Thomas F. Farr, Ph.D.
President of the Religious Freedom Institute and Director of the International Religious Freedom Policy Action Team
Thomas Farr serves as President of the Religious Freedom Institute, a non-profit that works to advance religious freedom for everyone, both as a source of individual human dignity and flourishing, and as a source of political stability, economic development, and international security.
A leading authority on international religious freedom, Dr. Farr served for 28 years in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Foreign Service. In 1999 he became the first director of the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom. He subsequently directed the Witherspoon Institute's International Religious Freedom (IRF) Task Force, was a member of the Chicago World Affairs Council’s Task Force on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy, taught at the National Defense University, and served on the Secretary of State’s IRF working group.
From 2008 – 2018 Dr. Farr was Associate Professor of the Practice of Religion and World Affairs at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He also directed the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown’s Berkley Center.
A PhD in History from the University of North Carolina, Farr is a senior fellow at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University. He serves as a consultant to the U.S. Catholic Bishops Committee on International Justice and Peace; on the boards of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Christian Solidarity Worldwide-USA, and Saint John Paul the Great Catholic High School; and on the boards of advisors of the Alexander Hamilton Society, and the National Museum of American Religion. Farr teaches regularly at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute.
Arguments from his 2008 book, World of Faith and Freedom: Why International Religious Freedom is Vital to American National Security (Oxford University Press), have shaped U.S. religious freedom legislation and foreign policy.