Dr Tenzin Dorjee unanimously elected as Chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

DHARAMSALA, June 13: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has unanimously elected Dr Tenzin Dorjee as its Chair.

The commission announced Dr Tenzin Dorjee’s election as its Chair on its official website uscirf.gov on June 12, 2018.

Prior to his unanimous election as the Chair of USCIRF, Dr Tenzin Dorjee, a Tibetan Associate Professor at the Department of Human Communication Studies, California State University, Fullerton was first appointed as the Commissioner to the USCIRF on December 8, 2016 on the recommendation of the House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, an old friend of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and a firm supporter of the Tibetan movement. He was reappointed by Leader Pelosi on May 10, 2018.

“It is an honour and privilege to be unanimously elected Chair of the Commission. Our Commissioners bring a diverse array of complementary experiences and skills to the table, and we all share a collective commitment to the promotion of religious freedom or belief for those of all faiths and none,” Dr Tenzin Dorjee was quoted as saying on the official website of the commission after his election.

“The challenges to religious freedom around the globe are growing on a daily basis, but so too is our resolve to confront these challenges. As the first Tibetan Buddhist elected Chair, I look forward to leading this Commission over the next year in an inclusive way as we provide policy recommendations to the White House, the Secretary of State, and Congress on addressing the global challenges to freedom of religion or belief,”  the newly elected chair of the commission added.

Dr Dorjee is an eloquent writer and a former Member-At-Large in the Executive Council of the Western States Communication Association. He has written and co-written multiple articles on Tibetan culture, identity and communication, non-violence and middle way approaches to Sino-Tibetan conflict. He was also the President of the Tibetan Association of Southern California. Earlier in 2013, he volunteered for over two months at the office of the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. The commission reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties.

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