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June 19, 2003 ELCA News Service
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Vagley Directs Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs


Chicago (ELCA)-FI — Karen S. Vagley became director of the Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs (LOGA), Washington, D.C., on June 16. LOGA is the federal public policy advocacy office of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and a program of the ELCA Division for Church in Society.

"I am very delighted that Karen Vagley has joined our staff," said the Rev. Rebecca S. Larson, executive director, ELCA Division for Church in Society. "She brings to the work of our church a wealth of experience in government service across the political spectrum as well as a deep commitment as a layperson to social justice and equality," she said.

Vagley, 56, was born in Reed City, Mich., and is a graduate of Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich., and Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. She earned her law degree from the Georgetown University Graduate School of American Government and has taken business courses at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Between 1969 and 1995 Vagley served on staff of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee and as counsel to the House Education and Labor and Budget Committees. She specialized in labor, health and welfare law, as well as in issues related to migrant rights, education and civil rights.

Since 1995 Vagley has worked as a consultant helping non-profit organizations, businesses and associations understand the demands of public policy. In the past year she has represented the National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform.

Vagley is an active member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Vienna, Va. She is the mother of two adult daughters.

Siler Retires As LOGA Director

Vagley succeeds the Rev. Russell O. Siler, 60, who retired Jan. 1 after almost six years as LOGA director. Dennis W. Frado, director of the Lutheran Office for World Community at the United Nations in New York, has served as interim director of LOGA.

Siler, an attorney and ELCA pastor, led the Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, from 1993 to 1997. He served as pastor of Our Saviour Lutheran Church, Warrenton, Va.; Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Virginia Beach, Va.; Messiah Lutheran Church, Virginia Beach; and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Virginia Beach.

Originally from Martinsburg, W.Va., Siler earned degrees from the University of Richmond, Richmond, Va., the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (LTSG), Pa., and the Antioch School of Law, Washington, D.C. LTSG is one of eight ELCA seminaries.

Licensed to practice law by the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar, Siler had a private law practice in Virginia Beach from 1986 to 1988. While pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, he also served as court-appointed counsel for Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Virginia Beach.

Siler and his wife Anne, a high school guidance counselor, are members of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Leesburg, Va. They are the parents of an adult daughter and adult son.