On October 18th, the U.S. Department of State (Office of the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Issues) will launch a Working Group on Religion and Foreign Policy as a part of the Secretary of State’s Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society. (IGE’s Dr. Chris Seiple is Senior Advisor to the Strategic Dialogue and Co-Chair of the Religion & Foreign Policy working group.) Representatives from civil society—including religious leaders from around the world, academics, and leaders from faith-based and secular nongovernmental organizations—will attend the launch that begins this year-long initiative.

On October 19th, The Department of State is also convening a webcast to provide an overview of the October 18th meeting and answer questions from viewers around the world. The online panel discussion will feature the U.S. Government and Civil Society Co-Chairs of the Working Group. They include: Ambassador-at-Large for International Religion Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook, Director of the White House’s Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois, Dr. Chris Seiple, and Dr. William Vendley from Religions for Peace. U.S Ambassador to the Holy See, Dr. Miguel Diaz, will also participate.

The opening plenary 2:00-2:30pm EDT on 18 October will be webcast live at https://statedept.connectsolutions.com/interfaith. Interested viewers should (1) click on the link, (2) select “enter as a Guest,” and (3) type their name and affiliation. The 19 October session will be webcast live at 8:30am EDT; interested participants can log on at the same link as above and follow the same directions. After an initial presentation, the panel will open the discussion to questions from the online audience.