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IRF Secretariat welcomes Nadine Maenza as president


Former USCIRF Chair continues her international religious freedom work as the newly appointed President of IRF Secretariat

WASHINGTON — IRF Secretariat, an international organization focused on building religious freedom for everyone, welcomes Nadine Maenza as President.

“It is hard to overstate the impact IRF Secretariat has had in providing leadership to the religious freedom community with the International Religious Freedom Roundtables it convenes in Washington, D.C and in over 20 countries globally,” said Maenza. “It is an honor to join this distinguished team as they work to further grow the movement, working to ensure that all around the world can practice their faith freely.”

In May, Nadine finished her second term as a White House appointee on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), serving as Chair since June 2021. During that time, she joined over a dozen delegations to foreign countries, participated in multiple Congressional hearings and events, contributed to many publications, and gave speeches regularly on a variety of topics and countries. She also serves as a senior advisor at Patriot Voices focusing on religious freedom and working family policy. She has advised major organizations on faith engagement, policy development, and strategic partnerships through The Clapham Group.

In September 2021, she received the “Cedar of God Award” by In Defense of Christians for her “tireless worker throughout her career for religious freedom for Christians both in the Middle East and globally.”

Nadine serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), the Sinjar Academy, and Freedom Research Foundation. Nadine’s writings on various policy topics have been published in numerous publications domestically and internationally.

Nadine joins the IRF Secretariat leadership team, led by Gregory Mitchell, Founder, Chairman and CEO; Dr. Paul Murray and Simran Singh Stuelpnagel, Vice Chairmen; and Annie McKinney, Operations Director.

“We’re so excited and blessed to have Nadine as part of our team,” said Mitchell. “She is action-oriented and results-driven, which makes her a perfect fit for the work we are doing to increase the impact of the global movement to advance religious freedom. She travels to some of the toughest parts of the world, like Syria and Iraq, spends a lot of time on the ground, and develops working relationships with the people who can make a difference.”

On May 15, 2022, with a generous grant from Templeton Religion Trust (TRT), IRF Secretariat started a 3-year project to improve outcomes by institutionalizing a new approach centered on cooperative engagement (that respects/protects the other’s human dignity and liberty of conscience), strategic planning, and coordination of actions. Activities are organized into three categories:

  1. Global Events. Global, regional, and national IRF summits convene, catalyze, and expand the global movement.
  2. Global Infrastructure. The establishment of new secretariats and religious freedom roundtables bring new faith/belief communities and civil society partners into the movement, and this expanding global network serves as a sustainable infrastructure for a variety of multi-faith actions.
  3. Global Leadership & Coordination. Goal setting and strategic planning provide a coherent set of targets and objectives that enable more effective coordination.


IRF Secretariat is a charitable and educational organization organized in 2018 and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Dr. Paul Murray
IRF Secrtetariat (International Religious Freedom) Secretariat
[email protected]

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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