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Judd Birdsall

colour-headshot-whiteJudd Birdsall is the managing director of the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies. He is also the executive director of the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy and a Research Associate at Clare College, Cambridge. A former U.S. diplomat, Birdsall served in the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom and on the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff. He was also the founding chair of the Department’s Forum on Religion & Global Affairs, a leadership role for which he received a Meritorious Honor Award. In 2010 he coordinated the compilation of the Religious Engagement Report, a global and whole-of-government survey commissioned by President Obama. His doctoral dissertation explored American religious engagement since 9/11.

Birdsall writes and speaks regularly on issues of faith and foreign policy. In 2015 he helped to convene US and UK scholars and officials for British Council-funded policy consultations on the religious dynamics of Africa and the Middle East; he subsequently co-authored Toward Religion-Attentive Foreign Policy: A Report on an Anglo-American Dialogue. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Guardian, Huffington Post (US and UK), Christianity Today, and he is an editorial fellow and a frequent contributor at The Review of Faith & International Affairs.

News & Events

26th Sep 2017

CIRIS Research Associate Margot Dazey Awarded Fellowship at Yale

CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Margot Dazey has been awarded a Fox International Fellowship to spend the year at Yale University. Fox Fellows are selected for their potential to offer practical solutions to the problems which stand in the way of the world’s peace and prosperity. Hosted at the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, […]

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Publications

13th Jul 2017

CIRIS Research Associate Tobias Müller Contributes Chapter to Report on Muslims in Europe

13 July 2017 – CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Tobias Müller recently contributed a chapter in a report on Muslims in the UK and Europe published by the Centre for Islamic Studies at Cambridge University. Müller’s chapter, ‘Constructing Islam and Secularism in the German Islam Conference,’ argues that beyond the intentions expressed by government officials, the aims of the […]

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Our Work

Equipping academics

At CIRIS, we aim to equip students and scholars in Cambridge and beyond with a robust and nuanced appreciation for the role of religion in international politics that they will take with them into their future research and/or practice around the world. To this end, we host public lectures, academic seminars, and other events. We are also pursuing research projects that draw on the contributions of Cambridge-based academics.

Engaging the public

We use our platform at Cambridge to influence the public conversation on matters of faith and politics—in the UK and around the world. CIRIS enjoys strong links to key governments, media outlets, religious groups, NGOs, civic leaders, and scholars. We want our website and social media platforms to provide a dynamic space for disseminating and discussing the contributions of our staff, associates, and partners.

Supporting diplomats

CIRIS serves as the secretariat for the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy (TPNRD). We facilitate communication, coordination, and collaboration among this community of diplomats from Europe and North America who have a responsibility for religion-related issues within their respective foreign ministries. The work of the TPNRD secretariat is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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