Taoyuan, Taiwan
February 18-21, 2016

For Media Inquiries, Please Email media@aprff.org

2016 APRFF Speakers and Agenda


Bob Fu
Bob Fu
Cardinal Charles Bo

BOB FU

Founder and President, China Aid
Facebook / Twitter

Bob (Xiqiu) Fu is one of the leading voices in the world for persecuted faith communities in China. Fu was born and raised in mainland China and was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square demonstrating for freedom and democracy in 1989.

Fu graduated from the School of International Relations at the People's (Renmin) University in Beijing and taught English to Communist Party officials at the Beijing Administrative College and Beijing Party School of the Chinese Communist Party from 1993-1996. Fu was also a house church leader in Beijing until he and his wife, Heidi, were imprisoned for two months for "illegal evangelism" in 1996. Bob and Heidi fled to the United States as religious refugees in 1997, and subsequently founded China Aid in 2002 to bring international attention to China's gross human rights violations and to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. Click here for Bob Fu's story and how he escaped from Chinese authorities.

As president of China Aid, Fu has testified before the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (USCHR), the Foreign Press Association, and the European Commission and European Union Parliament. Fu also regularly briefs the State Department and Members of Congress, including Members of the International Religious Freedom Caucus on the status of religious freedom and rule of law in China. In 2008, Fu was invited to the White House to brief President George W. Bush on religious freedom and human rights in China, and in 2011, the Nobel Prize Committee recognized Fu’s efforts with an invitation to attend the award ceremony for Nobel Laureate Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Bob Fu is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Durham University, U.K., graduated from the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree on Global Christian Leadership from Midwest University, where he has served as a distinguished professor on religion and public policy. Fu serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, a journal on religious freedom and the rule of law in China, and as a guest editor for Chinese Law and Government, a journal by University of California, Los Angles.

Fu received the 2007 John Leland Religious Liberty Award from the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). In 2013, Bob Fu's autobiography "God's Double Agent" was released by the Baker Publishing Group. Bob Fu’s life story is also included in the George W. Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection: http://www.bushcenter.org/human-freedom/freedom-collection


Eva Sundari
Eva Sundari, MP
Eva Sundari

EVA SUNDARI, MP

Indonesian Member of Parliament

Sundari received her MSc in Economics and Development Economics from the University of Nottingham, UK, and a MA in Politics of Alternative Development Strategy at the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague, Netherlands.

Ms. Sundari is a current Member of Indonesia’s Parliament, and previously served as a Member of Parliament from 2004-2014, and from 2014-2016 served as Senior Advisor for the Planning Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia. Sundari also served as Consultant and Program Officer for the Gender and Women Program at the Asia Foundation; and as teaching staff and researcher of the Faculty of Economics Airlangga University.

Sundari founded and served as Chairperson of Pancasila Caucus (for Pluralism), and is a member of the LGBT Organization Center of Human Rights. Sundari also founded the Asian Caucus for Migrant Workers, and served as the Chairman of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, which later became the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary for Human Rights. Sundari also serves a member of the Special Committee to combat pornography and trafficking in persons, and to assist in the protection for victims and witnesses, and address terrorism financing.

In 2010, Sundari received an award from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Anti-Corruption Initiatives, and is a member of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) Task Force for Parliamentary Oversight.

Sundari specializes are Democratization, Human Rights, and Economic and Law Reform.


Katrina Lantos Swett
Katrina Lantos Swett
Katrina Lantos Swett

KATRINA LANTOS SWETT

Katrina Lantos Swett, Ph.D, currently serves as Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). In March of 2012, she was appointed to USCIRF by Senator Harry Reid and Six months later was elected to serve as Chair. She served as Vice Chair for one year and in 2014 she was once again elected as Chair. Dr. Lantos Swett established the Lantos Foundation in 2008 to carry on the work of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos. In addition, she has taught Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy at Tufts University, a subject she also taught at the University of Southern Denmark during her husband’s tenure as US Ambassador to Denmark. While living in Copenhagen, Katrina led a successful advocacy effort to convince the Danish government to take action against illicit trafficking of women and children through Denmark.

Katrina currently serves on the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the International Advisory Board of UN Watch, the Budapest based Tom Lantos Institute, the Advisory Board of the annual Anne Frank award & lecture, the US Global Leadership Coalition’s New Hampshire Advisory Board, the Executive Advisory Board of the Iranian American Majority, and the Advisory Board of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy.

Lantos-Swett graduated from Yale University with a degree in Political Science. She received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and later earned a PhD in history at The University of Southern Denmark.


Abid Raja
Abid Raja, MP
Abid Raja

ABID Q. RAJA, MP

Abid Q. Raja represents the Liberal party as a Member of Parliament in the Norwegian Parliament. Mr. Raja is also a member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFORB) Steering Committee.

During his career Mr. Raja has taken on a variety of social causes, with a special focus on the well-being of children, minority integration issues in Europe as well as radicalization and security issues. In his first published book in 2008, “Advocate”, he detailed his reflections on growing up as a Muslim Pakistani in Norwegian society, and the struggles that this entailed.

Raja completed his Cand. Jur. Law degree in 2002, and obtained a Master’s in Psychology from Oxford University in 2004. He has, prior to becoming a parliamentarian, worked professionally both as a civil and criminal case litigator, as Police Prosecutor, served as Board Leader of Norway’s National Immigration Appeals Board and been posted as diplomat at the Norway Mission in New Delhi. In 2010, Raja received for his tireless cross-cultural bridge-building work, Norway’s highly acknowledged Freedom of Speech award.


Mark Lagon
Mark P. Lagon
Mark Lagon

MARK P. LAGON

Mark P. Lagon is President of Freedom House. From 2010 through 2014, Lagon was the Chair for Global Politics and Security at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously Executive Director and CEO of the leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Polaris. He earlier served at the State Department as U.S. Ambassador at Large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, from 2007 to 2009. He was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, with responsibility for human rights, humanitarian issues and United Nations reform.

Lagon received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, and an A.B. from Harvard University. He is the author of numerous articles on international affairs and co-editor of the recently released book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions.


Aasiya Nasir
Aasiya Nasir, MP
Aasiya Nasir

AASIYA NASIR, MP

Aasiya Nasir is a Member of the Parliament of Pakistan, affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) political party.

Nasir serves as Chairperson of the United Christian Women Organization, Joint Secretary for the Young Parliamentarians Forum, Chairperson of the Pakistan Christian Forum, and is a member of the Aurat Foundation, and the working council of the Parliamentarians Women Caucus.

Aasiya Nasir has extensive experience working with national and international organizations in the sector of social welfare, education, health, development, and interfaith harmony.

Nasir also works with the committees of Ports and Shipping and Textile Industries, and spent 10 years teaching at the St. Francis Grammar School Quetta.

Nasir’s father Mr. Rafique Gill, a politician with rich experience, participated in provincial assembly elections, and contributed to the struggle for the rights of Christian minorities. Nasir’s husband is also an active political leader and member of the JUI-F, who aims to bring political awareness in the community and to establish a healthy democratic political culture in Pakistan.


Walter Lohman
Walter Lohman
Walter Lohman

WALTER LOHMAN

Walter Lohman is Director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.

The Asia Studies Center is Heritage’s oldest research center. Established in 1983, its research fellows and scholars analyze the full range of policy in East and South Asia and develop recommendations to further American interests in freedom and security. Lohman joined Heritage in 2006 as Senior Research Fellow for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University leading a graduate seminar on American foreign policy interests in Southeast Asia.

Before joining Heritage, Lohman served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council for four years. There, he oversaw the council’s mission of building U.S. market share in Southeast Asia, led multiple delegations of Fortune 500 companies to the region, participated in prominent business and policy forums and regularly represented the council in its interaction with high-level ASEAN officials. In the late 1990s, Lohman was the council’s Senior Country Director representing American interests in Indonesia and Singapore.

The other part of Lohman’s career has been spent as a Senate staff member. In 2002, he served as senior professional Republican staff advising Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on issues affecting East Asia. From 1991 to 1996, he served as a policy aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), during which time he advised McCain on foreign policy, trade and defense issues.

Lohman has a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. Originally from Norfolk, he now resides in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and three sons.


Bishop Efraim Tendero
Bishop Efraim Tendero
Bishop Efraim Tendero

BISHOP EFRAIM TENDERO

Bishop Efraim Tendero, widely known as Bishop Ef, has served as National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) for more than 20 years. PCEC is WEA’s national Alliance member that represents some 30,000 evangelical churches in the Philippines. He is also President of the Philippine Relief and Development Services (PHILRADS), the relief and development arm of PCEC that works hand in hand with local churches in holistic ministries to serve the poor and needy.

Bishop Tendero also serves as International Facilitator for South East Asia of the Asia Evangelical Alliance, was appointed Lausanne Senior Associate for Integrity and Anti-Corruption and is the chair of the board Back to the Bible Broadcast, Evangelism Explosion (EE) 3 Philippines, Global Filipino Movement, and the Philippine Missions Association. He is also the Executive Editor of Evangelicals Today, the longest running Christian magazine in the Philippines.

Bishop Tendero has a BA in Theology from Febias College of Bible and a Master of Divinity with focus on pastoral counselling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He received two honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Asian Theological Seminary and Febias College of Bible, and a Doctor of Leadership degree from International Graduate School of Leadership. Bishop Tendero and his wife Sierry have four children and two grandchildren.


Azyumardi Azra
Azyumardi Azra
Azyumardi Azra

AZYUMARDI AZRA

Azyumardi Azra is a senior Professor of Islamic History and Culture at the Faculty of Adab and Humanities, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) of Jakarta. He is an historian, a progressive educator and an Islamic intellectual who is praised for his advocacy of a centrist, moderate understanding of Islam, and rendered great service to the development of Islamic studies in Indonesia and to the formation of a harmonious society. His intellectual and practical activities have contributed to cross-cultural understanding in international society.

Azyumardi Azra was born in a suburb of Padang in western Sumatra in 1955. He studied at Columbia University, and received an MA in Middle Eastern Studies, and a Ph.D. in history. He conducted prosopographical research to reveal networks (masters and disciples or intellectual lineages) of Ulama (Islamic scholars) between the Middle East and Malay/Indonesian world in the 17th and 18th centuries, based on contemporary documentations and data in Arabic.

Professor Azra wrote The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia (2004), where he revealed that Islamic Reformism and neo-Sufism, which has enhanced studies of modern Islamic thought and comparative studies of ideological propagation, revealed the long history of East-West cultural exchanges and opened new research fields. He is also the author of more than 10 other books, and has co-authored and edited numerous other books and academic papers.

