By Kent Larsen
Young Gets Another Term on Religious Freedom Commission
WASHINGTON, DC -- LDS Church member Michael K. Young was re-appointed to a
second two-year term on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom
this week by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Young remains one of the
nine voting members on the commission, which researches and reports on
religious freedom around the world, making independent suggestions that
further religious freedom to both the US President and Congress.
Young was first selected for a term on the commission in 1999 after former
Colorado senator Bill Armstrong resigned the appointment for personal
reasons before the commission took was officially seated. Mormon legislators
and others on Capitol Hill lobbied heavily for Young's appointment,
frustrating Evangelicals who felt one of their members should have a seat on
Young served as vice chairman of the Commission for its first year, gaining
notoriety for suggesting that the US delay granting China Permanent Normal
Trade Relations because of its human rights record. Congress gave China that
status despite the Commission's suggestion.
Young is currently Dean of the George Washington University School of Law, a
position he has held since 1998. He has an undergraduate degree from BYU
(1973) and in 1976 received a law degree from Harvard. He worked as a law
clerk for US Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. By the mid 1980s he was on
the faculty of Columbia University's law school in New York City and served
as President of the New York, New York Stake at that time.
During the administration of President George Bush in the late 1980s, Young
was ambassador for trade and environmental affairs, a deputy undersecretary
of state for economic and agricultural affairs and deputy legal adviser to
the State Department. After Bush lost to Clinton in 1990, Young returned to
Columbia for several years before he was asked to be Dean at George Washington.
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