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USCIRF Commissioners Appointed


May 12, 2014 | USCIRF

WASHINGTON, DC – House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on May 9 appointed Dr. Daniel I. Mark and re-appointed Dr. Robert P. George to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.  Dr. Mark will assume the Commission seat being vacated by Elliott Abrams, whose term expires May 14.  Speaker Boehner first appointed Dr. George in 2012.

“USCIRF welcomes Dr. Mark to the Commission,” said USCIRF Chairman Dr. Robert P. George.  “As a gifted scholar and a dedicated advocate of human rights, 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.”

Dr. Daniel I. Mark is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University, where he teaches political theory, philosophy of law, American government, and politics and religion.  He also is a faculty associate of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good. In addition, he is a research scholar of the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey and an assistant editor of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy. He also works with the Tikvah Fund in New York and has taught at the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University. Dr. Mark holds a BA, MA, and PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. There, he was affiliated with the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, the Program in Law and Public Affairs, and the Penn-Princeton Bioethics Forum. Before graduate school, he spent four years as a high school teacher.

“My fellow Commissioners and I also want to salute and honor outgoing Commissioner Elliott Abrams for his outstanding service to the Commission, his unwavering support for religious freedom, and his wit and wisdom,” said Chairman George.

“USCIRF also is very pleased with the reappointment of Dr. Robert P. George,” said USCIRF Vice-chairs, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser. “As our current Chairman, he has provided invaluable guidance and wisdom as the Commission entered its 15th year. His insights have been essential toward helping USCIRF fulfill its mandate of highlighting serious threats to religious liberty throughout the world and making the case that religious freedom is both a human rights imperative and a practical necessity that merits a seat at the table with economic, security, and other key concerns of U.S. foreign policy.”

Dr. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, and also is the Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at the University. He has been a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and is a Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Dr. George is the author of Making Men Moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality and In Defense of Natural Law, among other books. His articles and review essays have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal, the Columbia Law Review, the Review of Politics, the Review of Metaphysics, the American Journal of Jurisprudence, and Law and Philosophy. He has also written for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, First Things magazine, National Review, the Boston Review, and the Times Literary Supplement. Professor George is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. His other honors include the United States Presidential Citizens Medal, the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland, the Bradley Prize for Intellectual and Civic Achievement, the Phillip Merrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Liberal Arts of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a Silver Gavel Award of the American Bar Association, and the Paul Bator Award of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy.

Comprising nine voting 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, contact USCIRF at media@uscirf.gov or 202-786-0613.