WASHINGTON, DC - House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today announced he has appointed Dr. Daniel I. Mark of Villanova University and re-appointed Dr. Robert P. George to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom. Dr. Mark will assume the commission seat being vacated by Elliott Abrams, whose term on the commission expires May 14. Dr. George, of Princeton University, was appointed by Speaker Boehner in 2012. Speaker Boehner issued the following statement:
“America has been a beacon of freedom and religious tolerance since declaring our independence 238 years ago. 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.
“I want to acknowledge outgoing commissioner Elliott Abrams and thank him for his valuable service. Elliott is an outstanding public official and a strong advocate of religious freedom.
“I am pleased to appoint Dr. Daniel I. Mark of Villanova University to the Commission. Daniel is a young, inspiring teacher and a meticulous academic. He is currently Assistant Professor of Political Science at Villanova University and is an emerging thought-leader who has spoken extensively about religious freedom in the U.S. and abroad.
“I am also pleased to re-appoint Dr. Robert P. George for another term on the Commission. Dr. George is a professor of law at Princeton University and one of America’s most well-respected and accomplished scholars. He is a strong, independent voice on the Commission and has been selected by his fellow commissioners to serve as Chair. Dr. George believes that in order for societies to flourish they must respect religious freedom and rights of conscience.”
NOTE: Dr. Daniel I. Mark is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University. He teaches political theory, philosophy of law, American government, and politics and religion. At Villanova, he is a faculty associate of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good. He is also an assistant editor of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy. Daniel holds a BA, MA, and PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton University. There, he was affiliated with the Witherspoon Institute, the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, the Program in Law and Public Affairs, and the Penn-Princeton Bioethics Forum. He works with the Tikvah Fund in New York and has taught at the Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought at Yeshiva University. Before graduate school, he spent four years as a high school teacher.
Dr. Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. George attended Swarthmore College, Harvard Law School, and Oxford University. He is a prolific writer, debater, thought-leader, and musician.