Monday, February 15, 2010

Officially In: Rashad Hussain as Special Envoy to OIC

President Obama Announces Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC)

On February 13, President Obama appointed Rashad Hussain to serve as his Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Comprised of over 50 member states, the OIC is the second largest inter-governmental organization in the world. As Special Envoy to the OIC, Rashad Hussain will deepen and expand the partnerships that the United States has pursued with Muslims around the world since President Obama's speech in Cairo last June.

President Obama said, “I’m proud to announce today that I am appointing my Special Envoy to the OIC—Rashad Hussain. As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo. And as a hafiz of the Qur’an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work.” 

The WH released the following official bio: 
Rashad Hussain is presently Deputy Associate Counsel to President Obama. His work at the White House focuses on national security, new media, and science and technology issues. Mr. Hussain has also worked with the National Security Staff in pursuing the New Beginning that President Obama outlined in his June 2009 address in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Hussain previously served as a Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hussain was a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee, where he focused on national security-related issues. Mr. Hussain received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation, he served as a Law Clerk to Damon J. Keith on the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mr. Hussain also earned his Master’s degrees in Public Administration (Kennedy School of Government) and Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University. He attended college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rashad Hussain was a 2003 fellow of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans.  Bio below from the foundation’s website: 
RASHAD HUSSAIN was born in 1978. He earned his JD from Yale University and his MPA from Harvard University. His parents are naturalized citizens from India and live in Plano, Texas. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he holds bachelor's degrees with highest distinction in both philosophy and political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which he completed in two years. He received highest honors for his philosophy thesis, "Assessing the Theistic Implications of Big Bang Cosmological Theory." Rashad also holds an MA from Harvard University in Near Eastern languages and civilizations. He finds his heritage central to his identity as a Muslim American and his career goals, especially in light of events in recent history. Rashad has worked extensively on Capitol Hill, both as an intern in the office of former House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt during the summer of 2000 and as a legislative aide on the House Judiciary Committee, where he worked for a year and a half between his time at Harvard University and Yale University. Rashad sees his varied academic interests converging and feels that his study of international affairs, law, and security can form a salient combination for addressing many contemporary legal and public policy issues. He finished a clerkship for Judge Damon Keith on the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit, MI and was a Trial Attorney at the US Department of Justice. Now he is deputy associate counsel to President Barack Obama.
I have added active links above.  Note that special envoys do not require senate confirmations so Mr. Hussain should be off and running pretty quickly.

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