"Forced worship stinks in the nostrils of God." —Roger Williams, 1670
Chris Seiple, Ph.D., is President Emeritus of the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), a research, education, and diplomatic institution that builds sustainable religious freedom worldwide through local partnerships. Chris served as IGE’s President from September 1, 2003 to September 1, 2015, and as Board Chair from September 2, 2015 to September 2, 2016. He tweets regularly via @CSeiple.
A graduate of Stanford, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Fletcher School for Law & Diplomacy, he is also the founder of The Review of Faith & International Affairs, a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (Philadelphia), and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London).
His book, The U.S. Military/NGO Relationship in Humanitarian Interventions (The U.S. Army War College, 1996), is a seminal work in the field. Seiple is a co-author of International Religious Freedom Advocacy: A Guide to Organizations, Law, and NGOs (Baylor University Press, 2009), and a co-editor of The Routledge Handbook on Religion & Security (2013). He wrote his 2007 Ph.D. dissertation on the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Uzbekistan.
Seiple is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and serves on its religious advisory committee. Dr. Seiple served as the Vice-Chair (2012-2014) and Chair (2014-2015) of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith, and writes regularly for the World Economic Forum Blog. He is also co-founder and co-chair of the "IRF Roundtable," a non-partisan consortium of Washington-area international religious freedom (IRF) NGOs that meets bi-monthly to discuss how best to promote religious freedom in Washington policy circles and worldwide. Previously he served on the Federal Advisory Committee to the U.S. Secretary of State—The "Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society"—where he was a Senior Advisor to the Committee's "Religion and Foreign Policy" working group (2011-2015).
Chris is the co-founder of The Cradle Fund, IGE’s program to help rescue, restore, and return Middle Eastern Christians and other religious and ethnic groups to a home where they can live and practice their faith free from fear. Related, Seiple serves on the Religion, Identity and Countering Violent Extremism working group of the Middle East Strategy Task Force (MEST) at The Atlantic Council, and serves as the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Global Policy Advisor.
A former Marine infantry officer, Seiple's last posting was to the Pentagon, where he was a member of the Strategic Initiatives Group, an internal think tank for the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In this capacity he helped to envision what a new national security act might look like, as well as develop and implement the Chemical-Biological Incident Response Force (serving as its liaison to the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control during the 1996 Summer Olympics).
He speaks regularly to governmental and civil society audiences worldwide about the relationship between religion and realpolitik. At the request of the U.S. Army Chaplaincy, Dr. Seiple designed and implemented the Chaplaincy's first training program for social-cultural-religious strategy and engagement (2010-2012).
Over the years, he has appeared on BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, Saudi TV, Pakistan News One, Vietnam National TV, CN8, CNN and NewsMax.
Dr. Seiple serves on the Board of Directors for the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation. He previously served on the Wycliffe Bible Translators Board for 10 years (2003-2013). He is also on the board of advisors for Carolina for Kibera, Inc. Chris and his wife Alissa have five children -- Liam, Hanan, Hadessah, Ashrei, and Jonah.