He became Rector of Syarif Hidayatullah State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN), Jakarta, in 1998, and conducted drastic institutional reform in order to modernize Islamic education. He was instrumental in adding five new faculties and graduate schools (Psychology, Economics and Business, Science and Engineering, Medicine and Health and Sociology and Politics), and in promoting the Institute to university status, as Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN), Jakarta, serving as its first Rector (2002-2006). He chaired the International Association of Historians of Asia from 2010 to 2012, and also played various important roles in international academic and research institutions. Currently, he is the editor-in-chief of the Indonesian Journal for Islamic Studies, Studia Islamika, which is published by Center for the Study of Islam and Society or Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat (PPIM) UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta.

Azyumardi Azra has expressed his centrist and moderate position, based on his understanding of Islamic teachings, through newspapers, journals, TV and other media channels, consistently advocating the five founding principles of Indonesia (Pancasila) and cultural pluralism, and promoting dialogue between different religions, thus contributing to the development of social harmony. He was a member of the Indonesian National Research Council and also the Indonesian Academy, of Sciences, and in 2005, was awarded one of the highest honors of Indonesia, ‘the Bintang Mahaputra Utama.’ In 2010, he was awarded as the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), an honorable title from the British Empire, in which he became the first non-British person who may use the title 'Sir' before his name. He also received the Fukuoka 2014 Academic Prize from Fukuoka City, Japan for his initiative in promoting international academic exchange and cross-cultural and cross-religious dialogue, and his contribution to mutual understanding between the Islamic world and the non-Islamic world.


Chris Smith
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith
Chris Smith

U.S. REP. CHRIS SMITH

Elected in 1980, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) is currently in his 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey.

Smith currently serves as a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is chairman of its Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. He is Chairman and the highest ranking House member on both the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

He also served as “Special Representative” on Human Trafficking for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Committee (two terms) and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Africa.

Smith has long chaired a number of bipartisan congressional caucuses, including the Pro-life (32 years), Human Trafficking (10 years, co-founder), Refugees (10 years), and Combating Anti-Semitism caucuses, and serves on caucuses on Bosnia, Uganda and Vietnam.

According to the independent watchdog organization Govtrack, as of January 2015 Smith ranks third among all 435 Members of the House over the last two decades in the number of laws authored. He has authored more than three dozen laws.

In 2014, Smith saw over five years of work come to fruition in the House and Senate passage and enactment of his groundbreaking the Sean and David International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (now Public Law 113-150) to help bring American children unlawfully taken out of the U.S. to foreign countries back home. Named after a Monmouth County father-and-son who had been kept illegally separated by a non-custodial parent. Final passage of House of Representatives 3212 (HR 3212) was July 25, 2014.

He is the author of America’s three landmark anti-human trafficking laws including The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, a comprehensive law designed to prevent modern-day slavery, protect victims, and enhance civil and criminal penalties against traffickers, as well as more than a dozen veterans health, education and homeless benefits laws, and laws to boost embassy security, promote democracy, religious freedom, and health care.


Mark Lagon
Bastiaan Belder, MEP
Bastiaan Belder

BASTIAAN BELDER, MEP

Bastiaan (Bas) Belder is a Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament with the SGP, the Dutch Reformed Party, since 1999. Belder sits on the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, and is a substitute for the Committee on Agriculture. He is also Vice-Chairman of the delegation for the relations between the European Parliament and Israel. Belder previously worked in education and was the editor for international affairs at the Reformatorisch Dagblad (Reformed Daily).


Mei-Nu Yu
Mei-Nu Yu, MP
Mei-Nu Yu

MEI-NU YU, MP

Mei-Nu Yu, MP is a Member of the Taiwan Legislative Yuan.

Ms. Yu is a widely recognized advocate for women’s rights and an expert on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and specializes in addressing issues such as gender and law and the prevention of sexual assault and harassment.

During her career, Ms. Yu has served as the 26th Director-General of the Taipei Bar Association, 4th and 5th Chair of the Awakening Foundation, Founding Director-General of the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations, Deputy Director-General of the Business and Professional Women Taiwan, Director of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (ROC Chapter), Honorary Advisor of the College of Law at National Taiwan University, Committee member of the Advisory Group on Human Rights in the Office of the President (2000 – 2005), Committee member of the 3rd, 4th and 6th sessions of the Committee of Women’s Rights Promotion in the Executive Yuan, Committee member of the Gender Project Team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, and Council of Labor Affairs, Convener of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee of Session 2 and 6, Stage 8, of the Legislative Yuan, and President of the Parliamentary Cross-Party Group on International Human Rights of the Legislative Yuan.

Ms. Yu received her Ph.D. Candidates in Law from Goethe University Frankfurt, and LL.M. from National Taiwan University, and a LL.B. from National Taiwan University.


Brian J Grim
Brian Grim
Brian J Grim

BRIAN J. GRIM, PH.D.

brian@religiousfreedomandbusiness.org

Brian J. Grim, Ph. D., is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) and a leading expert on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of restrictions on religious freedom. He also holds a visiting professorship at St. Mary’s University in London, where he is developing the RFBF’s Empowerment+ initiative to increase religious freedom by helping those experiencing a wide range of socio-economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and extremism become self-reliant. Brian also supports and works closely with the “Business for Peace” platform of the United Nations Global Compact.

Brian is a member of the World Economic Forum’s council on the role of faith and an advisor for the religion & geopolitics project of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. He is an associate scholar at the Religious Liberty Project at Georgetown University and an affiliated scholar at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (see full CV).

Prior to becoming the Foundation’s president in 2014, Brian directed the largest social science effort to collect and analyze global data on religion at the Pew Research Center. He also worked for two decades as an educator in the former Soviet Union, China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Brian holds a doctorate in sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and is author of numerous articles and books including The Price of Freedom Denied (Cambridge Univ. Press), The World Religion Database (Brill), The World’s Religions in Figures (Wiley) and The Yearbook of International Religious Demography (Brill). Dr. Grim writes the Weekly Number Blog and also is a TEDx speaker.

Brian has appeared as an expert on global religion on numerous media outlets, including CNN, BBC, Fox, CBS, C-SPAN, and regularly presents to high level audiences throughout the world including the White House, State Department, European Parliament and the UN Human Rights Council.


Matteo Mecacci
Matteo Mecacci
Matteo Mecacci

MATTEO MECACCI

Matteo Mecacci, who was born in Firenze (Florence), Italy, served as a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (on its Foreign Affairs Committee) as well as an elected official of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.

Just prior to taking up the Presidency at ICT, he supervised elections in Georgia as the Head of Mission for the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) for the Presidential Elections in Georgia.

Matteo was elected Chairperson of the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet after being voted in as Deputy for the Radical Party on the Democratic Party lists at the 2008 general elections. In November 2009, he organized the 5th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet in Rome, which hosted the Dalai Lama and established an International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT). He became Co-Chair of the network with Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Thomas Mann in June 2010. Matteo has played an active role in promoting Tibetan democracy in exile, and was a member of the Tibetan Election Observation Mission in March, 2011 when the Tibetan community in exile undertook elections for the Central Tibetan Administration leadership.

Matteo served as the representative of the Transnational Radical Party and No Peace Without Justice at the United Nations in New York from 2000 to 2008, where he coordinated various campaigns to foster democracy and protect human rights. He was part of a coalition of international NGOs advocating the reform of the United Nations – in particular the United Nations Commission on Human Rights – and he was one of the promoters of the International Steering Committee of the Community of Democracies.

He also played an important role in the international campaign that led in 2007 to the adoption of the first UN General Assembly resolution calling for a world moratorium of capital executions and the abolition of the death penalty, and for assisting various countries in adhering to the Rome statute that established the International Criminal Court.

As a member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Matteo was elected in 2009 and 2010 as Rapporteur and in 2011 and 2012 as Chairman of the Committee on Democracy and Human Rights and took part in numerous electoral monitoring missions, including Moldavia, the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Serbia. In 2012, he was appointed by the Chairman in Office of the OSCE, the Irish Government, as Special Coordinator of the OSCE Short Term Election Observation Mission in Serbia and Belarus.

Matteo studied international law at the University of Firenze and was a keen soccer player before deciding to get involved in politics as a young activist.

Matteo lives with his partner Barbara, an actress and award-winning documentary film-maker who is also focused on human rights issues, and stepson Tommaso, who is a young musician, actor and singer. He loves traveling, reading, opera, music, art and theatre.


Sharren Haskel
Sharren Haskel
Sharren Haskel

SHARREN HASKEL

Sharren Haskel is the second youngest member of the 20th Knesset, the legislative branch of the Israeli government.

MK Haskel currently serves on the following committees for the 20th Knesset, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee; Special Committee for the Transparency and Accessibility of Government Information; Science and Technology Committee; Special Committee for Public Petitions; and the Special Committee on Drugs and Alcohol Abuse. Haskel also is a member of the Lobby for Strengthening the Jewish World.

Haskel previously served in the Israel Defense Forces as a combat soldier in the Israel Border Police during the second intifada.

Haskel holds a bachelor's degree in political science and international relations from the Open University of Israel, and speaks fluent French, English, and Hebrew.


Dr Nguyen Thang
Dr. Nguyen Thang
Dr Nguyen Thang

DR. NGUYEN THANG

Dr. Thang is President of Boat People S.O.S. (BPSOS)

Dr. Thang directs BPSOS operations in the United States and Southeast Asia. BPSOS was founded to rescue and provide assistance to Vietnamese boat people and currently has branch offices in eight U.S. cities and international operations in Malaysia and Thailand. BPSOS has for over two decades documented human rights violations and religious persecution in Vietnam, and worked to address human trafficking, refugee protection and civil society development.

Dr. Thang leads BPSOS’ engagement with independent Vietnamese civil society organizations (CSOs) and persecuted religious communities, assisting communities build capacity, having trained more than 500 human rights advocates in Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. BPSOS also mobilizes international intervention to protect both religious leaders and human rights defenders.

Dr. Thang has worked closely with Taiwan government agencies and NGOs to build capacity to combat human trafficking. The Taiwan Democracy Foundation selected BPSOS as the 2011 Asia Human Rights and Democracy Award, which was presented to Dr. Thang by Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-Pyng.

Dr. Thang co-founded the Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers (LAVAS), the Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam (CRFV), the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), and the Coalition for a Free and Democratic Vietnam.

Dr. Thang represents BPSOS at the U.S.-based International Religious Freedom Roundtable, and co-chaired the Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Southeast Asia held in Thailand in 2015, co-organized by the International Commission of Jurists, Forum-Asia and BPSOS.


