U.S. int'l religious freedom interest downgraded to special 'advisor' from 'envoy' - 2015-10-14

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F0.png U.S. int'l religious freedom interest downgraded to special 'advisor' from 'envoy' October 14, 2015, Kelly Ledbetter, Christian Examiner

International religious freedom now has its own "special advisor" -- which reports to an ambassador, rather than a "special envoy" which reports to the Secretary of State, the White House has announced. And Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) is challenging how that approach to key U.S. foreign policy objectives works -- especially since the "special envoy" position has been vacant for a while.

"The Administration has taken the position that 'promoting and protecting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy,'" the senator wrote in an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, "yet the Ambassador-at-Large for religious freedom is buried in layers of bureaucracy rather than reporting directly to you like the Ambassadors-at-Large for the Office of Global Women's Issues and the Office of Global AIDS Coordinator."

A special envoy reports directly to Secretary Kerry, while a special advisor may report to an envoy or ambassador.


{{cite news | first = Kelly | last = Ledbetter | title = U.S. int'l religious freedom interest downgraded to special 'advisor' from 'envoy' | url = http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/state-department-buries-religious-freedom-in-bureaucracy-demotes-special-envoy/49650.htm | work = Christian Examiner | date = October 14, 2015 | accessdate = January 14, 2017 }}