The Center for Marriage Policy Board of Advisors

Members of the Center for Marriage Policy board of advisors assist the organization developing and refining forward-looking socioeconomic marriage policy in their areas of expertise.   Members of the board of advisors are available to comment on issues of contemporary interest.  Media inquiries should be sent to marriage[at]

Professionals such as economists, attorneys, former judges, psychologists, sociologists, legislators, government operations, legislative research, writers, grant writers, publicists, and leaders of other organizations working to restore marriage who desire to serve on our board of advisors may contact us at the above email address.   Only individuals with a demonstrated and consistent history defending, building, or advancing heterosexual marriage will be considered.  All members of the board of advisors must agree with the principles set forth in our Mission Statement.


William J. Federer – Vice President, American Studies

Bill is a nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, Inc., a publishing company dedicated to researching America’s noble heritage.

TELEVISION: A former U.S. Congressional Candidate, Bill has appeared on: CSPAN, FOX, Hannity & Colmes, O’Reilly Factor, NPR, MSNBC, ABC-Time Warner Affiliates, CBN, TBN, INSP, TCT, FamilyNet, FamilyLand TV, Coral Ridge Hour, 700 Club, AT&T Cable, Charter Cable, Danny Fontana Show, iLife TV, FOX Strategy Room with Brian Kilmeade, hosted CSPAN’s George Washington Book Festival-February 26, 2000, CTN with Herman & Sharron Bailey, Grizzly Adams Television Production documentaries, and numerous local programs.

RADIO: Bill has been interviewed on thousands of radio programs, including Focus on the Family, Janet Parshall’s America, Point of View, USA Radio Network, Salem Radio Network, Bott Radio Network, Michael Medved, Common Sense Radio w/Ollie North, D. James Kennedy’s Truths that Transform, Phyllis Schlafly Live, Beverly LaHaye Live, G. Gordon Liddy, Janet Folger’s Faith to Action, Clear Channel Radio, VCY America, RadioAmerica, BQ, Armstrong Williams, American Family Radio, Family Life Radio, USA Radio Network, Judicial Watch,, Martha Zoller Show, Chuck Harder’s For the People, Derry Brownfield, Michael Reagan and others.

Bill’s AMERICAN MINUTE radio feature is broadcast daily across America and by the Internet.

PUBLICATIONS: Bill has been quoted or referenced in USA Today, Human Events, New York Times, Washington Times, Washington Post, Roll Call, Harper’s Magazine, The Wanderer, George, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Fort Lauderdate Sun-Sentinel, Ted Baehr’s MovieGuide, England’s Surrey Hants Star, Insight Magazine,,,,,, and other publications.

BOOKS: Bill’s first book “America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations” has sold over a half-million copies.


Dr. David G. SchrammDavid G. Schramm, Ph.D., CFLE — Socioeconomic research

Dr. David Schramm is a State Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri. His research interests focus on couple and family relational processes, with an emphasis on relationship, parenting, and marriage education and factors predicting marital quality. He also oversees a divorce education program called Focus on Kids, in over 50 counties throughout Missouri. He has conducted research on the economic consequences of divorce for the states of Utah, Missouri, and Texas. He currently serves as the Project Co-Director of a multi-state team of Extension Specialists that was awarded $1.2 million by the Administration on Children, Youth and Families Children’s Bureau to fund a five-year project called the Healthy Relationship and Marriage Education Training Project. The project will involve developing and pilot testing a marriage and relationship education curriculum that will address healthy marriage and relationship skills for populations underserved in the general population and overrepresented in the child welfare system.


Dr. Don Dutton, Ph.D. — Science of family violence

Mr. Dutton received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto in 1970. After receiving training as a group therapist at Cold Mountain Institute, he co-founded the Assaultive Husbands Project in 1979, a court mandated treatment program for men convicted of wife assault. He has published over 100 papers and five books, including the Domestic Assault of Women (1995), The Batterer: A Psychological Profile (1995), The Abusive Personality (2006), Rethinking Domestic Violence (2006) and The Psychology of Genocide (2007)). The Batterer has been translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Polish. Don Dutton has frequently served as an expert witness in civil trials involving intimate abuse and in criminal trials involving family violence. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of British Columbia.



The Honorable Donald D. Bernardi — Family law jurisprudence

Judge Bernardi is a graduate of Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois (B.A. in Philosophy 1973) and Western New England College School of Law (J.D. 1978) in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was admitted to practice in Illinois in 1978, in the U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois in 1980 and the United States Supreme Court in 1985.  He served as Assistant State’s Attorney of Livingston County from 1978 to 1982 and as State’s Attorney from 1982 to 1991 when he became an Associate Judge for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit.  Judge Bernardi was elected as a Circuit Judge in November 1996.He retired from the Bench in December 2008.

Judge Bernardi is currently a lecturer in the Criminal Justice Sciences Department at Illinois State University teaching Evidence and Criminal Law and had been an instructor at the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois. Judge Bernardi is currently writing a Benchbook, entitled “Illinois Judicial Benchbook on Capital Cases” for the Illinois Supreme Court. He is a current member of the Illinois State Bar Association, McLean County Bar Association, and the Illinois Judges Association.

Judge Bernardi is a member of the Kiwanis Club of Bloomington.  He was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to teach at numerous Judicial Seminars, including the New Judge Seminar for the past 5 years; the Education Conference ’06, ’08, ‘10`; Selected Issues in Sentencing, and DUI Offenders in State Court, as well as the the Capital Cases Seminar,2005-2008.

Judge Bernardi lives in Normal and is married to Joan and they have three children, Leah 20, Caroline 19, and Daniel 16.


David Heleniak, Esq.  —  Family law

David Heleniak has been a practicing civil litigation attorney since 1999.  In 2004, he received a MA in Theological and Religious Studies from Drew University.  He is a writer, focusing on constitutional law, judicial behavior, and the religious aspects of the State, and an occasional constitutional litigator.  He gained recognition on the issue of domestic violence restraining orders with his 2005 law review article The New Star Chamber: The New Jersey Family Court and the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act.” More recently, in the case Crespo vs. Crespo, he won a landmark decision in which the Honorable Francis Schultz of Hudson County ruled that the criteria for a final restraining order must be “clear and convincing evidence” rather than a “preponderance of the evidence.” (Unfortunately, the decision was overturned on appeal.)  Since then, his article “Erring of the Side of Hidden Harm: The Granting of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders” was published by the peer-reviewed journal Partner Abuse. He currently serves as the vice president of RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting), a non-profit, non-partisan organization of men and women working to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s approach to solving domestic violence. Outside of the area of domestic violence, his article “Mock the Vote” received an unexpectedly warm greeting on the internet around the time of the 2008 election.


Cdr. James Semerad — Marriage and the military

James Semerad has studied family and children’s issues for more than 20 years following the research work of the Department of Health and Human Services, Heritage Foundation, American Psychological Association, and leading university programs on social work.  He participated in the introduction and review of family law and Shared Parenting legislation and served on Legislative committees. He has testified and spoken on numerous occasions to the legal and judicial community, Legislators, and community service organizations on issues ranging from children best interests, domestic violence, support, divorce, and custody.   He served as Chairman of DADS of Michigan Political Action Committee (PAC).  Mr. Semerad works as an Information Technology Consultant and supported VisionIT, Hewlett Packard, and EDS  helping fortune 200 companies leverage technology and supply chain management, globally.  He is a Commander in the U.S. Naval and lead programs on Family Readiness and Domestic Violence.  Mr. Semerad completed a Bachelors of Science degree and MBA from Louisiana Tech University.