WASHINGTON — Kim Daniels has been hired by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to serve as the spokeswoman for New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, USCCB president.
Daniels most recently served as one of two directors of Catholic Voices USA, started last year. The group's website said its mission was "to put the church's case in the public square" by offering "an authoritative -- but not official -- group of articulate speakers who make the Catholic case in interviews and debates."
The organization also conducted media training along the New York-Washington corridor for young adults looking to espouse church positions on political issues.
Speaking March 20 at a "Catholics in the Capitol" program in Albany, N.Y., Daniels said of Catholic Voices USA, "We start from the conviction that faith enriches public life. From 19th-century abolitionists to those who marched for civil rights in the 20th century, from those who've tirelessly fought poverty to those who've struggled for decades now in the trenches of the pro-life movement, our civic life is undeniably made better when people of faith bring their beliefs to bear on public issues, and we shouldn't let anybody tell us otherwise."
Daniels and Helen Alvare, a George Mason University law professor who was the first director of public information for the USCCB's Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities in the early 1990s, also started last year Women Speak for Themselves, an online advocacy group working to block the federal Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act. The organization's online petition opposing the mandate gathered more than 38,000 signatures.
She also served as a domestic policy adviser to Sarah Palin after Palin resigned as Alaska governor.
Daniels, an attorney, worked as counsel for the Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. She specialized in conscience-rights issues, testifying in opposing legislation that would place regulations on pro-life pregnancy crisis centers and bills that would force pharmacists to dispense morning-after pills. She is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago Law School.
She and her husband have six school-age children and live in the Washington suburb of Bethesda, Md.
In March 2012, Cardinal Dolan, speaking at a New York archdiocesan diocesan convocation on public policy in Hicksville, N.Y., illustrated the need to have the church's message articulated by someone who could connect with the laity.
He recalled when the bishops had hired an "attractive, articulate, intelligent" laywoman to make the church's case on abortion and it was "the best thing we ever did," adding, "In the public square, I hate to tell you -- the days of fat, balding Irish bishops are over."