Two new Commissioners are set to join the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). President Barack Obama recently named Rev. Thomas Reese, a Senior Analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) tapped Dr. Daniel Mark, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Villanova University. President Obama also plans to re-appoint current Commissioner Eric Schwartz, Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, and Speaker Boehner did the same with Dr. Robert P. George, a law professor at Princeton University, a political philosopher, a constitutional scholar, and one of the principal drafters of the Manhattan Declaration.
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 of Government Relations
Published: May 16, 2014