Posted on June 09, 2015 in Press Releases

Contact: Waseem Mardini
Phone: (202) 429-9210

WASHINGTON, DC – 6/9/2015 – President Barack Obama has reappointed Arab American Institute President Dr. James J. Zogby to serve on the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). AAI Executive Director Maya Berry said "Jim's reappointment is testament to his valuable and critical in support of justice and in defense of religious freedom in the U.S. and abroad" 

Comprised of nine members, USCIRF is charged with monitoring the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and House of Representatives. Dr. Zogby was first appointed to the USCIRF in 2013 and most recently as Vice-Chair.

President Obama said the following about Dr. Zogby and another individual appointed to a key administration post:

"The talent and expertise these individuals bring to their roles serve our nation well. I am grateful for their service, and look forward to working with them

Dr.Zogby has put into practice his commitment to human rights, civil rights, and civil liberties and he has provided a critical perspective in tackling religious challenges and promoting religious freedom at home and internationally.

Speaking at an AAI sponsored briefing about religious plurality in the Middle East Dr. Zogby said the following about what needs to be done to protect religious communities in the region:

"We're not talking about minority rights, we're not talking about tolerance, we're talking about full citizenship rights"

Berry added "his service has been rooted in that approach, and his contributions have been invaluable."


Dr.  Zogby is President of the Arab American Institute, which he founded in 1985.  He is also Managing Director of Zogby Research Services, and a Visiting Professor of Social Research and Public Polling at New York University in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  In 1982, he co-founded Save Lebanon, Inc., a non-profit relief organization which funds social welfare projects in Lebanon.  Earlier in his career, Dr. Zogby co-founded the Palestine Human Rights Campaign and the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.  He is the current Chairman of the Editorial Advisory Committee for SkyNewsArabia News.  He has hosted various television programs, including A Capital View on MBC from 1993 to 2001, and Viewpoint with James Zogby on Abu Dhabi Television from 2001 to 2011.  His column, “Washington Watch,” is currently published in 14 Arab and South Asian countries.  He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  Dr. Zogby received a B.A. from Le Moyne College and a Ph.D. in Comparative Religions from Temple University.