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President Biden announces nominees to key international religious freedom roles

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that President Joe Biden has announced his intent to nominate four individuals to key international religious freedom roles in his administration.


The roles to be filled include the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom (IRF), the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, and two Commissioners of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Rashad Hussain, Biden’s nominee for IRF Ambassador, currently serves as Director for Partnerships and Global Engagement at the National Security Council. Hussain also served in the Obama administration, where he spearheaded efforts on countering antisemitism and protecting religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries. If confirmed, Hussain would follow in the footsteps of Samuel Brownback, who served in the role under the Trump administration and was widely celebrated in advancing the cause of international religious freedom.

The two nominees for USCIRF Commissioners, Khizr Khan and Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum, both have a background in human rights advocacy. Khan immigrated to the United States in 1980 and founded the Constitution Literacy and National Unity Project. He is also a Harvard Law School graduate and is licensed to practice law before the Supreme Court.

Rabbi Kleinbaum serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in New York. She also serves as a Commissioner on New York City’s Commission on Human Rights and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Faith-Based Advisory Council.

Deborah Lipstadt, Biden’s nominee for Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-semitism, also has a strong background in advocacy against persecution and founded the Institute for Jewish Studies at Emory University.


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