Welcome to USCIRF

USCIRF Summit on International Religious Freedom

on International Religious Freedom
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
9:30 am – 1:00 pm


Event location

Harding Hall
Government Publishing Office
732 North Capitol Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20401


Speakers included: Former USCIRF Chairs Robbie George, Katrina Lantos Swett, Leonard Leo, and Rabbi David Saperstein; members of Congress; former Representative Frank Wolf; and Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, among others.



Introduction by USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark – 9:30 am – 9:35 am

Plenary: State of International Religious Freedom – 9:35 am – 10:35 am

Former USCIRF Chairs will discuss a “state of the union” of international religious freedom.  Panelists will look back and look forward – focusing on challenges and progress. Moderated by Chairman Daniel Mark.

Former USCIRF Chairs: Robert George, Katrina Lantos Swett, Leonard Leo, and Rabbi David Saperstein.   

Break: 10:35 am – 10:45 am


  1. Strategies to Make Positive Change – 10:45 am – 11:30 am

Moderated by Commissioner Cliff May

  • Women and Religious Freedom: Farahnaz Ispahani, Wilson Center Global Fellow 
  • Sanctions:  Richard Goldberg, Senior Advisor, Foundation for Defense of Democracies
  • Working with the Media: Tom Gallagher, CEO and Publisher, Religion News Service
  • Interacting with the U.S. government – IRF 2.0:  Sharon Payt, Executive Director, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative
  1. Prisoners of Conscience – 11:35 am – 12:30 pm

Panelists will highlight projects advocating for prisoners of conscience.  Moderated by Commissioner Thomas Reese

  • Defending Freedoms Project: Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL), Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
  • Panchen Lama and Gulmira Imin, China: Commissioner Tenzin Dorjee
  • Pastor Andrew Brunson, Turkey, and Thich Quang Do, Vietnam: Vice Chairwoman Kristina Arriaga
  • Pastor Nguyen Cong Chinh (in person), Vietnam: Commissioner Jackie Wolcott
  • Taking Action for Prisoners of Conscience: Judith Golub

PlenaryCall to Action – 12:30 pm – 1:00 pm

Moderated by Commissioner John Ruskay

  • The Honorable Frank Wolf
  • Senator James Lankford (R-OK) 

Closing:  Chairman Daniel Mark

For a copy of the agenda, please click here.