Arlington, VA – ( 30 August 2013) – The Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), a leading organization working at the critical intersection of religion and global affairs, is pleased to announce the promotion of James Chen to Vice President for Overseas Programs. Mr. Chen will be responsible for all of IGE’s overseas engagement in accordance with its foundational principles: first listen and seek to understand the local context, and then engage it through creating partnerships between governmental and religious communities to promote a culturally owned and legally protected religious freedom. At the heart of this is the calling to help the most marginalized ethno-religious groups to be included at the table with government officials, thereby giving them dignity and the opportunity for their voices to be heard.

James is a Godly man who executes with excellence. James’ nuanced cross-cultural understanding coupled with his experience interfacing with our partners overseas for the past couple of years clearly positions him for this new role leading and integrating IGE’s overseas activities into a cohesive, mutually reinforcing effort consistent with our mission and values.” said Chris Seiple, President of IGE.

Mr. Chen joined IGE in June of 2011 as a Program Officer. Before joining IGE, Mr. Chen served as a Research Associate and Academic Resources Coordinator at the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies, a regional research center of the National Defense University in Washington, D.C. Mr. Chen provided research support for the center’s engagement of defense and foreign policy officials from the Middle East and South Asia, with a special focus on the political, economic, military, and soft power aspects of Chinese influence in the region.

It is truly an honor to be given this opportunity to serve both my colleagues as well as IGE’s esteemed partners overseas who make all of our work possible. These partnerships are all based on a solid foundation of mutual trust that has been gradually built over the course of severeal years. I look forward to listening and learning from my colleagues and partners, and further cultivating IGE’s partnerships,” said Mr. Chen.

Prior to his time at the NESA Center, Mr. Chen worked in Taiwan for over seven years at Overseas Radio & Television (ORTV), a non-profit Christian media organization based in Taipei. During that time, Mr. Chen worked on various IT projects and was the lead coordinator for the production of ORTV’s public websites. Mr. Chen also served for a year in the Republic of China (Taiwan) Army.

Mr. Chen has a Master’s degree in International Relations and Security from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service with a focus on East Asian security issues and a Bachelor’s degree in Information Systems from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. He speaks Mandarin and Taiwanese. James, a native of Flushing, NY, now resides in Alexandria, VA with his wife and two sons.

About the Institute for Global Engagement – The Institute for Global Engagement works at the critical intersection of religion and global affairs, building sustainable environments for religious freedom worldwide. Through local partnerships, IGE works transparently to convene, connect, and build consensus among government, religious leaders and scholars to ensure that people of all faiths and none have full freedom of conscience and can participate as equal citizens in public life. To learn more about IGE or our overseas engagement, please contact Mr. Chen at