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State Department launches “Faith-Based Community Initiatives”

State Department launches “Faith-Based Community Initiatives”

(From the Notice to the Press issued by the US Department of State):

Secretary of State John Kerry will announce on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 that he has selected a Special Advisor, Shaun Casey of Virginia, to head a new State Department Office of Faith-Based Community Initiatives. The announcement will be made in the Department’s Benjamin Franklin Room at 10:00 a.m.

The new office will set Department policy on engagement with faith-based communities and will work in conjunction with bureaus and posts to reach out to those communities to advance the Department’s diplomacy and development objectives. It will also work closely with faith communities to ensure that their voices are heard in the foreign policy process, including through continued collaboration with the Department’s religion and foreign policy working group. The office will collaborate regularly with other government officials and offices focused on religious issues, including the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and the Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

Secretary Kerry will be joined at the Wednesday event by Special Advisor Shaun Casey.

The event will be open to the press and streamed live at

Dr. Casey is taking temporary leave from his position as Wesley Theological Seminary’s professor of Christian ethics, and will return to his regular position at the conclusion of this assignment.

Casey is an authority and frequent lecturer on the intersection of faith and public policy. He served as a senior advisor for religious affairs and as national evangelical coordinator during President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign.

“Religion is a complex and multivalent force in international politics,” said Casey. “My position at the State Department recognizes the growth of the importance of religious engagement in U.S. foreign policy. My work at Wesley offers a tremendous foundation for understanding faith and practice that I will use in support of Secretary Kerry.”


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