WASHINGTON, DC – Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH) announced the appointment of Dr. Daniel I. Mark, assistant professor of Political Science at Villanova University, to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Dr. Mark teaches political theory, philosophy of law, American government, and politics and religion in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He is also a faculty associate at the Villanova’s Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good. In addition, Dr. Mark serves an assistant editor of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy.
“I am pleased to appoint Dr. Daniel I. Mark of Villanova University to the Commission,” said House Speaker John Boehner. “Daniel is a young, inspiring teacher and a meticulous academic. He is an emerging thought-leader who has spoken extensively about religious freedom in the U.S. and abroad.”
Comprising nine voting members, USCIRF (www.uscirf.gov) is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and House of Representatives.
"I am greatly honored to have been selected by Speaker Boehner to join the commission in its very important work promoting religious freedom around the world,” said Mark. “It's a true privilege to serve the United States in this capacity, and I am grateful for the ongoing support of my colleagues at Villanova."
Dr. Mark will assume the commission seat being vacated by Elliott Abrams – a lawyer and foreign policy expert who served in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush – whose term on the commission expires May 14.
“America has been a beacon of freedom and religious tolerance since declaring our independence 238 years ago,” added Boehner. “No other civilization in history as large as ours has so successfully balanced the rule of law with the freedom of conscience and religious expression. The goal of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is to highlight the serious threats to religious liberty throughout the world so the President and Congress can make wise policy decisions in response.”
About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.