The State Department’s first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, appointed by Hillary Clinton in 2009, is leaving her post, Secretary of State John Kerry announced today.
“Farah [Pandith]’s legacy is an extraordinary record of thoughtfulness, balance, and sheer guts and determination. Anyone who’s work with Farah will note her uncommon ability to bring people of different backgrounds together. I’ve seen that commitment firsthand in her pioneering work to reach out to countries with both Muslim majorities and minorities,” Kerry said.
“For Farah, this isn’t just a career. It’s her life’s passion. It’s in her DNA as a first-generation immigrant who achieved historic firsts for America, from changing the way our Embassies engage with Muslim communities in Europe to getting a Quran placed in the White House Library.”
Pandith, a Muslim born in Kashmir who worked on the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration, is leaving to become a fellow at Harvard.
“On so many issues, Farah Pandith has been a trailblazer and a visionary. She traveled to more than 80 countries and launched critically important youth programs, including Generation Change, Viral Peace, and the Hours Against Hate campaign,” Kerry continued.
“I am deeply grateful for Farah’s invaluable contributions as our Special Representative to Muslim Communities and wish her and her family well as she pursues an exciting new opportunity at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. After Farah’s departure, her deputy, Adnan Kifayat, will serve as the acting Special Representative until a permanent replacement is named.”