Public Policy Fellows

About Our Public Policy Fellows

The Center for Ethics and Culture projects and amplifies Notre Dame’s voice into the public square on the most important public policy debates concerning human dignity and the common good. The Center’s director, Professor of Law Carter Snead, and the Center’s affiliated experts provide:

  • Legislative testimony before the U.S. Congress and state legislatures on urgent and vital issues, including abortion, euthanasia, and the HHS contraceptive/abortifacient mandate.
  • Advice and counsel to elected and appointed local and federal officials through policy briefings, Supreme Court amicus briefs, and white papers.
  • Media commentary through press interviews, op-eds, and public statements.

Helen Alvaré 


Helen Alvaré is a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law, where she teaches Family Law, Law and Religion, and Property Law. She publishes on matters concerning marriage, parenting, non-marital households, and the First Amendment religion clauses. She is faculty advisor to the law school’s Civil Rights Law Journal, and the Latino/a Law Student Association, a consultor for the Pontifical Council of the Laity (Vatican City), an advisor to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (Washington, D.C.), founder of, and an ABC news consultant. She cooperates with the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations as a speaker and a delegate to various United Nations conferences concerning women and the family.


Monique V. Chireau


Monique V. Chireau is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Duke University School of Medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree from Mount Holyoke College before receiving her MPH from Harvard University and her MD from Brown University. Her research interests include epidemiology and genetic risk factors of adverse pregnancy outcomes, racial disparities in women’s health, and women veterans’ health and healthcare. Chireau also serves as a fellow at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.


Maureen Condic


Maureen Condic is an associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine, with an adjunct appointment in the department of pediatrics. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago, her doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, and her postdoctoral training at the University of Minnesota. Since her appointment at the University of Utah in 1997, Professor Condic’s primary research focus has been the development and regeneration of the nervous system. In 1999, she was awarded the Basil O’Connor Young Investigator Award for her studies of peripheral nervous system development. In 2002, she was named a McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Investigator, in recognition of her research in the field of spinal cord repair and regeneration. Her current research involves the control of human stem cell potency and differentiation. In addition to her scientific research, Professor Condic teaches both graduate and medical students. Her teaching focuses primarily on embryonic development, and she is the director for human embryology in the University of Utah School of Medicine’s curriculum. 


Richard M. Doerflinger


Richard M. Doerflinger is the retired associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, where he worked for 34 years to prepare of policy statements and congressional testimony on abortion, euthanasia, conscience rights in health care, embryo research, and other medical-moral issues for the bishops’ conference. He is an Adjunct Fellow in Bioethics and Public Policy at the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia and serves on the advisory board to the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Bannockburn, Illinois.

Doerflinger has testified before Congress, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, the National Institutes of Health, the President’s Council on Bioethics, and several state legislatures on the way public policy treats human life at its most vulnerable stages. His writings on medical ethics and public policy include contributions to the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Hastings Center Report, Duquesne Law Review, Cell Proliferation, the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, the Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine (Our Sunday Visitor Press, 1997), the National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, and the American Journal of Bioethics. He holds a B.A. and an M.A. in divinity from the University of Chicago and has conducted doctoral studies in theology at that institution and the Catholic University of America.


Shavar Jeffries


Shavar Jeffries is president of Democrats for Education Reform. He is a former partner at Lowenstein Sandler in Newark, New Jersey, and was an associate professor of law at Seton Hall Law School’s Center for Social Justice. His work at Seton Hall focused on litigation, civil-rights scholarship, and advocacy, with emphasis on education and economic inequities affecting urban communities.

A native of Newark, Jeffries was the founding board president of TEAM Academy Charter School, board president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark, and a board member of Seton Hall Preparatory School. In 2010, he was elected to the Newark Public Schools Advisory Board, where he was unanimously selected by his colleagues to serve as board president. Jeffries ran as a candidate for Newark mayor in 2014, in a campaign that attracted national attention. Despite being a first-time municipal candidate, his reform platform gained broad support and won him more than 46 percent of the vote, more votes than any other first-time municipal candidate in modern history.


Yuval Levin


Yuval Levin is the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., as well as the founding editor of National Affairs, a senior editor at the New Atlantis, and a contributing editor to National Review and the Weekly Standard. He served on the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush and is the former executive director of the President’s Council on Bioethics. He received a B.A. in political science from American University and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Levin's writings have appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post, among others; his most recent book is The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left (Basic Books, 2013). His areas of specialty include health care, entitlement reform, economic and domestic policy, science and technology policy, and political philosophy.


Reggie Littlejohn


Reggie Littlejohn is Founder and President of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, an international coalition to expose and oppose forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China. Women’s Rights Without Frontiers seeks to form a left-right, human rights and humanitarian coalition to end forced abortion and gendercide. Reggie also led the international effort to free blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who arrived in the United States on May 19, 2012. She and Chen Guangcheng appeared together on a Voice of America broadcast on January 31, 2013.


Mary O'Callaghan


Mary O'Callaghan received an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Creighton University, and received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Her doctoral work was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health for the study of developmental disabilities and mental retardation. She and her husband, John are the parents of 5 children, including their youngest, Tommy, who has Down syndrome. Since his birth, she has been an advocate at the local level for unborn children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. She has served as a member of the Disabilities Advisory Board for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, and in conjunction with the Michiana Down Syndrome support group; is currently developing a "First Call" Program which will provide mentoring to parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome in the region.


Jacqueline Rivers


Jacqueline Rivers is the executive director of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies in Boston, which seeks to create and promote a philosophical, political, and theological framework for a pro-poor, pro-life, pro-family movement within the ecumenical Black Church both domestically and internationally. She holds a Ph.D. in psychology and social relations from Harvard University and has worked on issues of social justice and Christian activism in the black community for more than thirty years, committing her personal and professional life in service to the inner city youth of Boston.


Brandon Vaidayanathan


Brandon Vaidyanathan is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Rice University. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in Business Administration from Canada and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame. His work broadly examines the relationship between culture, religion, and economic life in diverse national contexts.