Aug 15, 2020
Welcome to episode 79, in this episode I have the honor of interviewing Father Joseph Grieboski. His bio is long, but I didn’t know what to cut out so want to share it all with you. I think you will find his story fascinating.
Joseph K. Grieboski is a social entrepreneur whose innovative ideas have revolutionized thinking across a number of fields.
In 1999 – at the age of 24 – Grieboski founded THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy, a well-respected and world-renowned non-governmental organization at the forefront of religious freedom advocacy. Many years and several Nobel Peace Prize nominations later, Grieboski has become an internationally recognized expert in religious freedom, national security, counter-extremism, human rights, and conflict transformation. As a matter of fact, in a letter to Grieboski in 2005, His Majesty, King Mohammed VI, of Morocco referred to Grieboski’s work as the “foundation of a new civilization”.
His extensive travels to over 140 countries in every corner of the map have allowed Grieboski to meet, interact with, and befriend leaders of business and industry, government, entertainment, advocacy, and other arenas, giving him one of Washington’s best and most sought-after rolodexes.
From confidence-building programs in Darfur to post-conflict reconstruction in Kosovo, from track-three diplomacy efforts in North Korea and Iran to minority protection and reintegration in Iraq and Afghanistan, from authoring countless laws for numerous countries to securing the successful release of hostages and prisoners, Grieboski has been at the forefront of some of most crucial and sensitive issues in the world.
Grieboski is a Senior Fellow with The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute and was one of three finalists for United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief and nominee for United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, demonstrating global recognition of his expertise on international human rights and security issues. Chairman of the Board of International Center on Religion and Justice, he also serves as Chairman of the Board of International Campaign for the Rohingya; Member of the Board of Directors of Interfaith Alliance; Member of the Board of Trustees of the International Foundation for Tolerance; Member of the Board of Directors of The Working Group on Children Recruited by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups; Member of the Board of Advisors of Rumi Forum; Strategic US Advisor to the Directorate, Faith and Globalization Program, Durham University, United Kingdom; Secretary-General, Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom; Member of the Board of Honor, Planète Citoyenne; Member of the Board of Advisors, Arakhan Rohingya Union; Member of the Board of Advisors, Military Religious Freedom Foundation; Member of the Board of Advisors, Anti-Predator Project; Member of the Expert Advisory Group on "Promoting and Protecting the Universal Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief through Law: Current Dilemmas and Lessons Learned”, International Development Law Organization.
The author of over 50 articles and two recognized publications with Palgrave Macmillan and Oakton, Grieboski served as a columnist for The Huffington Post and a foreign news editor and contributor for The Cutting Edge News. His book, Because I Believe: Inspiring Stories from People Who Are Changing the World, is due out in 2021.
Former Chair of the US State Department Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society Working Group on Religion and Foreign Policy Subgroup on International Development and Humanitarian Assistance under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Grieboski has also worked inc lose partnership with the Foreign Office of the United Kingdom, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Parliament, the Holy See, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The Opposition with Jordan Klepper, and many other national and international entities. As a religious freedom, human rights, and international policy expert, Grieboski has testified before the United States Congress, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the United Nations Human Rights Council, the European Parliament, and numerous other legislative and international bodies.
In April 2010 Grieboski was inducted into the International Board of Sponsors of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College – Martin Luther King’s alma mater. The award honors those who have made significant contributions to the civil and human rights nonviolence movement in the tradition of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King.
Grieboski holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service degree and a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies, both from Georgetown University. He is completing a Master’s in Sacred Theology from Agape Seminary. In 2008, Grieboski received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Marywood University in Scranton, PA.
Ordained a priest in the Independent Old Catholic Church in April 2019, Grieboski lives in Alexandria, VA, with his wife, Tracy, and their dog, Eddie, and cats Theo, Charlie, and Bridgie.