redgar AT commoncause DOT org
In May 2007, Bob Edgar was named president and CEO of Common Cause, a national nonpartisan, non-profit "citizens" lobby working to make government at all levels more honest, open and accountable, and to connect citizens with their democracy.
Bob arrived at Common Cause with a long history of leadership and public service that included 12 years in Congress. He was the general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA for seven years immediately before arriving at Common Cause.
Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974 to represent the Seventh Congressional District of Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia, Bob was part of the congressional class nicknamed "the Watergate babies," those elected in the wake of the Watergate scandal and who led sweeping reforms of Congress.
During six terms in the US House, Bob led efforts to improve public transportation, fought wasteful water projects and authored the community Right to Know provision of Super Fund legislation. He also served on the House Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and President John F. Kennedy. Bob also served on the Veterans Affairs Committee, working on issues around Agent Orange and readjustment counseling center to treat post traumatic stress disorder.
Bob ran unsuccessfully for the US Senate in 1986 against Sen. Arlen Specter. That race fueled his frustration with the undue influence of money in politics and he became an active supporter of clean elections and campaign finance reform, issues that have long been Common Cause's hallmark. He served on Common Cause's National Governing Board for several years before becoming President of the organization.
Under Bob's leadership, Common Cause is championing a number of critical issues and reforms, including the public funding of political campaigns at all levels, election reforms that make voting more accurate, secure and accessible, improved ethics at all levels of government, redistricting reform and a diverse and open media.
Bob received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pa., and a master of divinity degree from the Theological School of Drew University, Madison, N.J. He has also been president of the Claremont School of Theology. He holds five honorary doctoral degrees.
An active volunteer, Bob sits on the boards of several organizations, including the National Coalition on Health Care, the Environment and Energy Study Institute, the National Foundation on Alternative Medicine, Drew University and the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.
Bob is the author of "Middle Church," a call to progressive people of faith to take back the moral high ground from the extremists and make America a better and less divided country.