United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

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Ambassador-at-Large of the United States for International Religious Freedom
U.S. Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Sam Brownback official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Sam Brownback

since February 1, 2018
Appointer The President
with the advice and consent of the Senate
Inaugural holder Robert A. Seiple
Formation 1999
Website U.S. Office - IRF

The United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom is the ambassador-at-large who heads the Office of International Religious Freedom in the U.S. 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. Suzan Johnson Cook served in the role from May 2011 to October 2013.[3] On July 28, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated Rabbi David Saperstein for the position. On December 15, 2014 the Senate confirmed him to the office, making him the first non-Christian to hold this post.[4][5][6]

On July 26, 2017, the White House announced the nomination of Sam Brownback, then-Governor of Kansas to fill the vacancy in the office.[7] Five months later, the Senate had yet to hold a confirmation vote, so per Senate rules, he was required to be nominated again in 2018 in order for a vote to be held.[8] He was confirmed to the position on January 24, 2018, on a 49-49 vote of the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking the tie in favor of Brownback.[9]

Ambassadors-at-Large[edit]

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