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International Religious Freedom under the Biden Administration

This roundtable discussion featuring Dr Judd Birdsall (Georgetown University), Dr Courtney Freer (LSE Middle East Centre), Dr H A Hellyer (Carnegie Endowment), and James Walters (LSE Religion and Global Society Unit) examined the Biden Administration’s approach to international religious freedom and the implications this has on American foreign policy.



Judd Birdsall (@JuddBirdsall) is a Senior Research Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University. He was previously based at the Centre for Geopolitics at Cambridge University and continues to serve as an affiliated lecturer in the Cambridge University Department of Politics and International Studies. He has served in the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom and on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff.


Courtney Freer (@courtneyfreer) is Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a non-resident fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings Institution. Her book Rentier Islamism: The Influence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gulf Monarchies, published in 2018, traces the political and social role of Islamists in the Arabian Gulf.


H A Hellyer, (@hahellyer) a Carnegie Endowment scholar, is Fellow of Cambridge University’s Centre for Islamic Studies, and Senior Associate Fellow at the Royal United Services Institute. A prolific public intellectual on governance, international relations, security, and religion, in the West & the Arab world, he is the author of 7 books in these areas. A former Brookings Fellow, he currently helps steer the EU-funded project ‘GREASE’ on “Radicalisation, Secularism & the Governance of Religion”.




James Walters (@LSEChaplain) is Director of the LSE Religion and Global Society research unit and a senior lecturer in practice in the Department of International Relations.


Podcast and Video


Co-hosted with the Department of International Relations and the Religion and Global Society Unit. This event was held on 15 June 2021.

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