In April 2016, the Baker Institute hosted Secretary of State John Kerry, who spoke about the critical importance of understanding and engaging religion in the service of effective diplomacy and foreign policy. Accompanying him on that visit was Shaun Casey, Kerry's special representative for religion and global affairs since July 2013. In that role, Casey established thousands of contacts with world religious leaders and staff members of U.S. embassies around the globe. At this event, Casey drew on these experiences to discuss how the State Department effectively incorporated religion and diplomacy in its foreign policy strategy.
This event was sponsored by the Baker Institute Religion and Public Policy Program, in conjunction with Rice University's Boniuk Institute for Religious Tolerance and Religion and Public Life Program.
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Shaun Casey is special representative for religion and global affairs at the U.S. Department of State, a position he has held since July 15, 2013. He is currently on a leave of absence from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he is professor of Christian ethics and director of the National Capital Semester for Seminarians. His research interests include ethics and international affairs, the public implications of religious belief and the intersection of religion and politics. Casey served as senior advisor for religious affairs and national evangelical coordinator for then-Sen. Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. He has written on the ethics of the war in Iraq as well as the role of religion in American presidential politics. His book, “The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960,” was published by Oxford University Press in January 2009. Casey is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Political Theology with Michael Kessler of Georgetown University, and he is writing a book on ethics and international politics, tentatively titled “Niebuhr’s Children.” Casey is a member of the American Academy of Religion and served as chair of its Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion. He was a visiting scholar at the Center for American Progress and a subject matter expert in religion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Casey received his master’s of divinity and a doctor of theology in religion and society from Harvard Divinity School. He also holds a master of public administration with a concentration in international security from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a bachelor of arts from Abilene Christian University.