Don Ziel serves as vice president of the Church and Ministry Alliance and assistant general counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom. In this role, he serves as counsel to ADF as it carries out its organizational mission and leads a team helping an alliance of church and ministry members to fulfill their religious missions without unnecessary legal barriers.
Ziel has more than 20 years of experience in nonprofit ministry organizations both in direct ministry and in operations leadership. Before joining ADF, Ziel served as senior director of Legal Services and legal counsel at Young Life, building and overseeing the organization’s in-house legal team and providing legal support on issues such as campus access, contract management, human resources, global compliance, risk management, and corporate structure.
Prior to his position at Young Life, Ziel spent 12 years in the General Counsel’s office at Cru (formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ) leading efforts in contract management, intellectual property, and global compliance for an international organization active in 191 countries. Ziel helped launch and direct Cru’s legal internship program which has provided a practical summer training experience and mentorship to nearly 100 law students since its inception in 2008.
Ziel earned his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of Illinois and spent four years serving as a campus staff member for Cru before returning to complete his law degree, cum laude, at the University of Illinois.
Ziel is licensed to practice law in Illinois, Florida, and Colorado.