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Religious freedom commission names new headcomment (0)

January 2, 2003

WASHINGTON — A governmental agency charged with monitoring religious freedom conditions around the world has named a new head. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has named Joseph Crapa as executive director, replacing Steven McFarland, who left the group in April amid controversy.

Robert Seiple, the former U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, recently lambasted the commission for what he said was its ineffectiveness and counterproductivity in encouraging religious freedom around the world. However, the commission’s current chair, Felice Gaer, said Seiple’s concerns were unfounded and pointed to several international improvements in religious freedom conditions and awareness.

Crapa was most recently chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and previously served as an assistant administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Aid, appointed by former President Bill Clinton. 

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