Chong-Pin Lin
Chong-Pin Lin
Chong-Pin Lin

CHONG-PIN LIN

Chong-Pin Lin is the President of the Foundation on International and Cross-Strait Studies and Professor in the Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies at Tamkang University in New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Lin formerly served as Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of National; Senior Advisor in Taiwan’s National Security Council; and Vice Chairman and Spokesman for the ministerial‐level Mainland Affairs Council in Taiwan’s Executive Yuan.

Lin also served as Resident Scholar and the Associate Director of the Asian Studies Program at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington D.C. and as the Sun Yat‐Sen Chair and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Government and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He also served as Professor and Director of the Graduate Institute of Political Science at the National Sun Yat‐Sen University in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Lin is an author of numerous books, including China's Nuclear Weapons Strategy and Yizhi Qusheng [Win With Wisdom], and has written articles published in 16 journals and 11 newspapers, and appeared on numerous international television programs such as the BBC, CNN, PBS, CBS, and CBC.

Lin holds a B.A. in geology from National Taiwan University, a M.A. in geology from Bowling Green State University, a M.B.A in finance from UCLA, and both a M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University.


Vo Tran Nhat
Vo Tran Nhat
Vo Tran Nhat

VO TRAN NHAT

Vo Tran Nhat is the Executive Secretary of the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights (VCHR).

Vo regularly speaks on behalf of the VCHR at the U.N. Council on Human Rights in Geneva and led efforts to author the chapter on Vietnam in the Annual Report of International Prison Watch. Vo has also written several reports and articles on human rights in Vietnam, including an memorandum for U.N. Special Rapporteur on Religious Intolerance Abdelfattah Amor in preparation for his visit to Vietnam in 1998.

Vo holds a Master’s degree of Public Law and a post-graduate diploma in European Law from the University Paris XII.

February 17th (Wednesday)

13:00 ~

Registration

14:30 ~ 16:30

Taoyuan City Tour

18:00

Dinner Hosted by Annette Lu
February 18th (Thursday)

09:30 ~ 09:50

Interfaith Ceremony

09:50 ~ 10:30

Opening Ceremony

10:30 ~ 12:00

Plenary Speeches

12:00 ~ 14:00

Luncheon hosted by Weixinism

14:00 ~ 16:00

Panel Discussion: Religious Freedom and Diplomacy in a Global Context

16:00 ~ 16:15

Tea and Coffee Break

16:15 ~ 18:15

Breakout Sessions
  • Interfaith Meeting of Religious Leaders

  • Inter-Parliamentary/Government Meeting

  • International Religous Freedom NGO Roundtable Meeting

19:00 ~ 21:00

Banquet Hosted by Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan
February 19th (Friday)

08:15

Interfaith prayer (Optional)

09:00 ~ 10:30

Panel Discussion: Conditions for Religious Freedom in the Asia Pacific

10:30 ~ 12:00

Breakout Sessions
  • Advocacy Efforts to Advance Religious Freedom in the Asia Pacific

  • Religious Freedom and Related Immigration and Refugee Issues

  • The Socio-Economic Impact of Religious Freedom

14:00 ~ 15:00

Taiwan Declaration Press Conference at the Legislative Yuan

15:00 ~ 15:30

Visit Office of the President, Liberty Square, Mormon Taipei Taiwan Temple, and Taipei Grand Mosque

15:45 ~ 16:15

Visit Holy Family Church Taipei

16:45 ~ 17:45

Visit Museum of World Religions

18:30 ~ 19:00

Visit Taipei Maokong Gondola

19:30 ~ 21:00

Interfaith Dinner
February 20th (Saturday)

09:00 ~ 10:00

Panel Discussion: Interfaith Responses to Religious Freedom Abuses

10:00 ~ 11:00

APRFF Closing Remarks

11:00 ~ 12:00

Peach Trees Planting and Peace Park Building Ceremony

12:00

Depart for Central and Southern Taiwan

14:30 ~ 15:45

Visit Hsien Fo Temple (Weixinism)

17:45 ~ 18:15

Visit Tainan Theological College and Seminary (Christianity)

18:45 ~ 20:30

Visit Orthodox Lu-Erh-Men Sheng Mu Temple (Taoism)

22:00

Check-in at Fo Guang Shan Monastery (Buddhism)
February 21st (Sunday)

09:00 ~ 12:30

Visit Fo Guang Shan Monastery/Buddha Memorial Center (Buddhism)

A.
12:30

Depart for Taoyuan International Airport by THSR

B.
13:30 ~ 15:30
15:30

Visit Chimei Museum
Depart for Taoyuan International Airport

Madame Annette (Hsiu-lien) Lu
Madame Annette Lu
Annette Lu

MADAME ANNETTE (HSIU-LIEN) LU

Founder, The Democratic Pacific Union

Madame Annette (Hsiu-lien) Lu served as the Vice President of Taiwan from 2000 to 2008. Madame Lu has been a human rights and democracy advocate her entire life and career, including being adopted by Amnesty International while an prisoner of conscience in the 1980s, all of which is detailed in her book, My Fight for a New Taiwan: One Woman's Journey from Prison to Power.

Lu graduate from the National Taiwan University College of Law, and received a master’s degree in comparative law from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1971 and a master of laws degree from Harvard University in 1978. Lu also spent an additional 3 yeas at Harvard University as a Research Fellow. In the 1970s, Lu started the Feminist Movement in Taiwan, her efforts included “Pioneer Publishing House” and a “Protect You Hot-Line Service.” In 1979, Lu delivered a 20 minute speech at the International Human Rights Day Rally in Kaohsiung City in which she criticized Taiwan’s authoritarian government. This speech led to her arrest on the charge of sedition, for which she was sentenced to 12 years in prison along with other leading freedom fighters. In 1985, after spending almost six years in prison, Lu was granted medical parole for thyroid cancer. Upon her release, Lu continued to campaign for women’s rights, democracy, and international recognition for her country. In 1993, she founded the Taiwan International Alliance to promote Taiwan’s bid for membership in the United Nations and won a seat in the Legislative Yuan, where she served as co-chair of the legislature’s Foreign Relations Committee. While in office, she continued to promote women’s rights, organizing and hosting the Global Summit of Women in 1994 and the Feminist Summit for Global Peace in 1995. In 1996, then-president Lee Teng-hui appointed Lu as national policy advisor, and in 1997, she became the first female magistrate of Taoyuan County, subsequently winning re-election. On March 18, 2000, Lu was elected Taiwan’s tenth vice president, thus becoming the first female vice president in Taiwan’s history. She won reelection in 2004, and, during her eight years in office, made the promotion of gender equality and social justice her top priorities. Lu’s efforts received international recognition in 2001, when she became the first woman to receive the World Peace Corps Mission’s World Peace Prize. A few years later in 2005, for the purpose to promote her advocacy of “soft power,” she founded the Democratic Pacific Union, an international organization committed to enhancing cooperation among the democratic governments of the Pacific region.


Libby Liu
Libby Liu
Libby Liu

LIBBY LIU

Libby Liu is President of Radio Free Asia.

Ms. Liu provides strategic and operational direction to meet RFA’s mission of providing balanced, objective news to listeners in East Asian countries where such news is unavailable. In addition to directing editorial and administrative policies and procedures, she coordinates issues in these areas with the BBG, the International Broadcasting Bureau, and other associated entities.

Ms. Liu served previously as vice president for administration and finance, from 2003-05. As president, Ms. Liu’s responsibilities include ensuring the highest quality administrative and technical support to the editorial staff. In this capacity, she works to facilitate effective, timely communication and broad-based collaboration among all divisions and bureaus.

Prior to joining RFA, she served as director of administration and strategic planning at the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where she played a pivotal role in implementing the NAACP’s Five-Year Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives. Earlier, she served as director of human resources with the high-tech firm Spyrus Inc. based in San Jose, Calif., and as assistant district attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, where she prosecuted felonies.

Ms. Liu's earlier positions in private practice—at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and at Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn in New York—focused on labor and employment law. From 1986-1989, Ms. Liu was a senior consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, now Price Waterhouse Coopers, in Washington, DC.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley, an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

A California native, Ms. Liu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and she has traveled widely in East Asia.


Nasim Malik
Nasim Malik
Nasim Malik

NASIM MALIK

Nasim Malik is the Secretary of the International Human Rights committee (IHRC) and has worked in this capacity to champion freedom of religion and expression and basic human rights for Asian citizens. Malik represents the IHRC at the United Nations, the European Union and at human rights conferences throughout the world.

Malik studied at the Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan, and subsequently immigrated from Pakistan to Sweden in the early 1980s. Malik served at the Swedish Immigration Board, assisting refugees from Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, Yugoslavia and Somalia. As a human right activist, Malik is a member of Amnesty International, the Red Cross, and the United Nations chapter in Kalmar, Sweden.

Malik is also an active member of the Social Democratic Party and the Labour Union, and serves as a member of the Kalmar City Council, sitting on the Social and Welfare Committee.


Deepa Nambiar
Deepa Nambiar
Deepa Nambiar

DEEPA NAMBIAR

Deepa Nambiar launched Asylum Access's office in Kuala Lumpur in 2014, and is currently the Country Director of the only refugee legal aid organization in Malaysia. In her role, she develops policy advocacy strategies to advance refugee rights domestically, cultivates relationships with key stakeholders, and oversees all programmatic activities and operations in Asylum Access Malaysia's office. Prior to joining Asylum Access, Nambiar provided pro bono legal advice to refugees for their applications for refugee status to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and subsequently worked as a Protection Associate in the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) unit in UNHCR Kuala Lumpur. She has also worked with Human Rights Watch, the Independent Expert to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, and the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations in New York. Nambiar also has four years’ experience in corporate litigation in a leading Malaysian law firm.

Nambiar holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) with Honors from thee University of London. As a Fulbright scholar, she received a Master of Laws (LL.M) focusing on international law and human rights law from Columbia Law School, and was awarded the Harlan Fiske Stone Scholarship. Nambiar has been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales and the Malaysian Bar.


Mantas Adomenas
Dr. Mantas Adomenas, MP
Mantas Adomenas

DR. MANTAS ADOMĖNAS, MP

Dr. Mantas ADOMĖNAS was educated as a Classicist at Vilnius and Cambridge Universities where he wrote his doctorate on Plato and the Presocratic philosophers. In 2004 he returned to Lithuania after finishing his Fellowship at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, whereupon he worked as a Senior Lecturer at Vilnius University and also presided over the Institute of Democratic Politics, a Lithuanian Conservative think-tank. He was in charge of the Homeland Union (Lithuanian Conservatives) electoral strategy and co-authored its election manifesto in the 2008 parliamentary election which the Conservatives won and in the course of which he was elected to the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania.

