Clifford D. May Appointed to USCIRF

Aug 4, 2016


August 4, 2016


WASHINGTON, DC– Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on August 2, 2016 appointed Clifford D. May to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

USCIRF welcomes Cliff May as a strong addition to our Commission and its mission,” said USCIRF Chair, Thomas J. Reese, S.J.  “Given his remarkable depth of knowledge and experience and passionate advocacy for freedom, he will be a great asset to USCIRF and our mandate, helping advance the pivotal right of religious freedom around the world and its integration into our country’s foreign policy.” 

Clifford D. May is the founder and President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Mr. May has had a long and distinguished career in international relations, journalism, communications and politics. A veteran news reporter, foreign correspondent and editor (at The New York Times and other publications), he has covered stories in more than two dozen countries. A former syndicated columnist for Scripps Howard News Service, he is currently the weekly “Foreign Desk” columnist for The Washington Times. His writing also has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, National Review, USA Today, The Atlantic and many other publications. He is the co-editor of a book on the conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as one on energy policy. He was appointed as an advisor to the Iraq Study Group (Baker-Hamilton Commission) of the United States Institute of Peace in 2006, and served on the bipartisan Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion from 2007 to 2009. From 1997 to 2001, he served as the Director of Communications for the Republican National Committee. Mr. May holds master’s degrees from both Columbia University’s School of International Affairs and its School of Journalism. His undergraduate degree is from Sarah Lawrence College, and he holds a certificate in Russian language and literature from Leningrad State University, USSR. He is a member of the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs.

Comprised of nine commissioners, USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan federal body that is principally responsible for reviewing the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and making policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. The President and leadership of both political parties in the Senate and House of Representatives appoint USCIRF Commissioners.

To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at or 202-786-0615.