Recently Donald Trump nominated Sam Brownback–the governor of Kansas–to be the US Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. This is an issue I worked on before coming to UVM (when I was with the Pew Research Center) so I follow it closely. I have some concerns about Brownback’s nomination, which I discussed in this post on Medium. I also was quoted in a piece by the Religion News Service about Brownback’s nomination.
Summer’s been pretty busy, so I am a bit late on updating things.
First, I had a blog post as part of the Religious Freedom Institute’s Cornerstone Blog series on religious freedom and counterterrorism. I drew from my book to discuss how differing levels of religious freedom affected counterterrorism, arguing there are some trade-offs in the short-term but in the long-term promoting religious freedom will help undermine terrorism. Two other experts in this subject also weighed in, so check out their posts too.
I also talked with a reporter from the Associated Press about T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia). Lawrence had a famous Rolls Royce he used to drive into Damascus in 1918, and a military historian thought he discovered some of its secrets. I weighed in about Lawrence’s legacy for the Middle East. You can find the story here.
Finally, I helped out with the UVM’s summer orientation for incoming first-year students, working with new Political Science majors as they registered for classes. It was exciting to meet some of my new students, and I’m looking forward to teaching them in the fall.