Dr. Adomėnas is one of the architects of the Lithuanian higher education reform (2009) and works on a range of issues, including culture and education, migration policy, foreign affairs, and national security. He was one of the initiators and the principal promoter of the Lithuanian Parliament’s resolution “On the Situation in Georgia” (2010), author of the Parliament’s resolutions “On Situation in Belarus Following 19th of December Presidential Elections” (adopted 2010) and “On the Genocide of Christians and Other Religious Minorities in the Middle East and North Africa” (2015).

In 2009-15 Dr. Adomėnas has been the Chairman of Homeland Union Vilnius Convention, the biggest Conservative organisation in the country. He is a Member of the Homeland Union’s Governing Body, and the Rector of Homeland Union Political Academy.

Dr. Adomėnas has served on international election observation missions in Georgia (2008, 2012, 2013), Ukraine (2010, 2014, 2015), and Taiwan (2014, 2016), and publishes essays and scholarly articles on topics ranging from Classics to political philosophy and current affairs.


Seng Mai Aung
Seng Mai Aung
Seng Mai Aung

SENG MAI AUNG

Seng Mai Aung is the Program Officer for Myanmar at the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) and is based in Yangon. Prior to joining IGE, she worked at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) in Seoul, Republic of Korea, where she organized training workshops for educators from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond on peace education, human rights, cultural diversity, and education for international understanding.

Seng has a B.A. in Korean Language from the Yangon University of Foreign Languages, a B.A. in English Literature under the Religious Studies Program at the Myanmar Institute of Theology, and a M.A. in Educational Administration and Higher Education from Korea University. She holds a certificate on “Managing Intergroup Conflict through Facilitations” from the United States Institute of Peace. Seng speaks Kachin, Burmese, English, and Korean, and enjoys caring for children with special needs as well as mentoring young adults.


Abdul Muti
Abdul Mu'ti
Abdul Muti

ABDUL MU'TI

Mu'ti currently serves as Secretary General of Muhammadiyah (2015-2020), the oldest Islamic modernist movement in Indonesia, which was founded in 1912. Mu’ti is active in promoting religious moderation, tolerance, and interfaith dialogue. He was a member of the Indonesia-United Kingdom Islamic Advisory Board (2006-2008), the Indonesian Interfaith Public Diplomacy Campaign to the United States (2007), the Joint Select team for the Indonesia Human Right Commission (2011), the Vice Secretary of the Religious Counter Terrorism (2006-2009), the Executive Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations 2006-2010, and the Executive Board of the Asian Conference of Religion for Peace (2010-2015).

Abdul Mu'ti is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Teaching, State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta. Mu'ti obtained his Honours degree in Islamic Education from the State Institute for Islamic Studies Walisongo, Semarang, Central Java, and holds a Masters in Education from the School of Education the Flinders University of South Australia and a Doctorate in Religious Education from the Postgraduate School the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta.

Mu'ti has written articles, papers and books, including the Deformalization of Islam; the Moderation of Religion in a Pluralistic Society; the Enculturation of Islam; Christian Muhammadiyah: Muslim Christian Convergence in Education; and Islam in Indonesia: A to Z, a Basic Reference.


David Campanale
David Campanale
David Campanale

DAVID CAMPANALE

David Campanale has served as a producer and reporter with BBC News in London for over 25 years‎.

Campanale sits on the National Executive of the National Union of Journalists, and is the founding President of the Christian Peoples Alliance party, where he has engaged in a series of elections in Britain as a Christian Democrat.

Campanale and his family are Mission Partners with the Church Mission Society.


Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat
Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat
Mantas Adomenas

MUHAMMAD IMDADUM RAHMAT

Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat serves as Commissioner at the National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM) in Indonesia. As a Commissioner, Rahmat serves on the Sub-Commission for Mediation with a focus on Freedom to Religion and Belief. Rahmat previously served as Vice Chairperson for KOMNAS HAM in 2012-2013.

Rahmat served as Secretary General of the Indonesian Conference on Religions and Peace (ICRP), an Interfaith Institution that addresses issues of freedom of religion and belief, and also served as a Director of the PARAS Foundation.

Rahmat also frequently serves as consultant on human rights, freedom of religion and belief, pluralism an equality of gender through an Islam perspective.

Rahmat has published several articles on pluralism and multiculturalism books, including Guidance of Training and Advocacy (2002); Democracy and Human Rights (2002); Transformation Da'wah; and Islam and Tolerance (2003), among others.

Rahmat graduated from the Institute of Islam AL Aqidah and received his Masters Degree in Political and International Middle East Relations at the University of Indonesia. Rahmat is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Indonesia.


Andrew Khoo
Andrew Khoo
Andrew Khoo

ANDREW KHOO

Andrew Khoo has been in legal practice in Malaysia for more than 20 years. An elected member of the Bar Council since March 2009, Khoo currently serves as Co-Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Co-Chair of the Trade in Legal Services Committee and Chair of the Legal Profession Committee's Sub-committee on Anti-Money Laundering. Khoo served as counsel for the Malaysian Bar in two election petitions, and for the Council of Churches Malaysia in the Herald ”Allah” case and the Bible Society of Malaysia in the Jill Ireland case, both regarding freedom of religion. Khoo also represented the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) before the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and High Court.

Khoo has briefed Members of Parliament on the death penalty, refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia, the DNA Identification bill, the Personal Data Protection bill, the International Criminal Court, amendments to criminal, security and sedition legislation, and the National Security Council bill. Khoo has addressed parliamentary forums on proposed amendments to the University and University Colleges Act 1971, the United Nations Universal Periodic Review on Malaysia in 2009 and 2013, and on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. He has also lectured on Malaysian human rights issues at the United Nations Human Rights Council and United Nations High Commission for Refugees, at the European Union, at the Asia Europe Foundation, as well as regional and local conferences.

Khoo authored the Law and the Judiciary chapter in SUARAM’s annual Report on Civil and Political Rights in Malaysia from 2007-2014, and his articles have been published in New Straits Times, The Sun, Malaysiakini, Nut Graph, Micah Mandate, Wall Street Journal and on the Malaysian Bar website and journal.

Andrew has also served as legal advisor to the Anglican Bishop of West Malaysia since September 2001, and legal advisor to the Anglican Archbishop of South East Asia since February 2012.


Olivia Enos
Olivia Enos
Olivia Enos

OLIVIA ENOS

Olivia Enos is Research Associate in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, and specializes in human rights and transnational criminal issues, including human trafficking and human smuggling, drug trafficking, religious freedom, and other pertinent social and humanitarian challenges facing Asia.

Since starting at Heritage in 2013, Olivia has published numerous papers on human trafficking in Asia, human rights in North Korea, elections in Burma and Cambodia, religious freedom in South Asia, and social issues in China, among other topics. She is also published at news outlets including Forbes, The National Interest, Real Clear World, and Breitbart. Additionally, she has written for scholarly publications including Georgetown’s Journal of International Affairs and the Population Research Institute. Olivia contributes to the Asian Studies Center’s annually released Asia Update – a book of charts detailing why Asia matters to America.

In 2014, Olivia co-founded the Council on Asian Affairs, a group for young Asia policy professionals in Washington, D.C. The group meets monthly and provides a networking, brainstorming, and publishing platform for up-and-coming Asia experts.

Olivia received her bachelor’s degree in Government from Patrick Henry College and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Asian Studies at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.


Dan Nadel
Dan Nadel
Dan Nadel

DAN NADEL

Dan Nadel is the Director of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

Nadel joined the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. in 201 as Team Leader for South and Central Asia. Nadel started his career at the Department of State as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2006, and served from 2006-2011 in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor’s Office of European Affairs. He worked previously as an attorney-advisor with the U.S. military in Europe and as a federal prosecutor in Washington DC. Before joining the government, Nadel served at organizations including the UN Office of Legal Affairs, Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights, the Kosovo Law Center, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He has published on topics including the Rwanda genocide, political rights of persons with disabilities, Slobodan Milosevic, and the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Nadel received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Juris Doctor from George Washington University.


Greg Mitchell
Greg Mitchell
Greg Mitchell

GREG MITCHELL

Greg Mitchell serves as co-founder and co-chair for the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, a gathering of representatives from non-governmental organizations who meet to advance international religious freedom; and founder of the The Mitchell Firm.

Mitchell founded The Mitchell Firm in order to focus on government reform and improving public policy, with a stated goal of pursuing “ultimate in freedom and independence for every individual in every country on every continent.”

Mitchell previously served as the Vice President and Business Manager of Keelen Communications, a political consulting and fundraising firm; Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman James E. Rogan; co-founder of Digital Campaigns, Inc., a software company that offered online database solutions for political and grassroots campaigns, whose clients included Congressman John Boozman and the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the political team of President George W. Bush.


Kristin Storaker
Kristin Storaker
Kristin Storaker

KRISTIN STORAKER

Kristin Storaker is a human rights advisor at Stefanus Alliance, a faith-based human rights organization with a focus on international freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), based in Oslo, Norway.

Storaker works for the promotion and protection of FoRB, especially for religious minorities under pressure, most recently in Myanmar and India. Prior to joining Stefanus Alliance, Storaker has worked with community development in South America and international affairs from an internship at the Norwegian Embassy in Stockholm.

Storaker holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Oslo and a Master of Science in International Public Policy from University College London.


Su Chia-chyuan
Su Chia-chyuan
Su Chia-chyuan

SU CHIA-CHYUAN

Su Chia-chyuan currently serves as the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan, representing the Democratic Progressive Party.

Previously, Su served as Taiwan’s Minister of the Interior and Minister of Agriculture under Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian.


Ernesto Preziosi
Ernesto Preziosi
Ernesto Preziosi

ERNESTO PREZIOSI

Ernesto Preziosi was elected to the Italian Parliament for the 17th legislature of the Camera dei Deputati (House of Deputies) in 2013.

Preziosi has served for nearly 30 years at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart, and is the President of the Centre for Historical and Social Researches and Studies in Rome.

As a journalist Preziosi has edited national and local newspapers and published numerous essays and volumes on current events and contemporary history. Preziosi has held positions at both the national and international level in various Catholic associations.

Preziosi has also been active in the field of social and political formation, including advancing Argomenti 2000, an association promoting political friendships across political, cultural, social, and religious backgrounds to further the evolution of political and democratic culture and the dissemination of good administrative practices for Italy.


Marina Berlinghieri
Marina Berlinghieri
Marina Berlinghieri

MARINA BERLINGHIERI

Marina Berlinghieri was elected to the Italian Parliament in 2013 to serve in the 17th legislature of the Camera dei Deputati (House of Deputies) and is currently the head of the Democratic Party of the Committee on European Affairs.

