What the US Government does matters to our organizations.  We will investigate the trendlines of the USG, from poverty focused development assistance, to how you can partner with the US government, to how our religious freedom is being treated by the US government.  If you have ever thought of partnering with The US Government (and yes, they need you) or just want to know what the current issues are, this track will be invaluable for you.


Each track will include four 75-minute break-out sessions examining one facet of the subject.



Elizabeth (Liz) van Zyl, Food for the Hungry

Elizabeth (Liz) van Zyl is the Senior Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy at Food for the Hungry, an international Christian relief and development organization operating in 20 countries.  She directs Food for the Hungry’s poverty-focused, international humanitarian and development public policy positions and initiatives. Prior to joining Food for the Hungry, Liz worked as an international humanitarian law fellow at the American Red Cross where she undertook complex legal analysis on international humanitarian law, and trained U.S. government officials, media, legal, and non-governmental stakeholders on international humanitarian law.

Liz has also worked as a foreign judicial law clerk to Justice Edwin Cameron at the Constitutional Court of South Africa–South Africa’s supreme court–and was awarded the American Society of International Law’s Helton Fellowship for her research related to South African prison conditions, while working at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Prior her work in South Africa, Liz worked as a judicial fellow to Judge Philip M. Pro at the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. Liz graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science from Gonzaga University, and received her J.D. and specialization certificate in international law with distinction from Golden Gate University School of Law.  She is licensed to practice law in California and Washington, D.C.

Chad Hayward, Accord Network


Chad Hayward has served as Executive Director for Accord Network since 2007. Prior to this, Hayward served in the federal Faith-Based Initiative as the Senior Adviser for the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  USAID is the primary United States governmental agency extending assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.

Prior to joining USAID, he spent several years on Capitol Hill where he served as Communications Director for Rep. Jim Ryun of Kansas and Policy Aide to Rep. John Thune of South Dakota. Before his time in Washington, Hayward worked as Director of Operations for Prayer for the Persecuted Church, an organization working to encourage involvement among the church to the subject of persecuted Christians worldwide as well as for a development/consulting firm that specialized in helping non-profit organizations.

Chad holds a Bachelors degree in political science and history from Oklahoma Wesleyan University and resides in Washington DC.


Steve McFarland, World Vision

In 30 years of law practice and public service, Mr. McFarland has specialized in the defense of religious liberty. He directed the Center For Law and Religious Freedom of the Christian Legal Society from 1991 through 1999. He also spearheaded the President’s Faith-Based and Community Initiative in the U.S. Department of Justice; was the first executive director of the U.S. Commission On International Religious Freedom; developed programs for prisoners abroad as a vice-president of Prison Fellowship International, and now serves as Chief Legal Officer of World Vision, Inc., a Christian international relief and development ministry serving vulnerable children worldwide.


Micah Payton has served as Assistant General Counsel for Compassion International since 2014.  In his role, Micah focused on domestic legal counsel. He advised on HR matters and personnel investigations, contracts, intellectual property, marketing, litigation, policy/legislation, and religious freedom issues.

Prior to his role with Compassion, Micah served as Assistant Attorney General at the Colorado Department of Law in the Civil Litigation & Employment Law Section.  In that role, Micah served on a team representing all state government agencies and institutions of higher education at personnel hearings and matters before the State Personnel Board.

He is a graduate of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and James Madison University.  He lives and plays in Monument, Colorado with his wife and three children.


Virginia Creasy, Center for Public Justice

Virginia Creasy serves as the Program Coordinator for Sacred Sector, an initiative of the Center for Public Justice. Virginia facilitates a learning community for faith-based organizations and emerging leaders within the faith-based nonprofit sector that seek to integrate their sacred missions in public policy engagement, organizational practices, and public positioning. Her passion is to illuminate the philosophical underpinnings that cause faith-based nonprofits, and the people they serve, to flourish.

Before coming to CPJ, Virginia served as Development Operations Coordinator for the Family Research Council, where she organized the strategic efforts of her team and documented organizational knowledge. Prior to that, Virginia was a Marketing Assistant for Avant Real Estate Group in San Francisco, CA, which had nearly 40 million in annual property sales. Virginia also has long-time involvement with the special needs community, in both volunteer and official capacities. Virginia is married to Jon, and they live in Oceanside, California with their cat Alley.