Washington DC: In a first, Indian-American Rashad Hussain is nominated as the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom in the United States of America. US President Joe Biden on Friday confirmed his nomination, reports said.
Hussain is nominated to head US diplomacy for advancing religious liberties in the USA.
“Today’s announcement underscores the president’s commitment to build an administration that looks like America and reflects people of all faiths,” Times Of India quoted White House’s press release as saying.
“Rashad also spearheaded efforts on countering antisemitism and protecting religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries,” the White House added.
Currently, Hussain is the director for partnerships and global engagement at the National Security Council, after being a senior counsel at the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.
He also served as the US special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, and deputy associate White House Counsel during the Obama administration, TOI said. He previously worked in smaller legal positions in the country.
“In his roles as envoy, Hussain worked with multilateral organizations such as the OIC and UN, foreign governments, and civil society organizations to expand partnerships in education, entrepreneurship, health, international security, science and technology, and other areas,” the White House said.
Hussain graduated from law at Yale Law School and has a master’s degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University.
The US state department states that the Office of International Religious Freedom promotes universal respect for freedom of religion or belief for all as a core objective of US foreign policy.
“We monitor religiously motivated abuses, harassment, and discrimination worldwide, and recommend, develop, and implement policies and programs to address these concerns,” it further says.