Berlinghieri obtained an teaching degree in religious sciences and has taught religion for over 24 years at the secondary school level. She has focused her attention on education and training issues at both the territory and national level.

Berlinghieri has held numerous positions in various Catholic associations and has been active in the field of social and political formation.

2016 APRFF Speakers


Brian J Grim
Brian Grim
Brian J Grim

BRIAN J. GRIM, PH.D.

brian@religiousfreedomandbusiness.org

Brian J. Grim, Ph. D., is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) and a leading expert on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of restrictions on religious freedom. He also holds a visiting professorship at St. Mary’s University in London, where he is developing the RFBF’s Empowerment+ initiative to increase religious freedom by helping those experiencing a wide range of socio-economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and extremism become self-reliant. Brian also supports and works closely with the “Business for Peace” platform of the United Nations Global Compact.

Brian is a member of the World Economic Forum’s council on the role of faith and an advisor for the religion & geopolitics project of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. He is an associate scholar at the Religious Liberty Project at Georgetown University and an affiliated scholar at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (see full CV).

Prior to becoming the Foundation’s president in 2014, Brian directed the largest social science effort to collect and analyze global data on religion at the Pew Research Center. He also worked for two decades as an educator in the former Soviet Union, China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Brian holds a doctorate in sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and is author of numerous articles and books including The Price of Freedom Denied (Cambridge Univ. Press), The World Religion Database (Brill), The World’s Religions in Figures (Wiley) and The Yearbook of International Religious Demography (Brill). Dr. Grim writes the Weekly Number Blog and also is a TEDx speaker.

Brian has appeared as an expert on global religion on numerous media outlets, including CNN, BBC, Fox, CBS, C-SPAN, and regularly presents to high level audiences throughout the world including the White House, State Department, European Parliament and the UN Human Rights Council.


Eva Sundari
Eva Sundari, MP
Eva Sundari

EVA SUNDARI, MP

Indonesian Member of Parliament

Sundari received her MSc in Economics and Development Economics from the University of Nottingham, UK, and a MA in Politics of Alternative Development Strategy at the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague, Netherlands.

Ms. Sundari is a current Member of Indonesia’s Parliament, and previously served as a Member of Parliament from 2004-2014, and from 2014-2016 served as Senior Advisor for the Planning Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia. Sundari also served as Consultant and Program Officer for the Gender and Women Program at the Asia Foundation; and as teaching staff and researcher of the Faculty of Economics Airlangga University.

Sundari founded and served as Chairperson of Pancasila Caucus (for Pluralism), and is a member of the LGBT Organization Center of Human Rights. Sundari also founded the Asian Caucus for Migrant Workers, and served as the Chairman of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, which later became the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary for Human Rights. Sundari also serves a member of the Special Committee to combat pornography and trafficking in persons, and to assist in the protection for victims and witnesses, and address terrorism financing.

In 2010, Sundari received an award from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Anti-Corruption Initiatives, and is a member of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) Task Force for Parliamentary Oversight.

Sundari specializes are Democratization, Human Rights, and Economic and Law Reform.


Katrina Lantos Swett
Katrina Lantos Swett
Katrina Lantos Swett

KATRINA LANTOS SWETT

Katrina Lantos Swett, Ph.D, currently serves as Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). In March of 2012, she was appointed to USCIRF by Senator Harry Reid and Six months later was elected to serve as Chair. She served as Vice Chair for one year and in 2014 she was once again elected as Chair. Dr. Lantos Swett established the Lantos Foundation in 2008 to carry on the work of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos. In addition, she has taught Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy at Tufts University, a subject she also taught at the University of Southern Denmark during her husband’s tenure as US Ambassador to Denmark. While living in Copenhagen, Katrina led a successful advocacy effort to convince the Danish government to take action against illicit trafficking of women and children through Denmark.

Katrina currently serves on the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the International Advisory Board of UN Watch, the Budapest based Tom Lantos Institute, the Advisory Board of the annual Anne Frank award & lecture, the US Global Leadership Coalition’s New Hampshire Advisory Board, the Executive Advisory Board of the Iranian American Majority, and the Advisory Board of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy.

Lantos-Swett graduated from Yale University with a degree in Political Science. She received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and later earned a PhD in history at The University of Southern Denmark.


Abid Raja
Abid Raja, MP
Abid Raja

ABID Q. RAJA, MP

Abid Q. Raja represents the Liberal party as a Member of Parliament in the Norwegian Parliament. Mr. Raja is also a member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFORB) Steering Committee.

During his career Mr. Raja has taken on a variety of social causes, with a special focus on the well-being of children, minority integration issues in Europe as well as radicalization and security issues. In his first published book in 2008, “Advocate”, he detailed his reflections on growing up as a Muslim Pakistani in Norwegian society, and the struggles that this entailed.

Raja completed his Cand. Jur. Law degree in 2002, and obtained a Master’s in Psychology from Oxford University in 2004. He has, prior to becoming a parliamentarian, worked professionally both as a civil and criminal case litigator, as Police Prosecutor, served as Board Leader of Norway’s National Immigration Appeals Board and been posted as diplomat at the Norway Mission in New Delhi. In 2010, Raja received for his tireless cross-cultural bridge-building work, Norway’s highly acknowledged Freedom of Speech award.


Mark Lagon
Mark P. Lagon
Mark Lagon

MARK P. LAGON

Mark P. Lagon is President of Freedom House. From 2010 through 2014, Lagon was the Chair for Global Politics and Security at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously Executive Director and CEO of the leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Polaris. He earlier served at the State Department as U.S. Ambassador at Large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, from 2007 to 2009. He was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, with responsibility for human rights, humanitarian issues and United Nations reform.

Lagon received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, and an A.B. from Harvard University. He is the author of numerous articles on international affairs and co-editor of the recently released book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions.


Aasiya Nasir
Aasiya Nasir, MP
Aasiya Nasir

AASIYA NASIR, MP

Aasiya Nasir is a Member of the Parliament of Pakistan, affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) political party.

Nasir serves as Chairperson of the United Christian Women Organization, Joint Secretary for the Young Parliamentarians Forum, Chairperson of the Pakistan Christian Forum, and is a member of the Aurat Foundation, and the working council of the Parliamentarians Women Caucus.

Aasiya Nasir has extensive experience working with national and international organizations in the sector of social welfare, education, health, development, and interfaith harmony.

Nasir also works with the committees of Ports and Shipping and Textile Industries, and spent 10 years teaching at the St. Francis Grammar School Quetta.

Nasir’s father Mr. Rafique Gill, a politician with rich experience, participated in provincial assembly elections, and contributed to the struggle for the rights of Christian minorities. Nasir’s husband is also an active political leader and member of the JUI-F, who aims to bring political awareness in the community and to establish a healthy democratic political culture in Pakistan.


Walter Lohman
Walter Lohman
Walter Lohman

WALTER LOHMAN

Walter Lohman is Director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.

The Asia Studies Center is Heritage’s oldest research center. Established in 1983, its research fellows and scholars analyze the full range of policy in East and South Asia and develop recommendations to further American interests in freedom and security. Lohman joined Heritage in 2006 as Senior Research Fellow for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University leading a graduate seminar on American foreign policy interests in Southeast Asia.

Before joining Heritage, Lohman served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council for four years. There, he oversaw the council’s mission of building U.S. market share in Southeast Asia, led multiple delegations of Fortune 500 companies to the region, participated in prominent business and policy forums and regularly represented the council in its interaction with high-level ASEAN officials. In the late 1990s, Lohman was the council’s Senior Country Director representing American interests in Indonesia and Singapore.

The other part of Lohman’s career has been spent as a Senate staff member. In 2002, he served as senior professional Republican staff advising Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on issues affecting East Asia. From 1991 to 1996, he served as a policy aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), during which time he advised McCain on foreign policy, trade and defense issues.

Lohman has a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. Originally from Norfolk, he now resides in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and three sons.


Bishop Efraim Tendero
Bishop Efraim Tendero
Bishop Efraim Tendero

BISHOP EFRAIM TENDERO

Bishop Efraim Tendero, widely known as Bishop Ef, has served as National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) for more than 20 years. PCEC is WEA’s national Alliance member that represents some 30,000 evangelical churches in the Philippines. He is also President of the Philippine Relief and Development Services (PHILRADS), the relief and development arm of PCEC that works hand in hand with local churches in holistic ministries to serve the poor and needy.

Bishop Tendero also serves as International Facilitator for South East Asia of the Asia Evangelical Alliance, was appointed Lausanne Senior Associate for Integrity and Anti-Corruption and is the chair of the board Back to the Bible Broadcast, Evangelism Explosion (EE) 3 Philippines, Global Filipino Movement, and the Philippine Missions Association. He is also the Executive Editor of Evangelicals Today, the longest running Christian magazine in the Philippines.

Bishop Tendero has a BA in Theology from Febias College of Bible and a Master of Divinity with focus on pastoral counselling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He received two honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Asian Theological Seminary and Febias College of Bible, and a Doctor of Leadership degree from International Graduate School of Leadership. Bishop Tendero and his wife Sierry have four children and two grandchildren.


Azyumardi Azra
Azyumardi Azra
Azyumardi Azra

AZYUMARDI AZRA

Azyumardi Azra is a senior Professor of Islamic History and Culture at the Faculty of Adab and Humanities, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN) of Jakarta. He is an historian, a progressive educator and an Islamic intellectual who is praised for his advocacy of a centrist, moderate understanding of Islam, and rendered great service to the development of Islamic studies in Indonesia and to the formation of a harmonious society. His intellectual and practical activities have contributed to cross-cultural understanding in international society.

Azyumardi Azra was born in a suburb of Padang in western Sumatra in 1955. He studied at Columbia University, and received an MA in Middle Eastern Studies, and a Ph.D. in history. He conducted prosopographical research to reveal networks (masters and disciples or intellectual lineages) of Ulama (Islamic scholars) between the Middle East and Malay/Indonesian world in the 17th and 18th centuries, based on contemporary documentations and data in Arabic.

Professor Azra wrote The Origins of Islamic Reformism in Southeast Asia (2004), where he revealed that Islamic Reformism and neo-Sufism, which has enhanced studies of modern Islamic thought and comparative studies of ideological propagation, revealed the long history of East-West cultural exchanges and opened new research fields. He is also the author of more than 10 other books, and has co-authored and edited numerous other books and academic papers.

