Timothy Samuel Shah
Director, South and Southeast Asia Action Team
Tim Shah is widely recognized as a leading authority on the history, meaning, and value of religious freedom throughout the world. He is a political scientist specializing in religious freedom as well as in the broad relationship between religious and political dynamics in theory, history, and contemporary practice. He and his wife Rebecca (also a member of the RFI team) have extensive experience in India, where they will establish an RFI office. Tim recently spearheaded a multi-year research project on Christianity’s indispensable contributions to the development and diffusion of religious freedom, and led a similar project on worldwide Christian responses to persecution. His arguments to high level U.S. officials—that religious freedom acts as an antidote to religious terrorism—are increasingly employed in official analyses of religion and foreign policy. He is author of Even if There is No God: Hugo Grotius and the Secular Foundations of Modern Political Liberalism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2017) and, with Monica Duffy Toft and Daniel Philpott, of God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (W.W. Norton and Company, 2011). Tim was previously the Director for International Research at the Religious Freedom Research Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs; and Research Professor of Government at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion. His Ph.D. is from Harvard.