Americas

Resignation of America's Ambassador for Religious Freedom Offers 'Dramatic Opportunity'

(UPDATED) Why Suzan Johnson Cook stepped down, and why it produces 'sense of hope' among advocates at a second chance.
Resignation of America's Ambassador for Religious Freedom Offers 'Dramatic Opportunity'
Image: U.S. Mission Geneva/Wikimedia

Update (Oct 30): In her first interview since resigning, Suzan Johnson Cook explains to Religion News Service why she left her post (hint: money and kids), defends herself against critics, and touches on her future plans.

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Talk about ironic timing.

America's "Iron Lady" of religious freedom and her staff are the U.S. State Department magazine's "Office of the Month". But this week, Suzan Johnson Cook resigned as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom less than two years into the job.

Religion News Service broke the news on Wednesday, noting that Johnson Cook was the first woman and first African American to hold the position created 15 years ago by the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).

The resignation has not been officially announced—and Johnson Cook's Twitter and Facebook feeds have been on hold thanks to the partial government shutdown. But on Wednesday, Joseph Grieboski, founder of the Institute on Religion ...

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