9 July 2012, Washington, DC: We are pleased to announce that Chris Seiple, president of the Institute for Global Engagement, has accepted the nomination to serve as Vice-Chair for the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith. Seiple will serve alongside Asma Jahangir, President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and former UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, who has agreed to serve as the Co-Vice-Chair. For the coming term, the Council will be Chaired by Kevin Jenkins, President and CEO of World Vision International. A full list of members of the Council on the Role of Faith is forthcoming.

Established four years ago, the Network of Global Agenda Councils—consisting of select, invitation-only groups on key global topics—serves as an international brain trust to the World Economic Forum and world at large. The Network of Global Agenda Councils currently consists of more than 80 Councils, each comprised of 15-20 experts from business, government, academia, and civil society. The Councils are designed to be multi-stakeholder, including representatives from not only different sectors and denominations, but also regional and gender diversity. Each Council provides insight and strategic recommendations to address critical global issues—helping to inform the Forum’s programming—and set the direction for global, regional, and industry agendas.

Faith is an important factor in relation to political, economic and social developments. With 80% of the world’s population adhering to a religion, faith communities represent a powerful source and force for transformation. In a world of globalization faith is increasingly on the move, with 3% of people migrating across international borders and bringing their beliefs with them. Religious liberty is in global crisis, with 70% of the population living in countries where religious freedom is restricted. With that, the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith will seek to inform the debate about the role of faith, belief and identity, examining faith-related responses to globalization and exploring the potentially positive role of faith in providing solutions to contemporary challenges.

In his capacity, Dr. Seiple will work alongside Co-Vice Chair Jahangir and Chairman Jenkins to ensure that the Council delivers pertinent insights and collaboratively develops solutions to address major global challenges. The inaugural meeting of the Council on the Role of Faith, hosted by the World Economic Forum in partnership with the United Arab Emirates represented by the Government of Dubai, will be held 12-14 November 2012 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.