About Rich

About Rich 2017-11-28T16:35:07+00:00

I love helping world-changing leaders achieve their highest Purpose to improve our world.

I’m amazed at the diversity of brilliant, inspired leaders who feel uniquely called to play their critical role in transforming the world for the better. These leaders operate from the deepest values in their soul and engage the world to move all of us forward. These game changers are tenacious.

My job is to provide the strategy that speeds things up and helps them achieve the impact they feel called to create.

Rich Tafel, Founder and President



How Does Rich Tafel work with Clients?

The firs thing to know about me is that my coaching and strategy work is that it is based on real-world case studies. I’m not just a student of  or a writer about change, I’m a world-changing leader myself. I’ve taken risks. I’ve made sacrifices. I’ve been in the arena. I can help you avoid the mistakes I’ve made.

In addition to being the founder of four nonprofits and four for-profit start-ups, I’ve also coached with over five hundred world changing leaders in places all over the globe from Botswana to Detroit; from Mexico City to Washington DC. I’ve defied critics who say the world can never change.

I enjoy helping world-changing leaders translate their mission into reality. I accomplish this by helping leaders develop their skills and connecting them to my network.

Working with me, clients get clear on their purpose, values, and mission. They get clarity on their world changing vision. Together we create a concrete funding and business plan to accomplish their goals.

Rich Tafel Bio

Below are two bio statements. The first is for media and press and speaking events.

The second is for those wanting a more detailed biography narrative.


Media Bio for Rich Tafel

Rich Tafel provides cutting edge strategies for other world changing leaders seeking to achieve impact. He is a recognized leader in three sectors: faith, politics, and business. He has successfully lead on the most challenging issues of our time, including, gay marriage, education for low-income students and addressing AIDS in Africa.  Most recently he’s helped provide leadership to social entrepreneurs in Detroit.  He believes that the problems we face require integrated solutions across sector building unusual coalitions. His speciality is marrying up brilliant visions to viable business plans.

As the President of Public Squared, he provides coaching and strategic planning to world changing leaders. In this role provides public policy, investment and personal growth strategies. A political strategist, he’s a leader in the effort to end hyper-partisanship in American politics and has lead gatherings to address the growing hyper-partisanship in our culture. He is a frequent commentator on politics on TV.As the Managing Director of Raffa Social Capital Advisors Rich matches up social enterprise businesses to investors. He believes that social entrepreneurs represent a new way to combine the best of capitalism and the social sector towards sustainable systems change worldwide. To learn more about this work, see the website.

As the Managing Director of Raffa Social Capital Advisors Rich matches up social enterprise businesses to investors. He believes that social entrepreneurs represent a new way to combine the best of capitalism and the social sector towards sustainable systems change worldwide. To learn more about this work, see the website.


As Pastor of Church of the Holy City in Washington DC, Rich is leading the effort to transform church to meet the needs of the 21st century as he leads an effort to develop a new spiritual entrepreneurship in the world.


Rich began his professional career as Assistant Minister at Harvard’s chapel a position he left when appointed to lead Adolescent Health at the MA Dept. of Public Health in 1991. In 1993, he left Massachusetts to launch the Log Cabin Republicans in an effort to bridge the gap between the conservative and gay community in America. He was one of America’s earliest political activists campaigning for gay marriage. In 1999, he wrote Party Crasher (published by Simon Schuster) offering a new inclusive vision for American politics.

With his knowledge of politics and vision for social change, he launched his first company that helped nonprofits engage in public policy. He worked domestically with College Summit on access for low-income students to college. In addition, he created the global strategy for AIDS Responsibility Project that helped facilitate the delivery of AIDS drugs to Africa. In addition, they worked with Brazil, Mexico and Jamaica on ending HIV/AIDS discrimination.

Following his work in Mexico, he was invited to serve as a founder and Chief Strategic Officer of the Workplace Wellness Council of Mexico, which today has over 140 paid company members. As the strategist and trainer for Michigan Corps where he helped launch the nation’s first statewide social entrepreneur contest that lead to over $1M in new investment in winning ideas. He is also a founder of the company ConsejoSano, which delivers health care advice to America’s Spanish-speaking population.

Reverend Richard L. Tafel serves as the minister at Church of the Holy City in Washington DC. For the past ten years, he served as Chairman of the Board of Wayfarers Chapel in Los Angeles voted in 2013 as one of America’s top ten beautiful churches. Tafel is trained as a coach through the International Coaching Federation. He writes for the Huffington Post and Stanford Social Innovation Review.  Rich frequently participates on television talk shows.

His proudest achievements are working with world changing leaders in difficult challenges, including being a leader in the battle against AIDS, LGBT rights and the effort to support African countries suffering through the AIDS epidemic.

He holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and a graduate degree in Theology from Harvard University, Tafel is ordained and his first job was as Assistant Minister of Harvard University’s Memorial Church.



Detailed Personal Narrative

I’m inspired by my faith to transform the world and support other leaders accepting their call.  There has never been a time in the history of the world where we need leaders who have the skills to transform the world for the better. The old institutions that taught morally courageous leaders in the past, such as, the church, politics and the academy are all going through a period of creative destruction. Leaders seeking to transform our world for the better have few places they can get coached and trained in a personal level.

I’ve been a front lines leader on some of the most challenging examples of global transformation in our time. After graduating from Harvard Divinity School, I continued to follow my call and sought ordination as a minister. I accepted my first job as Assistant to the Minister at Harvard’s chapel under the leadership of my mentor, The Reverend Peter J. Gomes.

I imagined my future would follow the path of a traditional minister. However, as a gay man, I decided I had a moral responsibility to be “out” at time when that was dangerous. Through experiences of personal discrimination it became clear to me that my path to ministry wasn’t going to happen as I imagined it. At that time you couldn’t be both openly gay and a minister within my denomination.

