President Obama has announced that he will nominate Humphrey School of Public Affairs Dean Eric Schwartz to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The nomination, which is expected to be formalized in the coming weeks, will add Schwartz to the nine-member board that oversees an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.
“President Obama’s nomination recognizes Dean Schwartz’s remarkable contributions to critical issues of human rights and peace keeping,” said University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. “This honor also speaks to the core mission and values of the University of Minnesota and the Humphrey School, and that is a commitment to develop and educate the next generation of global leaders.”
Prior to his arrival in Minnesota, Schwartz spent 25 years in senior positions at the State Department, the National Security Council, the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, and in the NGO community. From 2009 to 2011, he served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, having been named to the post by President Obama. Working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he served as the Department of State’s principal humanitarian official.
The commission reviews alleged violations of religious freedom and makes policy recommendations to U.S. policy makers. Commissioners are appointed by the White House and the congressional leadership of both political parties.

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