Obama names Eric Schwartz to religious freedom body

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Obama named Eric P. Schwartz, a dean at the University of Minnesota, to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Schwartz, who is on the boards of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, was among several appointees announced Thursday by Obama. 

Schwartz is the university’s dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and previously served for two years as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration. 

He also served as the United Nations Secretary General’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery from 2005 to 2007. Schwartz was chief of office in Geneva for the Office of the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent body that tracks religious freedoms oveseas, has members appointed by leadership in both houses of Congress and by the president.

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