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Sent on Mormon-News: 26Sep01

By Kent Larsen

Young Named Chair of US Religious Freedom Commission

WASHINGTON, DC -- Michael K. Young, Dean of George Washington University Law School and former president of the LDS Church's New York NY Stake has been elected chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the commission announced Monday. Young, who has been a member of the commission since its 1999 inception, is an expert on Japanese law as well as on religious freedom.

Young, a native of Utah, is a graduate of BYU (1973) and in 1976 received a law degree from Harvard. He worked as a law clerk for U.S. 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.

He was first named to a two-year term on the commission in June 1999, after former Colorado senator Bill Armstrong resigned an appointment to the commission 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 the Commission. He served as vice chairman of the Commision 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.

This past June, Young was appointed to a second term on the commission by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott. Young is one of 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.


U.S. panel elects LDS man
Deseret News 24Sep01 T2
By Lee Davidson: Deseret News Washington correspondent

See also:

Young Gets Another Term on Religious Freedom Commission

Michael Young: Having a 'Wonderfully Good Time'

LDS Commissioner Calls China Peril To Religion

LDS Law Professor Urges China To Tolerate Religion

LDS dean appointed to religious freedom panel


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