Three new Commissioners have been appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) tapped Dr. Robert P. George, a political philosopher, constitutional scholar, and one of the principal drafters of the Manhattan Declaration. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) selected Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, who has continued the quest of her father, the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), on behalf of global human rights. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) named Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a physician and head of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy.
USCIRF is an independent federal government commission tasked with assessing violations of religious freedom internationally and making relevant policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF has been promoting religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy since adoption of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) in 1998. Of the nine Commissioners, three are selected by the President, two by the Congressional leaders of the President’s party, and four by the Congressional leaders of the political party not controlling the White House.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations