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United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

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Title: United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom  
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Subject: Ambassadors of the United States, David Saperstein (rabbi), United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, Paul E. Simons, United States Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
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United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

Ambassador-at-Large of the United States for International Religious Freedom
Seal of the United States Department of State
Suzan Johnson Cook (Resigned October, 2013)

since May 16, 2011
Nominator Barack Obama
Inaugural holder Bob Seiple
as Ambassador
Formation 1999
Website U.S. Office - IRF

The Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom is the ambassador-at-large who heads the Office of International Religious Freedom in the United States Department of State.

The position was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The first ambassador-at-large was Bob Seiple[1] who served from 1999 to 2001. He was succeeded by John Hanford[2] who served from May 2002 until January 2009.

On June 15, 2010 President Barack Obama nominated Doctor Suzan Johnson Cook as his Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.[3] However, her nomination was put on hold in the Senate and therefore expired without a vote at the end of the 111th session of Congress on January 3, 2011.[4]

She was renominated and confirmed on April 14, 2011.[5] She was sworn in and began work on May 16, 2011.[6] She resigned in October 2013. [7] On July 28, 2014, President Obama nominated Rabbi David Saperstein for the position. As of July 31st 2014, he has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. If confirmed, he would be the first non-Christian to hold this post.[8]



  1. ^ U.S. Department of State. "Biography Robert A Seiple." September 11, 2009.
  2. ^ U.S. Department of State. "Biography John V. Hanford III." September 11, 2009.
  3. ^ President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts. 15 Jun. 2010
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Dias, Elizabeth. "Obama Nominates Rabbi to Religious Freedom Post." Time. Time, 28 July 2014. Web. 31 July 2014.

External links

  • United States Office of International Religious Freedom
  • Annual Report on International Religious Freedom 1999-Present
  • Ambassador Johnson Cook's official biography
  • Ambassador Johnson Cook on Facebook

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