Nathan Empsall is an experienced progressive campaigner and digital strategist with an excellent grasp of multivariate testing, theory of change, and best practices for fundraising, advocacy, and email list growth. He has managed multiple email lists with millions of addresses, as well as numerous major social-media projects. He was trained in digital strategy by President Barack Obama’s Organizing for America and M+R Strategic Services, then built a record of success at the Democratic National Committee, the national Sierra Club (where he set organizational records for digital advocacy before co-founding the Club’s digital innovation team), and the petition website Care2. Nathan is personally focused on climate change and racial justice, as well as faith-based community organizing.
Beyond his career as an organizer and strategist, Nathan is an active progressive Christian, an ordained Episcopal deacon in transition to the priesthood, and a graduate student in religion and ecology pursuing both a Master of Divinity at Yale Divinity School and a Master of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In addition to the core courses on science and theology, his research focuses on the challenges to implementing new environmental ministries in Christian churches. He is doing his best to grow beyond his own experience by seeking out and listening to students and professors who are women and persons of color, and admits that he makes mistakes along the way. Nathan has served as a CPE hospital chaplain intern in Virginia, worked as a parish ministry intern with the Episcopal Service Corps in Nebraska, and interned for the Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations in D.C. and United Nations staff in New York City, as well as for the Episcopal Dioceses of Spokane and Louisiana. As part of his internship at the U.N., he represented the church’s presiding bishop at the 23rd United Nations climate-change conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, and the 17th Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues at the UN headquarters in New York. In May 2018, Nathan created (and continues to edit) the Episcopal Climate News Facebook page and website.
Nathan is personally interested in the intersections of faith & the environment and faith & politics. He is a proud native Texan who has come to call Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and the gorgeous northern Rockies home while also maintaining a deep appreciation for the mountains and people of northern New England. He is fired up by Americana and bluegrass music (check out his blog Hard Times No More), U.S. geography (44 states so far), the Boston Red Sox (while not forgetting his childhood Houston Astros), progressive Christianity, Native American Indian issues, civil rights, and making a difference. He graduated from Dartmouth College, double-majoring in government and Native American studies. Nathan is extremely lucky to be married to Diana Church Empsall, who currently works for the development office at Yale Divinity School and is utterly brilliant, creative, and amazing.