Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the United States State Department
Hijri 1387-Present (AH); Common Era 1968–Present (CE)
In June 2009, a few months after President Obama’s swearing-in, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton named Farah Pandith as the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities. According to Secretary Clinton, this new State Department position emerged as a result of the Obama administration’s aim to be more “fully engaged” and foster better relations with the Muslim world.1 Previously, Farah served in the public sector as senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council, and as chief of staff for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID).2 In all three of these positions, Farah focused her efforts on serving the Muslim community at large, particularly in Muslim-majority areas in the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, and Europe. Born in Kashmir to immigrant parents, Farah was raised and educated in Massachusetts. She received her bachelor’s degree in Government and Psychology from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and her master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.3  "U.S. Confirms First Special Representative to Muslim Communities," Radio Free Europe.  Farah Pandith's Official State Department Biography  ibid.