President Obama has named Suzan Johnson Cook, a well-connected but politically inexperienced pastor from New York, as his nominee to be ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.
“Johnson Cook is an experienced religious leader with a passion for human rights and an impressive record of public service,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in a mid-June statement. “President Obama could not have found a more fitting choice for this important position.”
Johnson Cook, dubbed “America’s chaplain” in her publicity materials, founded Bronx Christian Fellowship Church in New York in 1996. In 2002, she was the first woman elected to head the prestigious Hampton University Min isters’ Conference of black clergy.