I entered a period of confusion—what the mystics call a “dark night of the soul.”

At that time, a friend, Mike Duffy, asked me to manage his campaign for Republican state representative in Boston’s South End. We decided to run the campaign as openly gay candidate and campaign manager. In district that was 9:1 Democrat/Republican we lost by a few hundred votes.

I found, to my surprise, I had a knack for politics.

During the 1990 Governor’s race we supported a long shot Republican candidate named Bill Weld who went on to win. He appointed both Mike and I to his administration. I became Director of Adolescent Health for the state of Massachusetts. If I couldn’t serve as a minister in the traditional sense, I saw I could have a profound impact on people’s lives through politics.

Whether Assistant Minister or Adolescent Health Director, I was inspired by a faith that stressed loving the neighbor and serving others as an act of love of God.

Governor Weld went on to become the most gay supportive Governor in either party. He sought advice from a team of gay advisors. He created the first gay youth commission, domestic partners for state employees and condom availability for high school students.

1n 1991, a network of gay and lesbian Republicans were seeking to organize a new national organization to combat the rise of the religious right in the GOP. Originally, called United Republicans for Equality and Privacy, they met in Tampa, FL and chose the new name Log Cabin Federation and elected me as the first president.

Taking the leadership role of a gay political organization as America’s culture wars were just heating up was not what I imagined for myself, but once again I followed my “call” and ask God’s help for the moral courage needed. I had no idea just how much moral courage I’d need.

During the 1992 Presidential campaign, a Bush-Quayle staffer, Tyler Franz, sued the campaign for sexual orientation discrimination. He called me in Boston and asked me to join him in Washington during the fight.

Honestly, I was terrified I’d lose my exciting job if I went to DC, but I felt I had no choice.

Upon arriving in DC, I quickly learned that I would join Tyler on Nightline that evening. During the episode Tyler passed out on live TV. The camera turned to me and in that moment a new movement was begun.

The next night I found myself debating the Reverend Jerry Falwell on Larry King Live. For the following weeks, I found myself on national television predicting that the GOP turn to the right would cost them the election in 1992.

I hoped to return to Massachusetts and pursue my career there.

Large funders approached me and wanted to fund a national office for Log Cabin. We lined up numerous potential candidates, but no one worked out. Finally, the donors stated if I didn’t come down and lead the start up, they’d withdrawal their funds.

Again, the thought of leaving my job in the Weld Administration to start a national gay organization seemed daunting. I feared it would undermine my relationship with my family. I also feared the attacks I’d receive within the gay community. Ultimately, I saw this as a calling. I felt I needed to fight for the gay community and also felt I needed to fight for Christianity which was being defined by the increasingly anti-gay attacks.

In 1993, I left the Weld Administration and moved to Washington to move into an office that was nothing more than a pillow in a small room with a phone. While Log Cabin Federation as a network of clubs, we launched a new organization we called Log Cabin Republicans. I was fortunately joined by a brilliant young assistant, Kevin Ivers.

My decade as the founder of Log Cabin Republicans was unforgettable and exciting. Without a spiritual foundation, I would have been crushed. During the decade we lead in the battle to provide AIDS funding. We were the earliest partisan group to support gay marriage, participating in a series of campus debates. In 1999, Simon&Schuster published my book “Party Crasher,” where I challenge the GOP to choose a more inclusive path.

After leaving Log Cabin Republicans, I wanted to create a strategy company that provided coaching and strategy to world changing leaders. During this period I worked with AIDS Responsibility Project on the strategy to address the AIDS crisis in Africa, which included taking key Hill staffers to three African nations. I also focused on the most important lever to end poverty, education. Working as a policy strategist for College Summit we were able to transform government policy supporting low income students getting to college.

During this time, I helped the first business council in Latin America dedicated to addressing the AIDS crisis. This exciting project lead eventually to the creation of Mexico’s first and only remaining wellness council. Today our council has over one hundred corporate members.

Through all of these efforts, I continued to work with world changing leaders who were making a huge impact. What they all shared was a desire to do good and an underlying moral courage. These are the leaders I love to work with.

Over the past five years I’ve worked almost exclusively with social entrepreneurs seeking funding for their world changing ideas. I provided strategy and coaching to help launch the nation’s first state-wide social entrepreneur competition in Michigan. I’ve had the opportunity to provide strategy to over five hundred leaders following their call.

Today, I’m focused on the transformation of three of our world’s largest institutions: religion, business and politics. In late 2015, I accepted the Pastor position for a struggling church in Dupont Circle named Church of the Holy City. Our vision is to provide a space for the next generation of spiritual entrepreneurs seeking spiritual guidance. You can learn more about Church of the Holy City here.

The future of business is social enterprise.  I also match investors with social entrepreneurs at Raffa Social Capital Advisors. As managing director, I also provide coaching and strategy to social entrepreneurs. You can learn more about that here.

The future of politics is a going to integrate the best of left and right. I’ve been convening political leaders to seek common ground. I’m particularly focused on how we might create a future health conservative movement in America. You can read more about my leadership on this front here.
I’ve never had a job that existed before I took it. I’ve discovered that following your call makes life worth living. It is also very frightening. Moral courage is the critical element to transformation yourself and the world.

If you feel called to be a transformational leader and need coaching and strategy to help you move forward, then you should consider working with me.

Contact Us

If you’ve already read through our website and would like to learn more about if and how I might be able to help you achieve your desired results, please contact me via email rich@thepublicsquared.com and set up a time to talk.

When you contact us, we’ll have a conversation about your needs, objectives and priorities, and see whether what we offer seems to be enough of fit to move forward.

If we both see a fit, we’ll then set up a meeting by Skype or phone and conduct an in-depth discovery interview.