USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel Makes Fortune's List of World's 50 Greatest Leaders

May 14, 2021

May 14, 2021

USCIRF Commissioner Nury Turkel Makes Fortune's List of
World's 50 Greatest Leaders

Washington, DC – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) congratulated Commissioner Nury Turkel who was named one of Fortune’s 2021 List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. Fortune magazine’s annual list is comprised of individuals who “stepped up to make the world better, and inspired others to do the same.”

This prestigious honor is testament to Commissioner Nury Turkel’s advocacy and persistence on behalf of religious communities persecuted because of their beliefs,” said USCIRF Chair Anurima Bhargava. “Commissioner Turkel’s efforts to stop and prevent the genocide of religious communities, especially on behalf of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in China, has had tangible impact and is an inspiration to us all.

Commissioner Turkel was recognized for his work addressing China’s genocidal policies against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims. Fortune magazine highlighted his work as a Commissioner urging Congress to ban the imports of cotton, textiles, and other goods from Xinjiang until China ends internment, forced labor, and cultural genocide. In March, USCIRF hosted a hearing on ways in which U.S. companies facilitate the persecution of Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims in China through forced labor and other practices that undermine international human rights standards in that country. Commissioner Turkel also urged U.S. companies to step up and move beyond due diligence in a recent op-ed published in the New York Times. Commissioner Turkel was appointed to USCIRF in May 2020 by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi.

Fortune magazine rightfully included Nury Turkel in their list of great leaders for his hard work and diligence advocating for religious freedom,” said USCIRF Vice Chair Tony Perkins. “His advocacy work continues to shed light on the plight of Uyghur Muslims in China and elsewhere, and we are proud to work alongside him to ensure the Communist Party of China stops its genocidal actions against the Uyghur people.”

In its 2021 Annual Report, USCIRF called upon the U.S. government to use its authority under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and the International Religious Freedom Act to impose targeted sanctions on Chinese officials responsible for severe religious freedom violations against Uyghur Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists, Christians, and Falun Gong practitioners.

Fortune’s 2021 List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, now in its 8th year, identifies successful leaders that confront new realities quickly and fully, and take action – doing things no one else is doing or has done – with no assurance they will succeed.


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is an independent, bipartisan federal government entity established by the U.S. Congress to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom abroad. USCIRF makes foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress intended to deter religious persecution and promote freedom of religion and belief. To interview a Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at