Gov. Brownback confirmed as international religious freedom ambassador

By Christine Rousselle

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Sam Brownback. Credit: Albert H. Teich/Shutterstock.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) was narrowly confirmed as the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom Thursday. The Senate voted 49-49, along party lines, and the tie was broken by Vice President Mike Pence.

On Twitter, Brownback tweeted his appreciation to President Donald Trump, Pence, and everyone in the Senate who voted to confirm. He said he was “looking forward” to his new role and that he will work “hard for the American people and religious freedom around the world.”

Brownback had to wait an unusually long time from when he was first nominated for ambassador-at-large until he was confirmed. He was nominated for the post in July, and had to be re-nominated in January after the Senate didn’t vote on whether to confirm him to the role.

The position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom was created in 1998. In this position, Brownback will now be the head of the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. He replaces David Saperstein, who held the post for President Barack Obama’s second term.

Brownback will officially resign as governor of Kansas on Jan. 31st in order to assume his new position.

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