As CEO of Sojourners since 2013, Rob Wilson-Black manages the organization, working closely with the Board of Directors and President & founder Jim Wallis. Sojourners resources the 5 million people who visit sojo.net annually and the tens of millions of people who are reached by Sojourners through our media reach and events, including the annual Summit for Change gathering in Washington, D.C. Rob is a liaison to the World Evangelical Alliance, World Economic Forum, Aspen Institute, and Brookings Institution as well as 25 top national foundations and philanthropists who support Sojourners’ messaging, media, mobilizing, advocacy, and convening.
A graduate of the University of Chicago (PhD, AM) under Martin E. Marty, and the University of Richmond (BA, MH), Rob served as a college and seminary vice president for 10 years before joining Sojourners in 2009. He is the author of numerous articles, blogs, podcasts, a forthcoming book on religion and education, and negotiated a new show launched by Audible. In 2017 Rob was awarded an honorary doctorate from Franklin College in Indiana for his work as a “scholar, leader and advocate for religion.” He was an editor of the multi-volume Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers and writes for Sojourners magazine. He has given talks on campuses throughout the world, including Duke, UC-Berkeley, Northwestern, Georgetown, the University of Chicago, Princeton, the University of Cape Town, the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and at the World Economic Forum. He serves as co-chair of the National Museum of American Religion; Alumni Council member of the University of Chicago Divinity School; Wild Goose Festival Treasurer; and was appointed incoming Clerk of the Sidwell Friends School Parents Association. He advises Crestivex Capital’s social impact investing project, previously served as an advisor to the New America Foundation’s Smart Strategy Initiative, and serves as a member of the President’s Advisory Board of Lynchburg College in Virginia.
As a young evangelical Rob checked off many of the suggested boxes: have Jerry Falwell sign your Bible, attend Amy Grant concerts and Billy Graham Crusades, and meet with Chuck Colson, Carl F. H. Henry, and Richard Viguerie. Later came experiences of meeting with people of faith in Gaza, Guatemala, South Korea, and South Africa; marching on Washington for numerous justice issues; integrating his block on the Southside of Chicago; spending time with the Rev. John R.W. Stott; and bringing Dr. Martin Luther King III and Julian Bond to university events for racial reconciliation initiatives. He lives in Reston, Va., with his wife of 25 years, the Reverend Juli Wilson-Black, a Presbyterian minister in Alexandria, Va., and their children Hannah (17) Claire (14) and Owen (10). They travel with him to many of the 65 countries he has visited for research, speaking, and education.