Knox Thames is the Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South / Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. This is a newly created position; Mr. Thames was appointed as the first Special Advisor in September 2015 to lead State Department efforts to address the situation of religious minorities in these regions. Mr. Thames holds a BA from Georgetown College, a JD from American University’s Washington College of Law, and an MA in international affairs from American University’s School of International Service. He also studied at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. He was the director of policy and research at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, served in the Office of International Religious Freedom at the State Department, and was counsel at the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (the Helsinki Commission). He is an adjunct professor at the U.S. Army War College, and is part of the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group. His writing has been featured in the Yale Journal of International Affairs, ForeignPolicy.com, and Small Wars Journal.