Capitol Conversations Episode

In this summer of international religious freedom, Matt Hawkins and Travis Wussow visited the State Department to speak with Ambassador Sam Brownback then welcomed Commissioner Kristina Arriaga to the ERLC Leland House. Brownback serves as Ambassador at large for International Religious Freedom and Arriaga serves as Vice Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The U.S. officials give an update on Pastor Andrew Brunson, the Christian detained in Turkey. The conversations come as a wrap up to the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Guest Bios

Sam Brownback was sworn in as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom on February 1, 2018. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018, U.S. Senator from 1996-2011, and a U.S. Representative in the House of Representatives from 1995-1996 from Kansas. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.

Kristina Arriaga was first appointed to the Commission on May 13, 2016 by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI). Arriaga has worked on the defense of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the United States and internationally for over 20 years as Advisor to the United States delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, an appointee to the Civil Rights Commission, and as the Executive Director of a U.S.-based public interest law firm that defends all religious traditions.

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Matthew Hawkins

Matthew Hawkins previously served the ERLC as a Policy Director in Washington, D.C. Presently, Matt is  pursuing a Ph.D. in public theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. In the meantime, he is writing and consulting at the intersection of religion and the public square. Matt holds an M.A. in Ethics … Read More

Travis Wussow

Travis Wussow serves as the Vice President for Public Policy and General Counsel. Travis led the ERLC’s first international office located in the Middle East prior to joining the Washington DC office. He received a B.B.A. in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from The … Read More

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