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Religious freedom is one of the most important peacemaking challenges of the 21st century, and Chris Seiple is on the cutting edge. Chris serves as President of the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), an organization that focuses on building respect, reconciliation, and sustainable religious freedom worldwide.
I first met Chris when he invited me to speak at The Global Leadership Forum on “Evangelicals & Muslims: Perspectives on Mission and Partnership” in 2010, shortly after the birth of Peace Catalyst International. This conference indicates something of Chris’s personality and calling: he is a devout follower of Jesus who works tirelessly for religious freedom – everywhere and for all. As a former Marine, he meets difficult issues head on, but he does so with wisdom, nuance, and intellectual depth.
Under Chris’s leadership, IGE hosts numerous conferences aimed at enhancing Christian-Muslim relations and produces a world-class journal of which everyone involved in peacemaking should be aware: The Review of Faith and International Affairs.
Chris served as an infantry officer in the Marine Corps for 9 years, his last assignment at the Pentagon, where he helped develop the Marine Chemical-Biological Incident Response Force during the ’96 summer Olympics. He also serves as Senior Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry’s working group on Religion and Foreign Policy.
Chris is a graduate of Stanford, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he received a Ph.D. His doctoral dissertation was on the relationship between the U.S. and Uzbekistan, and Chris continues to work with a focus on religion and realpolitik, speaking regularly at military schools and within the intelligence community about national security and social-cultural-religious engagement.
Check out Chris’s book, U.S. Military/NGO Relationship in Humanitarian Interventions.