Welcome to USCIRF

Clifford D. May, Commissioner

Clifford D. May is the founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a nonpartisan policy institute focusing on national security created immediately following the 9/11 attacks on the United States. Mr. May has had a long and distinguished career in international relations, journalism, communications and politics. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries. A former syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service, he is currently the weekly “Foreign Desk” columnist for The Washington Times. His writing also has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, National Review, USA Today, The Atlantic and many other publications. He is the co-editor of a book on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as one on energy policy. He was appointed as an advisor to the Iraq Study Group (Baker-Hamilton Commission) of the United States Institute of Peace in 2006, and served on the bipartisan Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion from 2007 to 2009. From 1997 to 2001, he served as the Director of Communications for the Republican National Committee. Mr. May holds master’s degrees from both Columbia University’s School of International Affairs and its School of Journalism. His undergraduate degree is from Sarah Lawrence College, and he holds a certificate in Russian language and literature from Leningrad State University, USSR. He is a member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. May was appointed to the Commission on August 2, 2016 by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for a term expiring in May 2018.