He became Rector of Syarif Hidayatullah State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN), Jakarta, in 1998, and conducted drastic institutional reform in order to modernize Islamic education. He was instrumental in adding five new faculties and graduate schools (Psychology, Economics and Business, Science and Engineering, Medicine and Health and Sociology and Politics), and in promoting the Institute to university status, as Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University (UIN), Jakarta, serving as its first Rector (2002-2006). He chaired the International Association of Historians of Asia from 2010 to 2012, and also played various important roles in international academic and research institutions. Currently, he is the editor-in-chief of the Indonesian Journal for Islamic Studies, Studia Islamika, which is published by Center for the Study of Islam and Society or Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat (PPIM) UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta.

Azyumardi Azra has expressed his centrist and moderate position, based on his understanding of Islamic teachings, through newspapers, journals, TV and other media channels, consistently advocating the five founding principles of Indonesia (Pancasila) and cultural pluralism, and promoting dialogue between different religions, thus contributing to the development of social harmony. He was a member of the Indonesian National Research Council and also the Indonesian Academy, of Sciences, and in 2005, was awarded one of the highest honors of Indonesia, ‘the Bintang Mahaputra Utama.’ In 2010, he was awarded as the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), an honorable title from the British Empire, in which he became the first non-British person who may use the title 'Sir' before his name. He also received the Fukuoka 2014 Academic Prize from Fukuoka City, Japan for his initiative in promoting international academic exchange and cross-cultural and cross-religious dialogue, and his contribution to mutual understanding between the Islamic world and the non-Islamic world.


Chris Smith
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith
Chris Smith

U.S. REP. CHRIS SMITH

Elected in 1980, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) is currently in his 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey.

Smith currently serves as a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is chairman of its Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. He is Chairman and the highest ranking House member on both the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

He also served as “Special Representative” on Human Trafficking for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Committee (two terms) and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Africa.

Smith has long chaired a number of bipartisan congressional caucuses, including the Pro-life (32 years), Human Trafficking (10 years, co-founder), Refugees (10 years), and Combating Anti-Semitism caucuses, and serves on caucuses on Bosnia, Uganda and Vietnam.

According to the independent watchdog organization Govtrack, as of January 2015 Smith ranks third among all 435 Members of the House over the last two decades in the number of laws authored. He has authored more than three dozen laws.

In 2014, Smith saw over five years of work come to fruition in the House and Senate passage and enactment of his groundbreaking the Sean and David International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act (now Public Law 113-150) to help bring American children unlawfully taken out of the U.S. to foreign countries back home. Named after a Monmouth County father-and-son who had been kept illegally separated by a non-custodial parent. Final passage of House of Representatives 3212 (HR 3212) was July 25, 2014.

He is the author of America’s three landmark anti-human trafficking laws including The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, a comprehensive law designed to prevent modern-day slavery, protect victims, and enhance civil and criminal penalties against traffickers, as well as more than a dozen veterans health, education and homeless benefits laws, and laws to boost embassy security, promote democracy, religious freedom, and health care.


Mark Lagon
Bastiaan Belder, MEP
Bastiaan Belder

BASTIAAN BELDER, MEP

Bastiaan (Bas) Belder is a Dutch politician and Member of the European Parliament with the SGP, the Dutch Reformed Party, since 1999. Belder sits on the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, and is a substitute for the Committee on Agriculture. He is also Vice-Chairman of the delegation for the relations between the European Parliament and Israel. Belder previously worked in education and was the editor for international affairs at the Reformatorisch Dagblad (Reformed Daily).


Mei-Nu Yu
Mei-Nu Yu, MP
Mei-Nu Yu

MEI-NU YU, MP

Mei-Nu Yu, MP is a Member of the Taiwan Legislative Yuan.

Ms. Yu is a widely recognized advocate for women’s rights and an expert on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), and specializes in addressing issues such as gender and law and the prevention of sexual assault and harassment.

During her career, Ms. Yu has served as the 26th Director-General of the Taipei Bar Association, 4th and 5th Chair of the Awakening Foundation, Founding Director-General of the National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Associations, Deputy Director-General of the Business and Professional Women Taiwan, Director of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (ROC Chapter), Honorary Advisor of the College of Law at National Taiwan University, Committee member of the Advisory Group on Human Rights in the Office of the President (2000 – 2005), Committee member of the 3rd, 4th and 6th sessions of the Committee of Women’s Rights Promotion in the Executive Yuan, Committee member of the Gender Project Team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Justice, and Council of Labor Affairs, Convener of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee of Session 2 and 6, Stage 8, of the Legislative Yuan, and President of the Parliamentary Cross-Party Group on International Human Rights of the Legislative Yuan.

Ms. Yu received her Ph.D. Candidates in Law from Goethe University Frankfurt, and LL.M. from National Taiwan University, and a LL.B. from National Taiwan University.


Bob Fu
Bob Fu
Cardinal Charles Bo

BOB FU

Founder and President, China Aid
Facebook / Twitter

Bob (Xiqiu) Fu is one of the leading voices in the world for persecuted faith communities in China. Fu was born and raised in mainland China and was a student leader during the Tiananmen Square demonstrating for freedom and democracy in 1989.

Fu graduated from the School of International Relations at the People's (Renmin) University in Beijing and taught English to Communist Party officials at the Beijing Administrative College and Beijing Party School of the Chinese Communist Party from 1993-1996. Fu was also a house church leader in Beijing until he and his wife, Heidi, were imprisoned for two months for "illegal evangelism" in 1996. Bob and Heidi fled to the United States as religious refugees in 1997, and subsequently founded China Aid in 2002 to bring international attention to China's gross human rights violations and to promote religious freedom and rule of law in China. Click here for Bob Fu's story and how he escaped from Chinese authorities.

As president of China Aid, Fu has testified before the Congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (USCHR), the Foreign Press Association, and the European Commission and European Union Parliament. Fu also regularly briefs the State Department and Members of Congress, including Members of the International Religious Freedom Caucus on the status of religious freedom and rule of law in China. In 2008, Fu was invited to the White House to brief President George W. Bush on religious freedom and human rights in China, and in 2011, the Nobel Prize Committee recognized Fu’s efforts with an invitation to attend the award ceremony for Nobel Laureate Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Bob Fu is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Durham University, U.K., graduated from the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree on Global Christian Leadership from Midwest University, where he has served as a distinguished professor on religion and public policy. Fu serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Chinese Law and Religion Monitor, a journal on religious freedom and the rule of law in China, and as a guest editor for Chinese Law and Government, a journal by University of California, Los Angles.

Fu received the 2007 John Leland Religious Liberty Award from the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). In 2013, Bob Fu's autobiography "God's Double Agent" was released by the Baker Publishing Group. Bob Fu’s life story is also included in the George W. Bush Institute’s Freedom Collection: http://www.bushcenter.org/human-freedom/freedom-collection


Matteo Mecacci
Matteo Mecacci
Matteo Mecacci

MATTEO MECACCI

Matteo Mecacci, who was born in Firenze (Florence), Italy, served as a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (on its Foreign Affairs Committee) as well as an elected official of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly.

Just prior to taking up the Presidency at ICT, he supervised elections in Georgia as the Head of Mission for the OSCE/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) for the Presidential Elections in Georgia.

Matteo was elected Chairperson of the Italian Parliamentary Intergroup for Tibet after being voted in as Deputy for the Radical Party on the Democratic Party lists at the 2008 general elections. In November 2009, he organized the 5th World Parliamentarians Convention on Tibet in Rome, which hosted the Dalai Lama and established an International Network of Parliamentarians on Tibet (INPaT). He became Co-Chair of the network with Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Thomas Mann in June 2010. Matteo has played an active role in promoting Tibetan democracy in exile, and was a member of the Tibetan Election Observation Mission in March, 2011 when the Tibetan community in exile undertook elections for the Central Tibetan Administration leadership.

Matteo served as the representative of the Transnational Radical Party and No Peace Without Justice at the United Nations in New York from 2000 to 2008, where he coordinated various campaigns to foster democracy and protect human rights. He was part of a coalition of international NGOs advocating the reform of the United Nations – in particular the United Nations Commission on Human Rights – and he was one of the promoters of the International Steering Committee of the Community of Democracies.

He also played an important role in the international campaign that led in 2007 to the adoption of the first UN General Assembly resolution calling for a world moratorium of capital executions and the abolition of the death penalty, and for assisting various countries in adhering to the Rome statute that established the International Criminal Court.

As a member of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Matteo was elected in 2009 and 2010 as Rapporteur and in 2011 and 2012 as Chairman of the Committee on Democracy and Human Rights and took part in numerous electoral monitoring missions, including Moldavia, the United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Armenia, the United States, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Serbia. In 2012, he was appointed by the Chairman in Office of the OSCE, the Irish Government, as Special Coordinator of the OSCE Short Term Election Observation Mission in Serbia and Belarus.

Matteo studied international law at the University of Firenze and was a keen soccer player before deciding to get involved in politics as a young activist.

Matteo lives with his partner Barbara, an actress and award-winning documentary film-maker who is also focused on human rights issues, and stepson Tommaso, who is a young musician, actor and singer. He loves traveling, reading, opera, music, art and theatre.


Ken Starr
Ken Starr
Ken Starr

KEN STARR

A distinguished academician, lawyer, public servant and sixth-generation Texan, Judge Ken Starr serves as the chief executive officer of Baylor University, holding the titles of President and Chancellor. On June 1, 2010, Judge Starr began his service as the 14th president to serve Baylor University and was named to the position of President and Chancellor on November 11, 2013. In providing the additional title, he is charged with the task of increasing Baylor’s influence in the nation and around the world.

Judge Starr also serves on the faculty of Baylor Law School as The Louise L. Morrison Chair of Constitutional Law and teaches a seminar on current Constitutional issues. Judge Starr is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) and currently serves as President of the Southern University Conference. In addition, he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Baylor College of Medicine and the Board of Trustees for Baylor Scott & White Health.

In September 2010, Judge Starr established his first fundraising priority: The President’s Scholarship Initiative, a three-year challenge to raise $100 million for student scholarships which was completed five months ahead of its goal. He also is leading Baylor into the future under Pro Futuris, a new strategic vision developed with the collective wisdom of the extended Baylor family.

Judge Starr has argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 25 cases during his service as Solicitor General of the United States from 1989-93. He also served as United States Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1989, as law clerk to Chief Justice Warren E. Burger from 1975 to 1977 and as law clerk to Fifth Circuit Judge David W. Dyer from 1973 to 1974. Starr was appointed to serve as Independent Counsel for five investigations, including Whitewater, from 1994 to 1999.

