Michigan Catholic Conference CEO Long elected to national leadership post

Paul A. Long Paul A. Long, president and CEO of the Michigan Catholic Conference since 2010, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the
LANSING -- Michigan Catholic Conference president and CEO Paul A. Long was elected to a two-year term as president of the National Association of State Catholic Conference Directors (NASCCD), the organization announced Sept. 20.

The NASCCD is an association of the executive directors of state Catholic conferences and affiliate diocesan agencies, whose primary purpose is to coordinate actions, communication and advocacy surrounding issues of public policy concerning the Catholic Church. State Catholic conferences work with the U.S. bishops, state and local governments, Church and secular agencies and non-Catholic churches to promote the common good and engage in dialogue over legislation, public policy and other important matters.

"I feel very honored and blessed to be elected to this position by my colleagues," Long told The Michigan Catholic. "My hope as president is to work closely with my colleagues to continue to have the great collaboration we have with one another and build on the great fraternity we have with one another in assisting our local bishops in regards to the church's advocacy priorities."

Prior to his election as president, Long served as the vice president of the NASCCD for two years and as treasurer two years before that. Long is the first president of the NASCCD from Michigan since Sr. Monica Kostielney, RSM, who led the national confederation in the early 1990s.

“I am grateful for Paul’s selection to this important national position as the Church continues her diligent work to promote the common good and to uplift the dignity of all human persons,” said Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, chairman of the Michigan Catholic Conference Board of Directors, in a statement. “The election of Mr. Long by his peers is a natural result of his talents and abilities; at the same time it is also a testament to the strength of our Catholic conference here in Michigan.”

Long, who has served as Michigan Catholic Conference president since 2010, has been instrumental in leading the state Catholic conference's response to important issues such as the HHS contraception mandate, legislation to protect victims of human trafficking and efforts to expand resources for the poor and vulnerable in Michigan. Long also publishes a monthly column, "The Word from Lansing," to keep Catholics and others informed of what's happening at the state capitol.

Long’s term as president of the NASCCD began Aug. 2, and continues until August 2020.

“The directors recognize and affirm Paul’s leadership skills, along with his extensive experience and knowledge of public policy matters,” said Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference and outgoing president of the NASCCD group, which is comprised of 40 state Catholic conferences with nine affiliated diocesan public policy offices.

Long is a former chairman of the board of The Hospice of Lansing and the Michigan State University Alumni Association National Board of Directors. In 1996, he was named a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and in 1999 was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the James Madison College. He also serves on the Board of the Michigan Nonprofit Association and the Michigan Society of Association Executives. Paul, his wife Dr. Melissa Long, and their three children reside in East Lansing.