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Villanova University Political Science Professor Daniel Mark, PhD, Elected Vice Chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

Daniel Mark

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Daniel Mark, PhD, an assistant professor of political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Villanova University and member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), was recently elected vice chairman of USCIRF. Dr. Mark was first appointed to the Commission in May 2014 by then-Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) and reappointed in May 2016 by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI).

“I am deeply honored by this opportunity to serve as vice chairman of USCIRF at this start of my second term,” Mark said. “We commissioners, along with our dedicated professional staff, work hard to promote international religious freedom, and I am excited for the opportunity to help lead that effort. While the situation around the world is dire, we know that the United States is uniquely positioned to defend those who are persecuted for nothing more than the exercise of their basic human right of religious freedom.”

USCIRF is a nine-member, independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission dedicated to defending the universal right to freedom of religion abroad. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations and makes policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties. Click here to learn more about USCIRF.

An assistant professor of political science at Villanova, Mark teaches political theory, philosophy of law, American government, and politics and religion. He is a faculty associate of Villanova’s Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good and holds the rank of battalion professor for the University’s Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NROTC) unit. In addition, Mark is a mentor in Villanova’s Faith and Learning Scholars Program and serves on the Jewish Religion and Culture Lecture Committee and the Graduate Committee of the Department of Political Science.

Mark is an assistant editor of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy; a fellow of the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J.; and a contributor to Arc of the Universe: Ethics and Global Justice. He has published on topics related to international religious freedom in US News & World Report, Foreign Affairs, and The Hill, and has appeared on CNN and Al Jazeera America. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts, Master’s, and PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

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 six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them. For more, visit