Obama names envoy to Islamic conference


WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama named a White House legal counsel as his special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Rashad Hussain, who specializes in security, "will deepen and expand the partnerships that the United States has pursued with Muslims around the world" since Obama’s speech in June in Cairo announcing a policy of outreach to the world’s Muslims, according to a White House statement released Feb. 13.

The OIC is an umbrella body for about 50 Muslim nations.

Obama also announced Hussain’s appointment in a video message Saturday to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Qatar, an event organized by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank with close ties to the Obama administration.

"Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo," Obama said in the message.

Hussain is the second U.S. envoy to the OIC; President George W. Bush named the first envoy, Sada Cumber, in 2008.

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