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Judd Birdsall

IMG_9361Judd Birdsall is the Managing Director of the Cambridge Institute on Religion & International Studies and the Executive Director of the Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion and Diplomacy. He is also a Research Associate at Clare College, Cambridge where he supervises undergraduate students in American History.

A former 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, Foreign PolicyGuardian, 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

24th Apr 2018

CIRIS Research Associate Leor Zmigrod Publishes Paper on Psychology of Brexit Voting

CIRIS Graduate Research Associate Leor Zmigrod has published a paper on the psychological processes that give rise to nationalistic ideologies in the context of the United Kingdom’s 2016 EU Referendum. The research identified cognitive information processing styles that contribute towards support for Brexit and opposition to immigration and free movement of labour. Specifically, the findings […]

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Publications

21st Feb 2018

Interview: Christopher Douglas on ‘Religion and Fake News’

In January 2018 CIRIS released a fascinating new report by Prof Chris Douglas on religion and fake news. The report explores the religious dimension of fake news in both Europe and the United States and offers recommendations for how policymakers and other leaders can fight back against faith-based fake news. Christopher Douglas teaches American literature and […]

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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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