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Home / Press Release / New State Department Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Will Face Tough Challenges
February 05, 2019

New State Department Envoy to Combat Antisemitism Will Face Tough Challenges

Washington, D.C.—Human Rights First today welcomed the appointment of Elan Carr to the position of special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism at the Department of State. The special envoy is the senior-most official representing the United States in matters of combating antisemitsm abroad working closely with foreign governments, international organizations, and civil society.

“Carr will face some tough challenges during his tenure. His first will likely be in Europe, where some government leaders are embracing antisemitic tropes and distorting the history of the Holocaust to achieve policy ends. Carr’s strong ties with the Jewish community, and professional background, and family history should prove useful in this demanding job,” said Ira Forman, senior advisor for combating antisemitism at Human Rights First and former special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism from 2013-2017. “We look forward to working with him to address these pressing concerns and hope that his time in office will represent a new effort by the administration to address all forms of bigotry and hatred.”

Carr comes to the position following a career as a prosecutor, anti-terrorism officer in Iraq, and head of the world’s largest Jewish Fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. It was during his time in Iraq, where his grandfather was a leader in the Jewish community of Baghdad, that Carr prosecuted insurgents in the country’s courts as a judge advocate for the U.S. military.

Human Rights First has long called on the Trump Administration to fill the special envoy role, which has remained vacant for two years despite escalating antisemitic incidents at home and abroad, and resurgent Holocaust denial and distortion in Europe. 

In addition to implementing policies and projects to combat antisemitism, Carr will coordinate and assist in developing reports on antisemitism recorded within the State Department’s annual Human Rights Reports and International Religious Freedom Report.

For more information or to speak with Forman, contact Christopher Plummer at PlummerC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3310.