Rabbi David Saperstein will be filling the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. President Barack Obama nominated Saperstein for the post after nine months of vacancy; Suzanne Johnson Cook resigned from the post in October 2013.
Obama said in a statement, "I am grateful that Rabbi Saperstein has chosen to dedicate his talent to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with him in the months and years ahead."
The Ambassador-at-Large is responsible for the promotion of religious freedom for minorities around the world. Obama had previously been criticized for leaving the position open for an extended period of time, in apparent disregard for the millions who suffer due to their religion worldwide.
International Christian Concern's
Advocacy Director, Isaac Six, said, "Our hope is that this nomination will become a turning point for the United States and for the millions of persecuted individuals overseas as the administration and the State Department take this opportunity to put international religious freedom back at the top of the foreign policy agenda."
Saperstein will be the first Jew to hold the title.
Publication date: July 28, 2014