The Current

Advocacy News + Updates

On the Government Relations & Advocacy (GRA) team at IJM, we are always interested in getting to know you and talking about how you can get involved in the fight to end slavery, but we realize that it might be nice for you to get to know our team, too! So, we’ll be doing a little blog series, featuring Q&A with each member of the GRA department. This will be your backstage pass to our legislative and advocacy programs, and an opportunity to learn more about the men and women who make up the team.

How it will work: Clara Campbell, GRA's Online Campaigns Manager, will interview each of the members of the team. There will be a mix of serious and fun questions, and ideally, after reading each post, you'll feel like you have a better idea who we are.

First up:Tim Gehring, Policy and Research Manager.

Q: Describe your job in a nutshell.

A: I represent IJM policy goals with Congressional offices and staffers and with the executive branch and administration, State Department, USAID, and other relevant U.S. government agencies.

Q: What does a typical week look like for you? What type of things are you doing?

A: Responding to meeting requests with Congressional staffers, planning our strategic outreach on policy with Holly Burkhalter, and monitoring current events and their implications for IJM’s goals.

Q: Where are you from?

A: Lexington, KY

Q: What is your favorite thing about your job?

A: Explaining IJM’s work to Congressional offices and trying to figure out potential ways for them to support IJM’s casework.

For example, we recently worked on a campaign to help keep kids in Guatemala safe from child sexual assault. There is this great synergy between IJM's field office in Guatemala, our Latin American team in HQ, and what Holly and I and our advocates were doing. It was great because we were all supporting what each other was doing and it was really one of the first times that the U.S. government has funded law enforcement to protect children from sexual crimes.

Q: Dream vacation?

A: Iceland! I want to go on a biking, camping, trekking trip through Iceland.

Q: Personal hero?

A: My father. He’s the best example of faithfulness that I know.

Q: Best book you’ve read recently?

A: I’m reading East of Eden now, and I really love it. Also Endurance, it’s about Shackleton’s legendary Antarctic expedition.

Q: One thing you’ve learned from your work at IJM?

A: That the way you go about doing your work is as important as the work that you do.

Advocates meet with Mitch McConnell

Advocates meet with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) at the 2014 Advocacy Summit.


Get to know the other members of our team by reading our other posts in this series!

Meet Kate Case, IJM Government Relations & Advocacy - Field Organizer

Meet Erica Boonstra, IJM Government Relations & Advocacy - Senior Advocacy Manager

Meet Seth Wispelwey, IJM Government Relations & Advocacy - Organizing Director, East

Meet Eileen Campbell, IJM Government Relations & Advocacy - Senior Director of Advocacy

Go to the Government Relations & Advocacy Team Page>>

Meet Melanie Beilfuss - Melanie is sadly no longer with IJM, but Government Relations & Advocacy Vice President, Holly Burkhalter, has a new Executive Assistant. Her name is Opa Owiye; look out for more about her soon.