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The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. The Commission is an equal opportunity employer.


U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Washington, DC
$65,000-$85,000 per year (depending on qualifications and experience)
Closing Date
August 7, 2017
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is a bipartisan independent federal commission that monitors and seeks to advance the internationally recognized freedom of thought, conscience, religion, or belief and related human rights.
Established as part of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, USCIRF’s primary responsibilities are to make foreign policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress related to the status and impact of freedom of religion or belief around the world. USCIRF’s activities include disseminating information to the public and policymakers through reports, op-eds, press statements, and policy briefs; participating in Congressional hearings; convening public hearings and expert briefings; engaging in overseas diplomatic visits; engaging with Administration officials, members of Congress, think tanks, and policy experts; participating in multilateral fora; and generating expert studies on critical issues. More information about USCIRF is available at www.uscirf.gov.
USCIRF is an equal opportunity employer.
Job Summary
USCIRF is seeking a Policy Analyst to focus on South Asian countries and other areas as assigned. Specific to the regional portfolio, the Policy Analyst will: monitor and analyze religious freedom conditions and related human rights; monitor and assess U.S. foreign policy; develop policy recommendations for the U.S. government to advance freedom of religion or belief; monitor, develop, and report on various events or opportunities that, if properly leveraged, could be effective inflection points for achieving implementation of USCIRF-recommended policy; draft annual report materials, briefing materials, policy focus reports, correspondence, and testimony; and build and maintain extensive contacts with relevant policy counterparts in the U.S. government and with members of NGOs, academia, and other organizations focused on freedom of religion or belief, and related human rights. This position may also include responsibilities on cross-cutting thematic issues relevant to USCIRF.
Key Requirements
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Resume and supporting documents (see How to Apply)
  • Completion of a satisfactory background investigation
  • Completion of a probationary period may be required
  • Selectee must be able to meet/maintain suitability and security requirements
Reporting to the Director of Research and Policy, the Policy Analyst’s primary responsibilities involve the following:
1. Research and Policy Analysis/Formulation
  • Collect, analyze, and document information related to freedom of religion or belief in South Asia and other assigned areas, including:
  • following events affecting freedom of religion or belief across the region and in countries of concern;
  • gathering information and maintaining relations with U.S. and foreign government agencies, NGOs, religious groups, and academics; and
  • monitoring international media and State Department reports/statements.
  • Develop strategies and recommendations to encourage improvement in the status of freedom of religion or belief in South Asia, including making recommendations for U.S. government policy and working for their implementation and incorporation into State Department and Administration policies and representations, as well as legislation.
  • Other duties as assigned.
2. Reporting
  • Draft and/or assist with relevant Annual Report chapters, work to ensure the accuracy and completeness of analysis and language in the Annual Report for assigned countries, and participate as appropriate in Annual Report launch events as requested.
  • Produce and/or assist with Congressional testimony, briefing memos, and meeting talking points for Commissioners and senior staff.
  • Contribute to drafting of press releases or opinion pieces for public media, as requested.
  • Other duties as assigned.
3. Representation
  • Brief Commissioners and/or staff on U.S. government efforts to promote freedom of religion or belief, as well as foreign government activities limiting this freedom, either orally or through prepared memoranda.
  • Engage with the White House, State Department and other Executive Branch agencies on religious freedom issues, including requesting meetings and information, and promoting recommendations, as well as engaging with foreign governments.
  • Represent USCIRF at working level meetings at the State Department and other agencies, and with congressional staff, as well as with official and unofficial foreign visitors and the media as necessary.
  • Advocate for USCIRF positions on religious freedom with foreign officials, domestic and foreign audiences, NGOs, human rights groups, and religious organizations.
  • Work toward the inclusion of USCIRF recommendations in U.S. government and State Department policies and representations.
  • Organize, prepare materials for, and participate in Commission delegations and staff trips to countries to gather information on religious freedom conditions.
  • Attend and report on public hearings and other events around D.C. on relevant issues.
  • Assist with preparations for meetings, roundtables, Commission travel, and other events, including organizing and preparing materials for public USCIRF events.
  • Establish and maintain network of relevant contacts for countries of responsibility.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Required Qualifications
  • Must be a U.S. citizen;
  • Possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field to the position requirements;
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of regional politics, jurisprudence, culture, economic development, security trends, U.S. interests, and human rights in general;
  • Strong research skills;
  • Ability to proactively develop, synthesize, and articulate effective and actionable policy recommendations;
  • Ability to multi-task and work in a fast-paced setting, defining and meeting deadlines;
  • Ability to synthesize information from various sources;
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team;
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills;
  • Attention to detail, excellent organizational skills, and collegial demeanor; and
  • Proven experience using Microsoft Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
Desired Qualifications
  • Fluency or demonstrated proficiency in a foreign language, preferably a South Asian language;
  • Advanced degree;
  • At least two (2) years’ substantive experience as demonstrated by a sustained record of accomplished, analytical writing and other professional achievements.
How to Apply
To apply, candidates should email or fax a cover letter, resume, three references, and a writing sample (no more than five pages) to:
Fax: (202) 523-5020
Applications sent via email should be in PDF format.
Applications will be held in strict confidence. After submitting your application for this position, you will receive an e-mail confirming receipt of your application materials. USCIRF will contact you if we wish to schedule an interview or if we require additional information or references.
No calls please.
Evaluation of Applicants
This job is excepted from the competitive civil service. Applicants will be evaluated and deemed either eligible or ineligible based on the relevance and quality of their experience and education and on the desired qualifications described above.
Pursuant to section 204(c) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, as amended, USCIRF staff members are hired “on the basis of professional and nonpartisan qualifications.”
USCIRF offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, ten Federal holidays, life insurance, and medical benefits. Please visit www.opm.gov for more information on benefits.
Other Information
  • Travel expenses related to the hiring process will not be paid
  • Relocation expenses will not be paid
Selective Service. If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify at the time of appointment that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under Selective Service law.
Reasonable Accommodation. USCIRF provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please contact USCIRF at (202) 523-3240. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Equal Employment Opportunity. USCIRF does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.