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New USCIRF Commissioner Appointed

March 21, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – At the recommendation of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Ambassador Jackie Wolcott was appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) on March 14.  Ambassador Wolcott will serve a two-year term and succeeds Commissioner Mary Ann Glendon whose term expires on May 14.

USCIRF welcomes Ambassador Jackie Wolcott as our newest incoming Commissioner,” said USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George.  “She will be a great asset to our Commission as USCIRF works to fulfill its mandate of highlighting serious threats to religious freedom throughout the world and making policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress on behalf of the cherished right of freedom of religion or belief and its fuller integration into U.S. foreign policy. My fellow Commissioners and I also want to honor outgoing Commissioner Mary Ann Glendon for her outstanding service on the Commission and her passionate commitment to religious freedom.”

Ambassador Wolcott served most recently as USCIRF’s Executive Director from February 2010 through December 2015. Prior to joining USCIRF, the Ambassador had a long career in government executive positions, serving as Special Envoy for Nuclear Nonproliferation and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Security Council. Ambassador Wolcott also was Ambassador and United States Permanent Representative to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, Switzerland and Special Representative of the President of the United States for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Ambassador Wolcott served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs. For several years, she had specific responsibility for human rights issues in the United Nations, including international freedom of religion issues. In this capacity, Ambassador Wolcott developed and implemented U.S. strategy at the UN Human Rights Commission, the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on the Status of Women, and all related issues in the UN General Assembly. She also worked on country specific religious freedom issues such as the protection of Baha’is in Iran, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion in North Korea, and the situation in Turkmenistan with regard to compulsory military service affecting objecting religious minorities.

Ambassador Wolcott also worked in the Senate and House, and has held several additional positions relating to national security affairs, including Associate Director for National Security in the Office of Presidential Personnel, The White House; White House Liaison for the Department of State; and Special Assistant for Congressional Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Department of State.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, contact USCIRF at media@uscirf.gov or 202-786-0615.