Director, Center for Religious Freedom
An international human-rights lawyer for twenty-five years, Nina Shea joined Hudson Institute as a senior fellow in November 2006, where she directs the Center for Religious Freedom.
For the ten years prior to joining Hudson, Shea worked at Freedom House, where she directed the Center for Religious Freedom, an entity which she had helped found in 1986 as the Puebla Institute.
Since 1999, Shea has served as a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, where she is currently vice chair. She has been appointed as a U.S. delegate to the United Nation's main human rights body by both Republican and Democratic administrations.
For over a decade, she has worked extensively for the advancement of individual religious freedom and other human rights in U.S. foreign policy as it confronts a resurgent Islamic extremist ideology, as well as nationalist and remnant communist regimes. For seven years ending in 2005, she helped organize and lead a coalition of churches and religious groups that worked to end a religious war against non-Muslims and dissident Muslims in southern Sudan; in 2004 and 2005, she helped advise in the drafting of the Iraqi constitution's religious freedom provision; and, she authored and edited two widely-acclaimed reports, Saudi Arabia's Curriculum of Intolerance (2006), and Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques (2005), both of which translated and analyzed Saudi governmental publications that teach hatred and violence against the religious "other." She regularly presents testimony before Congress, delivers public lectures, organizes briefings and conferences, and writes frequently on religious freedom issues. Her 1997 book on anti-Christian persecution, In the Lion's Den, remains a standard in the field.
She is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia. She is a graduate of Smith College, and American University's Washington College of Law.