Working to promote freedom of conscience for every person, no matter who they are or where they live.

IRLA Board

The IRLA Board meets in October each year at the association headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Ambassador John R. Nay was invited to become President of the IRLA in October 2016 due both to his international experience and his interest in advancing the cause of religious liberty.

Formerly a career member of the United States Senior Foreign Service, Ambassador Nay was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in July 2009 to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Suriname. During his service in Suriname (September 2009-September 2012), Ambassador Nay particularly emphasized the importance of human rights, freedom of the press, and the value of protecting our environmental heritage. Ambassador Nay particularly enjoyed interacting with Suriname’s diverse religious communities, which shared impressively good mutual relations. Another of his best memories of Suriname was when he and a press and Embassy team made four lengthy bicycle trips that traversed the entire width of Suriname and also went into the interior as far as the roads went. During their bicycle trips, Ambassador Nay and his fellow bikers enjoyed meeting with Surinamers and Peace Corps Volunteers across the country, while highlighting the beauty of nature, the importance of conservation and environmental preservation, and underlining the importance of fitness.

Prior to his service in Suriname, Ambassador Nay was the U.S. Consul General in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from 2006-2009, and served as Consul General in New Delhi, India from 1999-2002. He had earlier tours of duty in Taiwan, Singapore, Canada, and South Africa as well as in Washington working on issues relating to Africa, Southeast Asia, North Asia, and Oceania. In all he had assignments on four continents and served temporary assignments on two others.

During the course of his career he frequently wrote and edited religious freedom reports, human rights reports, and trafficking in persons reports, with the goal of helping people everywhere to enjoy freedom, human rights, and religious liberty.

Ambassador Nay retired from Foreign Service in 2013. He holds Masters's Degrees from Andrews University and from the National Defense University, and is language qualified in Chinese (Mandarin). During his career he received three Superior Honor Awards and four Senior Performance Awards. A native of Michigan, he and his wife Judith Ashdon Nay, have three adult children and two grandchildren.

Board of Directors Advisory Directors Panel of Experts


Ambassador John R. Nay (USA)

Vice Presidents

Alberto de la Hera (Spain)

Abner de Los Santos (Mexico)

Karnik Doukmetzian (Canada)

Rosa Maria Martinez de Codes (Spain)


Daisy J. F. Orion (Philippines)

Legal Advisor

Todd McFarland (USA)

General Secretary

Ganoune Diop (Senegal)

Deputy Secretaries General

Nelu Burcea (Romania)

Bill Knott (USA)


Williams C. Costa Jr. (Brazil)

Dan Jackson (Canada)

Bettina Krause (Australia)

G.T. Ng (Singapore)

David Trim (UK)

Mario Brito

Ken Denslow

W. Cole Durham

John Graz

Eugene Hsu

Orlan Johnson

Paulo Macedo

Raafat Kamal

Michael Kaminsky

Erton Köhler

Anatoly Krasikov

Ezras Lakra

Jairyong Lee

Israel Leito

Rick McEdward

Solomon Maphosa

Blasious M. Ruguri

Gunnar Stålsett

Glenn Townend

David Trim

Elie Weick-Dido

Ted N C Wilson


Ganoune Diop


John Graz

Robert Seiple

Paulo Macedo

James Christie

Jaime Rossell

Amal Idris

Silvio Ferrari

Cole Durham

Nicholas Miller

Elizabeta Kitanovic

Jeremy Gunn

David Trim

Blandine Pont-Chelini

Andrea Bartoli

Annicchino Pasquale

Asher Maoz

Todd R. McFarland

Karnik Doukmetzian

Bettina Krause

David Little

Rosa Maria Martinez de Codes

Alberto de la Hera

Levi Bautista

Kishan Manocha

Alexis de la Ferriere

W. Cole Durham

H. Knox Thames

Nicholas Miller

Jennifer Woods

Jaime Contreras

Bill Knott

Nelu Burcea


Jean-Paul Barquon
Jean Bauberot
Barry W. Bussey
José Camilo Cardoso
Hui Chen
Pauline Cote
Derek Davis
Jean-Arnold de Clermont
Alain Garay
Timothy Golden
Eugene Hsu
Vaughn James
Anatoly Krasikov
Michael Kulakov
Natan Lerner
Roland Minnerath
Gerhard Robbers
Jaime Rossell
Henri Sobel
Tad Stahnke
Gunnar Stalsett
Rik Torfs
Mitchell Tyner
Shauna Van Praagh