In News & Reports


For Immediate Release
June 12, 2018

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) unanimously elected Dr. Tenzin Dorjee as its Chair. The Commission also unanimously elected its two Vice Chairs: Kristina Arriaga and Gayle Manchin. In a show of bipartisan collegiality and support for the new Chair, the Commissioners opted to hold the election openly, rather than following the Commission’s usual procedure of voting anonymously by closed ballot.

Chair Dorjee is an Associate Professor at the Department of Human Communication Studies, California State University, Fullerton. He is a prominent translator of Tibetan and Buddhist works and has served as a translator for the Dalai Lama. Chair Dorjee has also been recognized with numerous honors for his scholarship and advocacy on behalf of the Tibetan community. As a Commissioner he has traveled to Burma and Iraq to monitor religious freedom conditions and testified before the U.S. Congress on religious freedom violations in Tibet and China.

Chair Dorjee was first appointed to the Commission on December 8, 2016, by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). He was reappointed by Leader Pelosi on May 10, 2018.

Vice Chair Arriaga was reappointed to the Commission by Speaker Ryan on May 21, 2018. Vice Chair Manchin was appointed to the Commission by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) on April 19, 2018.

Also serving on the Commission are: Gary L. Bauer, Nadine Maenza, Johnnie Moore, and Tony Perkins. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback serves ex officio on the Commission.

Read the complete press release here.
Read the full Commissioner bios here.

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