Larry T. Decker
Secular Coalition for America
202-299-1091, ext. 207
Larry T. Decker has spent nearly two decades in Washington, D.C. as a government relations professional in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. On December 29, 2015, Decker was appointed by the Board of Directors to the position of Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America.
Prior to joining the Secular Coalition, Decker has a long history in Washington. Most recently, he was the campaign manager for D.C. mayoral candidate, Reta Jo Lewis.
Decker served as the Director of Public Policy for Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. During his time at the Global Fund, Decker secured more than $1 billion in federal appropriations for the Global Fund during a period of economic austerity. He successfully executed an outreach and education campaign to meet with all new Republican Members of Congress following the 2010 midterm elections in an effort to ensure an understanding of the devastating consequences of cutting U.S. support to the Global Fund.
Decker spent nearly eight years at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross where he served in two critical leadership roles, first as the Senior Director of Congressional Affairs, where he managed a team of government relations professionals. He then took on the role of Director of Government Operations, where his unit was responsible for all operational relationships between the American Red Cross and Federal government agencies and state and local emergency management agencies.
While at the Red Cross, Decker worked with more than ten Congressional committees with jurisdiction over Red Cross activities, facilitated Red Cross testimony on more than 20 occasions, and secured more than $200 million in direct Federal support for the organization. He also led efforts on major legislative fronts following Hurricane Katrina, including amendments to the Robert T. Stafford Act, which provides authorities for Federal aid in response to Federally declared disasters. Decker also took a lead role in implementing Red Cross governance reforms, including the first major changes to the Red Cross Congressional Charter in over 60 years.
While leading the Congressional Affairs unit, Decker’s team led the efforts for approval of amendments to the Geneva Conventions and ratification of the Third Additional Protocol, which allowed for the admission and recognition of the Israeli National Society, Magen David Adom, and the Palestine Red Crescent Society into the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. During his time at the Red Cross, Decker worked directly with Congressional and Administration leaders to enhance efforts, both legislatively and operationally, between the organization and its major partners on disaster readiness and response. He executed new agreements between the Red Cross and highest-risk state governments to better delineate the roles of the state and the Red Cross during times of disaster as well as pre-position state and Red Cross resources to better respond to disasters.
At the Red Cross, Decker worked closely with other nonprofit organizations, the Senate Finance Committee and Treasury and IRS officials on the creation of 21st century governance practices for nonprofit organizations as the Red Cross representative to the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, which was convened to strengthen transparency, accountability and governance within the NGO sector.
Prior to his role at the American Red Cross, Decker worked at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he implemented efforts to cultivate relationships with key Democratic government officials. He was instrumental in the launch of the Chamber’s first nationwide efforts to provide resources to women and minority-owned businesses, the fastest growing segment of small business endeavors.
During the second term of the Clinton Administration, Decker was appointed Special Assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs and Public Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Within his role, he represented the Administration’s positions and initiatives before Members of Congress and Hill staff and assisted in preparing senior Treasury officials for testimony before Congress.
A native of Upstate New York, Decker started his career in Washington working for former U.S. Representative Sherwood L. Boehlert (R-NY). He is a graduate of Ithaca College where he received his B.A., magna cum laude. In his spare time, he enjoys volunteering as an EMT in suburban Maryland. He resides in Washington, D.C.