Elliott Abrams named to religious freedom commission

WASHINGTON (JTA) –  Elliott Abrams, a foreign policy veteran of the Bush and Reagan administrations, was named to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The U.S. Congress appointed Abrams to the nine-person panel this week. He had chaired the commission from 1999 to 2001.

Abrams, who last served in government as George W. Bush’s deputy national security adviser, with responsibility for the Middle East. 

He is currently a senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

Abrams also teaches at Georgetown University’s Program for Jewish Civilization. This spring, Abrams taught a course in the program titled "U.S. Politics and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: 9/11-2012."

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent body, has members appointed by leadership in both houses of Congress and by the president.

Abrams was named by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The announcement of his appointment on May 17 came the same day that President Obama named the Rev. William Shaw, a Baptist leader, to the commission.

Earlier this month, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House minority leader, named Sam Gejdenson, a former congressman and the son of Holocaust survivors, to the panel.

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