Prior to coming to Baylor, Judge Starr served for six years as The Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean and Professor of Law at Pepperdine, where he taught current constitutional issues and civil procedure. He has also been of counsel to the law firm of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he was a partner from 1993 to 2004, specializing in appellate work, antitrust, federal courts, federal jurisdiction and constitutional law. Judge Starr previously taught constitutional law as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law and was a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University School of Law and Chapman Law School. He is admitted to practice in California, the District of Columbia, Virginia and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Judge Starr is the author of more than 25 publications, and his book, "First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life," published in 2002, was praised by U.S. Circuit Judge David B. Sentelle as "eminently readable and informative…not just the best treatment to-date of the Court after (Chief Justice Earl) Warren, it is likely to have that distinction for a long, long time."

A member of Columbus Avenue Baptist Church in Waco, Judge Starr and his wife, Alice, have three children and six grandchildren.


Dr Nguyen Thang
Dr. Nguyen Thang
Dr Nguyen Thang

DR. NGUYEN THANG

Dr. Thang is President of Boat People S.O.S. (BPSOS)

Dr. Thang directs BPSOS operations in the United States and Southeast Asia. BPSOS was founded to rescue and provide assistance to Vietnamese boat people and currently has branch offices in eight U.S. cities and international operations in Malaysia and Thailand. BPSOS has for over two decades documented human rights violations and religious persecution in Vietnam, and worked to address human trafficking, refugee protection and civil society development.

Dr. Thang leads BPSOS’ engagement with independent Vietnamese civil society organizations (CSOs) and persecuted religious communities, assisting communities build capacity, having trained more than 500 human rights advocates in Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand. BPSOS also mobilizes international intervention to protect both religious leaders and human rights defenders.

Dr. Thang has worked closely with Taiwan government agencies and NGOs to build capacity to combat human trafficking. The Taiwan Democracy Foundation selected BPSOS as the 2011 Asia Human Rights and Democracy Award, which was presented to Dr. Thang by Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-Pyng.

Dr. Thang co-founded the Legal Assistance for Vietnamese Asylum Seekers (LAVAS), the Committee for Religious Freedom in Vietnam (CRFV), the Coalition to Abolish Modern-day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA), and the Coalition for a Free and Democratic Vietnam.

Dr. Thang represents BPSOS at the U.S.-based International Religious Freedom Roundtable, and co-chaired the Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Southeast Asia held in Thailand in 2015, co-organized by the International Commission of Jurists, Forum-Asia and BPSOS.


Madame Annette (Hsiu-lien) Lu
Madame Annette Lu
Annette Lu

MADAME ANNETTE (HSIU-LIEN) LU

Founder, The Democratic Pacific Union

Madame Annette (Hsiu-lien) Lu served as the Vice President of Taiwan from 2000 to 2008. Madame Lu has been a human rights and democracy advocate her entire life and career, including being adopted by Amnesty International while an prisoner of conscience in the 1980s, all of which is detailed in her book, My Fight for a New Taiwan: One Woman's Journey from Prison to Power.

Lu graduate from the National Taiwan University College of Law, and received a master’s degree in comparative law from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1971 and a master of laws degree from Harvard University in 1978. Lu also spent an additional 3 yeas at Harvard University as a Research Fellow. In the 1970s, Lu started the Feminist Movement in Taiwan, her efforts included “Pioneer Publishing House” and a “Protect You Hot-Line Service.” In 1979, Lu delivered a 20 minute speech at the International Human Rights Day Rally in Kaohsiung City in which she criticized Taiwan’s authoritarian government. This speech led to her arrest on the charge of sedition, for which she was sentenced to 12 years in prison along with other leading freedom fighters. In 1985, after spending almost six years in prison, Lu was granted medical parole for thyroid cancer. Upon her release, Lu continued to campaign for women’s rights, democracy, and international recognition for her country. In 1993, she founded the Taiwan International Alliance to promote Taiwan’s bid for membership in the United Nations and won a seat in the Legislative Yuan, where she served as co-chair of the legislature’s Foreign Relations Committee. While in office, she continued to promote women’s rights, organizing and hosting the Global Summit of Women in 1994 and the Feminist Summit for Global Peace in 1995. In 1996, then-president Lee Teng-hui appointed Lu as national policy advisor, and in 1997, she became the first female magistrate of Taoyuan County, subsequently winning re-election. On March 18, 2000, Lu was elected Taiwan’s tenth vice president, thus becoming the first female vice president in Taiwan’s history. She won reelection in 2004, and, during her eight years in office, made the promotion of gender equality and social justice her top priorities. Lu’s efforts received international recognition in 2001, when she became the first woman to receive the World Peace Corps Mission’s World Peace Prize. A few years later in 2005, for the purpose to promote her advocacy of “soft power,” she founded the Democratic Pacific Union, an international organization committed to enhancing cooperation among the democratic governments of the Pacific region.


Libby Liu
Libby Liu
Libby Liu

LIBBY LIU

Libby Liu is President of Radio Free Asia.

Ms. Liu provides strategic and operational direction to meet RFA’s mission of providing balanced, objective news to listeners in East Asian countries where such news is unavailable. In addition to directing editorial and administrative policies and procedures, she coordinates issues in these areas with the BBG, the International Broadcasting Bureau, and other associated entities.

Ms. Liu served previously as vice president for administration and finance, from 2003-05. As president, Ms. Liu’s responsibilities include ensuring the highest quality administrative and technical support to the editorial staff. In this capacity, she works to facilitate effective, timely communication and broad-based collaboration among all divisions and bureaus.

Prior to joining RFA, she served as director of administration and strategic planning at the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), where she played a pivotal role in implementing the NAACP’s Five-Year Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives. Earlier, she served as director of human resources with the high-tech firm Spyrus Inc. based in San Jose, Calif., and as assistant district attorney in the San Francisco District Attorney’s office, where she prosecuted felonies.

Ms. Liu's earlier positions in private practice—at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and at Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn in New York—focused on labor and employment law. From 1986-1989, Ms. Liu was a senior consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, now Price Waterhouse Coopers, in Washington, DC.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Berkeley, an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

A California native, Ms. Liu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and she has traveled widely in East Asia.


Nasim Malik
Nasim Malik
Nasim Malik

NASIM MALIK

Nasim Malik is the Secretary of the International Human Rights committee (IHRC) and has worked in this capacity to champion freedom of religion and expression and basic human rights for Asian citizens. Malik represents the IHRC at the United Nations, the European Union and at human rights conferences throughout the world.

Malik studied at the Forman Christian College in Lahore, Pakistan, and subsequently immigrated from Pakistan to Sweden in the early 1980s. Malik served at the Swedish Immigration Board, assisting refugees from Palestine, Iran, Lebanon, Yugoslavia and Somalia. As a human right activist, Malik is a member of Amnesty International, the Red Cross, and the United Nations chapter in Kalmar, Sweden.

Malik is also an active member of the Social Democratic Party and the Labour Union, and serves as a member of the Kalmar City Council, sitting on the Social and Welfare Committee.


Deepa Nambiar
Deepa Nambiar
Deepa Nambiar

DEEPA NAMBIAR

Deepa Nambiar launched Asylum Access's office in Kuala Lumpur in 2014, and is currently the Country Director of the only refugee legal aid organization in Malaysia. In her role, she develops policy advocacy strategies to advance refugee rights domestically, cultivates relationships with key stakeholders, and oversees all programmatic activities and operations in Asylum Access Malaysia's office. Prior to joining Asylum Access, Nambiar provided pro bono legal advice to refugees for their applications for refugee status to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and subsequently worked as a Protection Associate in the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) unit in UNHCR Kuala Lumpur. She has also worked with Human Rights Watch, the Independent Expert to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, and the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations in New York. Nambiar also has four years’ experience in corporate litigation in a leading Malaysian law firm.

Nambiar holds a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) with Honors from thee University of London. As a Fulbright scholar, she received a Master of Laws (LL.M) focusing on international law and human rights law from Columbia Law School, and was awarded the Harlan Fiske Stone Scholarship. Nambiar has been admitted to the Bar of England and Wales and the Malaysian Bar.


Mantas Adomenas
Dr. Mantas Adomenas, MP
Mantas Adomenas

DR. MANTAS ADOMĖNAS, MP

Dr. Mantas ADOMĖNAS was educated as a Classicist at Vilnius and Cambridge Universities where he wrote his doctorate on Plato and the Presocratic philosophers. In 2004 he returned to Lithuania after finishing his Fellowship at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, whereupon he worked as a Senior Lecturer at Vilnius University and also presided over the Institute of Democratic Politics, a Lithuanian Conservative think-tank. He was in charge of the Homeland Union (Lithuanian Conservatives) electoral strategy and co-authored its election manifesto in the 2008 parliamentary election which the Conservatives won and in the course of which he was elected to the Seimas (Parliament) of the Republic of Lithuania.

Dr. Adomėnas is one of the architects of the Lithuanian higher education reform (2009) and works on a range of issues, including culture and education, migration policy, foreign affairs, and national security. He was one of the initiators and the principal promoter of the Lithuanian Parliament’s resolution “On the Situation in Georgia” (2010), author of the Parliament’s resolutions “On Situation in Belarus Following 19th of December Presidential Elections” (adopted 2010) and “On the Genocide of Christians and Other Religious Minorities in the Middle East and North Africa” (2015).

In 2009-15 Dr. Adomėnas has been the Chairman of Homeland Union Vilnius Convention, the biggest Conservative organisation in the country. He is a Member of the Homeland Union’s Governing Body, and the Rector of Homeland Union Political Academy.

Dr. Adomėnas has served on international election observation missions in Georgia (2008, 2012, 2013), Ukraine (2010, 2014, 2015), and Taiwan (2014, 2016), and publishes essays and scholarly articles on topics ranging from Classics to political philosophy and current affairs.


Seng Mai Aung
Seng Mai Aung
Seng Mai Aung

SENG MAI AUNG

Seng Mai Aung is the Program Officer for Myanmar at the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE) and is based in Yangon. Prior to joining IGE, she worked at the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) in Seoul, Republic of Korea, where she organized training workshops for educators from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond on peace education, human rights, cultural diversity, and education for international understanding.

Seng has a B.A. in Korean Language from the Yangon University of Foreign Languages, a B.A. in English Literature under the Religious Studies Program at the Myanmar Institute of Theology, and a M.A. in Educational Administration and Higher Education from Korea University. She holds a certificate on “Managing Intergroup Conflict through Facilitations” from the United States Institute of Peace. Seng speaks Kachin, Burmese, English, and Korean, and enjoys caring for children with special needs as well as mentoring young adults.


