University of Nebraska College of Law
Dr. Robert George
Professor Mary Ann Glendon
Harvard Law School
Edwin Meese, III
75th Attorney General of the United States
Professor Michael Paulsen
University of St. Thomas School of Law
Rev. Dr. Alfred Poirier
Rocky Mountain Community Church
Professor Charles Rice
University of Notre Dame College of Law
Dr. Del Tackett
The Truth Project