Felice D. Gaer
Felice D. Gaer (born 1946) is an American expert on human rights and a longstanding member and the former chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Gaer directs the Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights of the American Jewish Committee, which conducts research and advocacy to strengthen international human rights. Gaer has served on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom since 2000. Nominated by the Clinton administration and renominated by the Bush administration and Obama administration, she had served as chair for three terms, had served as Vice Chair for three terms, and had served one term of the Executive Committee. Her current appointment was made by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Gaer was the first American to serve as an Independent Expert on the United Nations Committee Against Torture. There, she had been Vice Chair, General Rapporteur (2006–2008), and year-round Rapporteur on Follow-up to Country Conclusions. Gaer is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Born in Englewood, N.J., Gaer is a graduate of Wellesley College with an A.B. in Political Science (1968). From Columbia University, she received a Master of Arts degree in 1971 and a Master of Philosophy degree in Political Science in 1975.