USCIRF Congratulates Outgoing Chair, Gayle Manchin, Welcomes New Chair, Anurima Bhargava

May 3, 2021

USCIRF Congratulates Outgoing Chair, Gayle Manchin, Welcomes New Chair, Anurima Bhargava

Washington, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) congratulated its former Chair Gayle Manchin on being confirmed on April 29 by the Senate as the Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. USCIRF welcomes Anurima Bhargava to serve for the remainder of the term.

It has been an honor and privilege working with Gayle, and we wish her well in her new role as Federal Co-Chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission,” said USCIRF incoming Chair Anurima Bhargava. “We greatly appreciate her invaluable contributions to USCIRF, and I am humbled that my colleagues have chosen me to serve as the Chair.”

Gayle Manchin was first appointed to the Commission in 2018 by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and was reappointed by Senator Schumer in May 2020. During her tenure, she served as both Chair (2020-2021) and Vice Chair (2019-2020). She participated in and led many USCIRF-sponsored hearings, events, and delegations, including official travel to Indonesia, Bahrain, Singapore, and Azerbaijan.

USCIRF whole-heartedly congratulates our outgoing Chair, Gayle Manchin, on her new role,” USCIRF Vice Chair Tony Perkins stated. “While we were appointed to USCIRF from opposite sides of the aisle, we worked in a collegial bipartisan manner and shared a steadfast commitment to promoting freedom of religion or belief for all and encouraging positive change around the world. While she will be sorely missed, we very much look forward to continuing our work under the able leadership of our new Chair, Anurima Bhargava.”

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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 media@uscirf.gov.