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President Obama Announces Intent to Appoint Eric P. Schwartz to USCIRF


April 12, 2013 | By USCIRF

WASHINGTON, DC - President Barack Obama on April 11, 2013 announced his intent to appoint Eric P. Schwartz to serve on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom.

"USCIRF welcomes Eric Schwartz,” said USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett. "Given his remarkable depth of knowledge, experience, and commitment, I am confident that he will be a great asset to our Commission as we work to help advance the cherished right of freedom of religion or belief around the world.”

Eric P. Schwartz is Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, a position he has held since 2011. Prior to joining the Humphrey School, he spent 25 years in senior positions at the State Department, the National Security Council, the United Nations, and the U.S. Congress, and in the NGO community. From 2009 to 2011, he was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. Mr. Schwartz also served as the United Nations Secretary General's Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery from 2005 to 2007, and as Chief of Office in Geneva for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2003 to 2004. From 1993 until 2001, he was on the staff of the National Security Council, and from 1986 to 1989, he served as Washington Director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas. Mr. Schwartz received a B.A. from Binghamton University, an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Comprised of nine members, USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and House of Representatives.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner please contact USCRIFat (202) 523-3258 or media@uscirf.gov