University names religious institute director

GW named the first leader of a new religious institute Tuesday, according to a University release.

Samuel Goldman, an assistant professor of political science, has been named the first director of the Ambassador John L. Loeb Jr. Institute for Religious Freedom. Goldman also leads the Politics and Values program at GW and received his PhD in political science from Harvard University.

“As controversies about religious freedom proliferate in the United States and around the world, it is imperative to remember what George Washington called ‘inherent natural rights’ to liberty of conscience and equality under the law,” Goldman said in a release. “GW’s unique location provides an extraordinary opportunity to apply insights from many scholarly disciplines to controversial issues, while drawing on the firsthand experience of politicians, civil servants, advocates and other practitioners.”

Ben Vinson, the dean of the Columbian College, said he looks forward to working with Goldman to “implement educational programs,” work with faculty and develop new initiatives.

The Leob Institute was founded with a $2.5 million donation from the John L. Loeb Jr. Foundation and the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom earlier this year. The institute will be housed in CCAS, and brings educational programs to GW that were previously offered at the George Washington Institute for Religious Freedom in New York City since 2009.

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