Abdul Muti
Abdul Mu'ti
Abdul Muti

ABDUL MU'TI

Mu'ti currently serves as Secretary General of Muhammadiyah (2015-2020), the oldest Islamic modernist movement in Indonesia, which was founded in 1912. Mu’ti is active in promoting religious moderation, tolerance, and interfaith dialogue. He was a member of the Indonesia-United Kingdom Islamic Advisory Board (2006-2008), the Indonesian Interfaith Public Diplomacy Campaign to the United States (2007), the Joint Select team for the Indonesia Human Right Commission (2011), the Vice Secretary of the Religious Counter Terrorism (2006-2009), the Executive Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations 2006-2010, and the Executive Board of the Asian Conference of Religion for Peace (2010-2015).

Abdul Mu'ti is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Education and Teaching, State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta. Mu'ti obtained his Honours degree in Islamic Education from the State Institute for Islamic Studies Walisongo, Semarang, Central Java, and holds a Masters in Education from the School of Education the Flinders University of South Australia and a Doctorate in Religious Education from the Postgraduate School the State Islamic University Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta.

Mu'ti has written articles, papers and books, including the Deformalization of Islam; the Moderation of Religion in a Pluralistic Society; the Enculturation of Islam; Christian Muhammadiyah: Muslim Christian Convergence in Education; and Islam in Indonesia: A to Z, a Basic Reference.


David Campanale
David Campanale
David Campanale

DAVID CAMPANALE

David Campanale has served as a producer and reporter with BBC News in London for over 25 years‎.

Campanale sits on the National Executive of the National Union of Journalists, and is the founding President of the Christian Peoples Alliance party, where he has engaged in a series of elections in Britain as a Christian Democrat.

Campanale and his family are Mission Partners with the Church Mission Society.


Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat
Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat
Mantas Adomenas

MUHAMMAD IMDADUM RAHMAT

Muhammad Imdadun Rahmat serves as Commissioner at the National Human Rights Commission (KOMNAS HAM) in Indonesia. As a Commissioner, Rahmat serves on the Sub-Commission for Mediation with a focus on Freedom to Religion and Belief. Rahmat previously served as Vice Chairperson for KOMNAS HAM in 2012-2013.

Rahmat served as Secretary General of the Indonesian Conference on Religions and Peace (ICRP), an Interfaith Institution that addresses issues of freedom of religion and belief, and also served as a Director of the PARAS Foundation.

Rahmat also frequently serves as consultant on human rights, freedom of religion and belief, pluralism an equality of gender through an Islam perspective.

Rahmat has published several articles on pluralism and multiculturalism books, including Guidance of Training and Advocacy (2002); Democracy and Human Rights (2002); Transformation Da'wah; and Islam and Tolerance (2003), among others.

Rahmat graduated from the Institute of Islam AL Aqidah and received his Masters Degree in Political and International Middle East Relations at the University of Indonesia. Rahmat is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Indonesia.


Andrew Khoo
Andrew Khoo
Andrew Khoo

ANDREW KHOO

Andrew Khoo has been in legal practice in Malaysia for more than 20 years. An elected member of the Bar Council since March 2009, Khoo currently serves as Co-Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Co-Chair of the Trade in Legal Services Committee and Chair of the Legal Profession Committee's Sub-committee on Anti-Money Laundering. Khoo served as counsel for the Malaysian Bar in two election petitions, and for the Council of Churches Malaysia in the Herald ”Allah” case and the Bible Society of Malaysia in the Jill Ireland case, both regarding freedom of religion. Khoo also represented the Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM) before the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and High Court.

Khoo has briefed Members of Parliament on the death penalty, refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia, the DNA Identification bill, the Personal Data Protection bill, the International Criminal Court, amendments to criminal, security and sedition legislation, and the National Security Council bill. Khoo has addressed parliamentary forums on proposed amendments to the University and University Colleges Act 1971, the United Nations Universal Periodic Review on Malaysia in 2009 and 2013, and on the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. He has also lectured on Malaysian human rights issues at the United Nations Human Rights Council and United Nations High Commission for Refugees, at the European Union, at the Asia Europe Foundation, as well as regional and local conferences.

Khoo authored the Law and the Judiciary chapter in SUARAM’s annual Report on Civil and Political Rights in Malaysia from 2007-2014, and his articles have been published in New Straits Times, The Sun, Malaysiakini, Nut Graph, Micah Mandate, Wall Street Journal and on the Malaysian Bar website and journal.

Andrew has also served as legal advisor to the Anglican Bishop of West Malaysia since September 2001, and legal advisor to the Anglican Archbishop of South East Asia since February 2012.


Olivia Enos
Olivia Enos
Olivia Enos

OLIVIA ENOS

Olivia Enos is Research Associate in the Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation, and specializes in human rights and transnational criminal issues, including human trafficking and human smuggling, drug trafficking, religious freedom, and other pertinent social and humanitarian challenges facing Asia.

Since starting at Heritage in 2013, Olivia has published numerous papers on human trafficking in Asia, human rights in North Korea, elections in Burma and Cambodia, religious freedom in South Asia, and social issues in China, among other topics. She is also published at news outlets including Forbes, The National Interest, Real Clear World, and Breitbart. Additionally, she has written for scholarly publications including Georgetown’s Journal of International Affairs and the Population Research Institute. Olivia contributes to the Asian Studies Center’s annually released Asia Update – a book of charts detailing why Asia matters to America.

In 2014, Olivia co-founded the Council on Asian Affairs, a group for young Asia policy professionals in Washington, D.C. The group meets monthly and provides a networking, brainstorming, and publishing platform for up-and-coming Asia experts.

Olivia received her bachelor’s degree in Government from Patrick Henry College and is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Asian Studies at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.


Dan Nadel
Dan Nadel
Dan Nadel

DAN NADEL

Dan Nadel is the Director of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom.

Nadel joined the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. in 201 as Team Leader for South and Central Asia. Nadel started his career at the Department of State as a Presidential Management Fellow in 2006, and served from 2006-2011 in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor’s Office of European Affairs. He worked previously as an attorney-advisor with the U.S. military in Europe and as a federal prosecutor in Washington DC. Before joining the government, Nadel served at organizations including the UN Office of Legal Affairs, Lawyers' Committee for Human Rights, the Kosovo Law Center, and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He has published on topics including the Rwanda genocide, political rights of persons with disabilities, Slobodan Milosevic, and the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Nadel received his Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Juris Doctor from George Washington University.


Greg Mitchell
Greg Mitchell
Greg Mitchell

GREG MITCHELL

Greg Mitchell serves as co-founder and co-chair for the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, a gathering of representatives from non-governmental organizations who meet to advance international religious freedom; and founder of the The Mitchell Firm.

Mitchell founded The Mitchell Firm in order to focus on government reform and improving public policy, with a stated goal of pursuing “ultimate in freedom and independence for every individual in every country on every continent.”

Mitchell previously served as the Vice President and Business Manager of Keelen Communications, a political consulting and fundraising firm; Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman James E. Rogan; co-founder of Digital Campaigns, Inc., a software company that offered online database solutions for political and grassroots campaigns, whose clients included Congressman John Boozman and the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the political team of President George W. Bush.


Kristin Storaker
Kristin Storaker
Kristin Storaker

KRISTIN STORAKER

Kristin Storaker is a human rights advisor at Stefanus Alliance, a faith-based human rights organization with a focus on international freedom of religion or belief (FoRB), based in Oslo, Norway.

Storaker works for the promotion and protection of FoRB, especially for religious minorities under pressure, most recently in Myanmar and India. Prior to joining Stefanus Alliance, Storaker has worked with community development in South America and international affairs from an internship at the Norwegian Embassy in Stockholm.

Storaker holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Oslo and a Master of Science in International Public Policy from University College London.


Su Chia-chyuan
Su Chia-chyuan
Su Chia-chyuan

SU CHIA-CHYUAN

Su Chia-chyuan currently serves as the Speaker of the Legislative Yuan, representing the Democratic Progressive Party.

Previously, Su served as Taiwan’s Minister of the Interior and Minister of Agriculture under Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian.

Agenda

February 17th (Wednesday)

13:00 ~

Registration

14:30 ~ 16:30

Taoyuan City Tour

18:00

Dinner Hosted by Annette Lu
February 18th (Thursday)

09:30 ~ 09:50

Interfaith Ceremony

09:50 ~ 10:30

Opening Ceremony

10:30 ~ 12:00

Plenary Speeches

12:00 ~ 14:00

Luncheon hosted by Weixinism

14:00 ~ 16:00

Panel Discussion: Religious Freedom and Diplomacy in a Global Context

16:00 ~ 16:15

Tea and Coffee Break

16:15 ~ 18:15

Breakout Sessions
  • Interfaith Meeting of Religious Leaders

  • Inter-Parliamentary / Government Meeting

  • International Religous Freedom NGO Roundtable Meeting

19:00 ~ 21:00

Banquet Hosted by Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan
February 19th (Friday)

08:15

Interfaith prayer (Optional)

09:00 ~ 10:30

Panel Discussion: Conditions for Religious Freedom in the Asia Pacific

10:30 ~ 12:00

Breakout Sessions
  • Advocacy Efforts to Advance Religious Freedom in the Asia Pacific

  • Religious Freedom and Related Immigration and Refugee Issues

  • The Socio-Economic Impact of Religious Freedom

14:00 ~ 15:00

Taiwan Declaration Press Conference at the Legislative Yuan

15:00 ~ 15:30

Visit Office of the President, Liberty Square, Mormon Taipei Taiwan Temple, and Taipei Grand Mosque

15:45 ~ 16:15

Visit Holy Family Church Taipei

16:45 ~ 17:45

Visit Museum of World Religions

18:30 ~ 19:00

Visit Taipei Maokong Gondola

19:30 ~ 21:00

Interfaith Dinner
February 20th (Saturday)

09:00 ~ 10:00

Panel Discussion: Interfaith Responses to Religious Freedom Abuses

10:00 ~ 11:00

APRFF Closing Remarks

11:00 ~ 12:00

Peach Trees Planting and Peace Park Building Ceremony

12:00

Depart for Central and Southern Taiwan

14:30 ~ 15:45

Visit Hsien Fo Temple (Weixinism)

17:45 ~ 18:15

Visit Tainan Theological College and Seminary (Christianity)

18:45 ~ 20:30

Visit Orthodox Lu-Erh-Men Sheng Mu Temple (Taoism)

22:00

Check-in at Fo Guang Shan Monastery (Buddhism)
February 21st (Sunday)

09:00 ~ 12:30

Visit Fo Guang Shan Monastery/Buddha Memorial Center (Buddhism)

A.
12:30

Depart for Taoyuan International Airport by THSR

B.
13:30 ~ 15:30
15:30

Visit Chimei Museum
Depart for Taoyuan International Airport