United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom
|Ambassador-at-Large of the United States for International Religious Freedom|
Seal of the United States Department of State
with the advice and consent of the Senate
|Inaugural holder||Robert A. Seiple|
|Website||U.S. Office - IRF|
The position was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The first ambassador-at-large was Bob Seiple who served from 1999 to 2001. He was succeeded by John Hanford who served from May 2002 until January 2009. Suzan Johnson Cook served in the role from May 2011 to October 2013. 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.
On July 26, 2017, the White House announced the nomination of Sam Brownback, then-Governor of Kansas to fill the vacancy in the office. 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. 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.
- Robert A. Seiple (1999–2001)
- John Hanford (2002–2009)
- Suzan Johnson Cook (2011–2013)
- David Saperstein (2014–2017)
- Sam Brownback (2018–present)
- U.S. Department of State. "Biography Robert A Seiple." September 11, 2009.
- U.S. Department of State. "Biography John V. Hanford III." September 11, 2009.
- "Religious liberty ambassador's resignation raises concerns". Archived from the original on April 2, 2014.
- Dias, Elizabeth. "Obama Nominates Rabbi to Religious Freedom Post" Archived January 17, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, Time, July 28, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2014.
- Campbell, Kay. "Rabbi David Saperstein confirmed as U.S. Ambassador for Religious Freedom" Archived December 19, 2014, at the Wayback Machine, AL.com, December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
- "US Senate approves rabbi as freedom of faith envoy" Archived April 3, 2015, at the Wayback Machine, The Times of Israel, December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- @AP (July 26, 2017). "BREAKING: White House: Trump to nominate Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback as ambassador at large for international religious freedom" (Tweet). Retrieved July 27, 2017 – via Twitter.
- Brownback’s nomination for ambassador post not carried over, will return to White House, Lawrence Journal World, December 22, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 115th Congress - 2nd Session". www.senate.gov. Retrieved January 24, 2018.