President Obama Appoints Dr. Azizah al-Hibri to USCIRF


On June 7, 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Azizah al-Hibri, Founder and Chair of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

After the announcement of her appointment to the two-year term, Leonard Leo, the Chair of USCIRF, remarked: “My fellow Commissioners and I are most pleased to welcome Professor al-Hibri to the Commission. She comes with a distinguished record of service as a human rights advocate devoted to the protection of freedom of religion for people of all faiths, and we look forward to working with her”.

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF’s principal responsibility is to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress.

Dr. al-Hibri is the Founder and Chair of KARAMAH , a non-profit organization dedicated to contributing to the understanding and promotion of human rights worldwide through education, legal outreach, and advocacy ( Dr. al-Hibri is a Professor at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond. She is a former professor of Philiosphy and founding editor of Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. She is also the recipient of the First Freedom Award for the State of Virginia in 2007 from the Council for America’s First Freedom.

For the past twenty years, Dr. al-Hibri has written extensively on issues of Muslim women’s rights, Islam and democracy, and humans rights in Islam, and is widely published in law journals and other legal publications. Dr. al-Hibri has lectured extensively within the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world at universities, religious and interfaith institutions, community centers, governmental agencies, think tanks, and various public forums. Currently, Dr. al-Hibri is completing a book on the Islamic marriage contract in U.S. courts.

American Muslim

Photo: Dr. al-Hibri , a Lebanese-American began her scholarly career at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, where she earned her BA in philosophy in 1966.