Posts Tagged ‘suzan johnson cook’

In with the New Old

February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Several years ago I had what I thought was the brilliant idea of launching a BlogTalkRadio show. The show ran weekly until I got crazy busy and couldn’t manage to produce and host it anymore

The show essentially died in 2009.

Well, I’ve decided that it was in fact a brilliant idea to have the show, and I am relaunching The Grieboski Report live today at 3pm EST.

Today’s show will focus on something I know little about and have no opinions on whatsoever: Religious Freedom and the Obama Administration… [insert smirk here]

My guests today will be Anthony Clark Arend, Dean of the Master’s Program in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University; Dr. Tom Farr, Visiting Associate Professor of Religion and World Affairs in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the founding Director of the Office of International Religious Freedom at the US Department of State; Shai Franklin, United Nations Fellow at THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy; Steve Moffett, a principal in Capstone Nations Partner’s Washington, DC office and one of the authors of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act.

I’m excited about launching the show again. The show will be much broader than it had been in the past, with new areas to cover, new guests and experts, and once in a while guests hosts who will take their episodes in their own directions.

You can hear us live at 3pm EST here.

If you’d like to join the conversation, you can email us at, or send us messages over Twitter and Facebook.

If you do have a chance to listen, I’d love to have your feedback!


Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego…

June 1, 2010 1 comment

Does anybody else have fond memories of the old computer game – and television game show – “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?”

You know the one I mean: the game that teaches kids about geography, history, and international affairs. The basic premise of the franchise has the user being agents of the ACME Detective Agency, which attempts to thwart and capture V.I.L.E. ringleader and former ACME agent Carmen Sandiego.

In the reality of impending 2010 mid-term elections, Carmen Sandiego is the religious freedom ambassador of the Obama Administration. Eighteen months into his Administration, President Barack Obama has STILL failed to nominate an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom as required under the unanimoulsy passed 1998 International Religious Freedom Act.

While rumor has it that the President has already chosen Reverend Suzan Johnson Cook for the post, there is significant opposition to her potential nomination. The opposition to her comes from some heavy hands in the religious liberty world and seems to be grounded in the belief that she is not qualified for the post.

Some of those opposed to Reverend Cook have even gone so far as to try to recruit another candidate for the post, Leah Daughtry. Daughtry had taken herself out of the running for the ambassadorship.

One Cook opponent says that Daughtry,

took herself out of the running in large part because she asked for the kind of independence and status within State that you and I have long advocated, and was refused. She reportedly wasn’t interested in taking the job if she couldn’t have the authority she needed to do it well.

While some are advocating Daughtry for the post, she too comes with significant qualifications limitations. Her only significant relevance seems to be that she was head of the Democratic Party’s Faith in Action initiative to reach out to Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim voters when Howard Dean was DNC Chair.

I also need to make a point I’ve made before but it bears repeating: by this point in the first Bush term, John Hanford had been chosen, nominated, confirmed by the Senate, and sworn into office. Regardless of whether or not we approved of the Bush Administration or Ambassador Hanford’s handling of the job, we have to acknowledge that a lack of an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom 18 months into a presidency says quite a lot about President Obama’s interest in the issue.

I wonder if we could get Broderbund Software co-founder Gary Carlston and programmer Dane Bigham to come up with a “Where in the World is the IRF Ambassador” game to help the President out…

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