Rev. Que English, Director
As a coalition builder and network strategist, Rev. Dr. Que English joins HHS from the State of New York where she served as the Deputy Director of Faith-Based Initiatives for the Governor’s Office of Faith and Community Development Services. Here she identified opportunities for the State of NY and HCR to elevate strengths and identify new opportunities to build relationships with the faith-based community. She also conceptualized and was instrumental in forming the faith-based office in the Office of the Mayor of New York City. She has brought together several roundtables and interfaith coalitions to create and implement strategic plans to tackle NY’s most problematic issues.
She is the Founder and past President of Not On My Watch, an organization formed to combat human trafficking and domestic violence through education, training and community and policy advocacy. Named 1 of 25 Most Influential Women in the Bronx, Dr. English brings to HHS a wealth of knowledge in working with the criminal justice system, substance abuse issues, health and mental health, human trafficking, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, civil rights and more. She received her masters and doctorate degrees from New York Theological Seminary where she was the recipient of the Excellence in Ministry Award, the highest award given to a graduating doctoral student.
Heidi Christensen is a Public Affairs Specialist at the HHS Partnership Center. Her efforts focus on strengthening the capacity of faith and community organizations to respond to critical public health issues. Heidi has coordinated coalitions of diverse faith and community-based partners to address critical health issues including childhood obesity, diabetes, access to care, and the epidemic of addiction, as well as the social and economic issues challenging the health of our nation’s communities. In response to the opioid crisis, she created the Opioid Crisis Practical Toolkit for Faith and Community (now in its fourth edition) and will soon release the Roadmap to Recovery Support for Faith and Community Leaders: Getting Back to Work.
Previously, at the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty, she supported U.S. faith-based organizations on collaborative efforts addressing malaria and other health issues affecting the developing world.
Ben O’Dell is the Program Specialist at the HHS Partnership Center. Ben is a recognized expert on facilitating partnerships between faith-based, philanthropic, and community organizations and government at all levels. Ben’s interest in strengthening local faith-based and community leaders and community engagement principles to religious, community, and government interest has led him to develop deep relationships, knowledge, and expertise on a broad range of issues from strengthening fathers and families to strategies for bringing groups together in collaborative networks. Ben has served at the Partnership Center for over seventeen years making him one of the longest-standing employees of any faith office across the federal government.
Ben received his Master’s Degree in Organizational Development and Knowledge Management in 2007 from the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. Ben resides outside of Washington, D.C., with his wife, Kristin, and implements his own personal fatherhood initiatives with their two kids.
Susan is the Staff Assistant at the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (Partnerships Center) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Susan is primarily focused on scheduling and coordinating the calendar for the Director of the Partnerships Center. Prior to serving in IEA, Susan worked at General Services Administration as a program analyst. She has worked extensively with youth in various capacities and settings including youth empowerment clubs and after-school programs. From 2017 to 2019, she served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica as part of the Master's International program at the University of Michigan. In Costa Rica, she worked directly with at-risk youth and families, while helping communities, schools, and community leaders. From 2014-2015, she served as an English Teaching Assistant with the US Fulbright Program in Malaysia. She earned her Master’s degree in social work at the University of Michigan and her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College. She loves learning about different cultures, spending time outdoors, and trying new recipes.