Washington, DC- In Defense of Christians (IDC), the nation’s leading advocacy organization for Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa, is pleased to announce Richard Ghazal as its new Executive Director.  

“I am incredibly honored to be afforded the opportunity to lead an organization like IDC, whose mission to preserve Christianity in the Middle East resonates with me so deeply,” said Ghazal.  I look forward to continuing IDC’s record of success, and further developing its capacity for positive impact in the world.”

Before joining IDC, Richard Ghazal was a U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate and legal advisor to the Secretary of the Air Force and Air Force Inspector General.  Prior to his Pentagon assignment, he served as a federal criminal prosecutor and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at Hanscom Air Force Base, MA.  As an intelligence officer, Richard was the U.S. Air Force in Europe’s Chief of Levant political-military intelligence, with special focus on Hezbollah.  As Mission Operations Commander, he commanded over 1,500 hours of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations. 

Richard began his career in advocacy for Middle Eastern Christians in 2003, as a Syriac Universal Alliance delegate at the UN Human Rights Council, Geneva, Switzerland.  He completed his bachelor of arts degree in political science and philosophy at Rhode Island College, and is a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer School.  As an active duty airman, Richard earned a master of arts degree in organizational leadership at Regent University, and Juris Doctorate at New England School of Law.  Richard is an ordained reader in the Syriac Orthodox Church, and speaks the Turoyo dialect of Aramaic. 

As Executive Director, Ghazal will lead the IDC team in strategic planning, drive the implementation of policy priorities, and direct advocacy initiatives in the legislative and executive branches of government.

“I am very delighted to welcome Richard Ghazal as IDC’s new Executive Director.  For quite some time, Richard has served as an IDC Senior Advisor, and his leadership and contribution to our mission has been exemplary.  We are fortunate to have him continue with IDC as Executive Director,” said IDC President Toufic Baaklini.


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