President Bush Nominates Ambassador-at-Large

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 27, 2001

Contact:
Lawrence J. Goodrich, Communications Director, (202) 523-3240, ext. 27

The White House announced September 26 that President Bush intends to nominate John V. Hanford III for the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. The ambassador, when confirmed by the Senate, also serves as a nonvoting, ex officio member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Mr. Hanford replaces Ambassador Robert Seiple, the first person to hold the position. Ambassador Seiple returned to the private sector in September 2000.

"Ambassador Seiple made a significant contribution to the work of this Commission and the Commissioners valued him as a colleague," said Commission Chair Michael K. Young, who served with him. "We welcome Mr. Hanford, who has a long interest in these issues, and look forward to a similarly fruitful relationship."

"The ambassador-at-large, who reports directly to the Secretary of State, plays a vital role in keeping the issue before U.S. policymakers and in conducting U.S. diplomacy," Chairman Young said. "We're very pleased that the president has moved to fill this crucial job."

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, the Secretary of State and the Congress." src="http://www.uscirf.org/images/layout/subbottomtext1.gif" />

Michael K. Young,Chair
  • Felice D. GaerFiruz KazemzadehRichard D. LandBishop William Francis MurphyLeila Nadya SadatNina SheaThe Hon. Charles R. StithThe Hon. Shirin Tahir-KheliSteven T. McFarland,Executive Director