Washington, DC - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) today announced the appointment of Don Argue, Ed.D., to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Senator Clinton recommended the appointment for which Dr. Argue will serve a two year term.
“Dr. Argue is a leading expert in religious freedom. His dedication to the right of worship and opposition to intolerance and persecution are inspiring. He will bring a valuable perspective to the Commission’s work,” said Senator Reid.
“Don will bring a critically needed voice to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. His expertise is surpassed only by his dedication to achieving the goal of religious freedom for people around the world. I’m proud to recommend such a respected and valued leader and proud to call him a friend. He will be an invaluable member of the Commission,” said Senator Clinton.
“You cannot put a fence around conscience. Religious freedoms are basic human rights and religious freedom starts with the ability to practice your religion,” said Dr. Argue.
Dr. Argue, President of Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, is a leading authority on international religious freedom and human rights. Dr. Argue was appointed by President Clinton and Secretary of State Madeline Albright to the President’s Advisory Committee on Religious Freedom, on which he chaired the subcommittee on international religious persecution. The work of this Committee resulted in Congress establishing the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. President Clinton also appointed Dr. Argue to serve as part of the first official religious leaders delegation from the United States to visit The People’s Republic of China to confront Chinese leaders on the issues of religious freedom and religious persecution. Dr. Argue has been identified as one of the hundred most influential Evangelical leaders in the United States.
Before becoming President of Northwest University, Dr. Argue served as President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), comprised of approximately 43,000 congregations nationwide from 53 member denominations. Dr. Argue also served as President of North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota for 16 years. Under his leadership, North Central received the Christianity Today Decade of Growth Award in recognition of being the fastest growing college of its kind in the nation. Argue is a graduate of Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri; completed a Master’s degree at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California and a Doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress. The Commission is an independent, bipartisan federal government agency governed by a bipartisan board of Commissioners. Commissioners are appointed by the White House and Congressional leadership for two year terms. Members of the Commission are selected among distinguished individuals noted for their knowledge and experience in fields related to the issue of international religious freedom.