Indian-American Rashad Hussain has been appointed Special Envoy and Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications to expand global engagement and partnerships of the US to counter violent extremism, the state department has said.
37-year-old Hussain is currently the Special Envoy of the US to Organisation for Islamic Countries (OIC).
He will also serve as Coordinator of the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, established at the direction of President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2010 to coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide strategic communications focused on violent extremists and terrorist organisations.
Before his role in OIC, Hussain was Deputy Associate Counsel to US President Barack Obama, focusing on national security, new media, and science and technology issues, it said yesterday.
He has also served as Director for Global Engagement at the National Security Council (NSC) and as a Special Assistant US Attorney in Washington, where he prosecuted criminal cases.
In 2009, Hussain worked with the NSC in developing and pursuing the New Beginning that Obama outlined in Egypt. Before joining the White House, he was a member of the legal staff for the Presidential Transition Team.
He previously served as a Trial Attorney at the US Department of Justice. Earlier in his career, he was a legislative assistant on the House Judiciary Committee, where he focused on national security-related issues.
Hussain received his Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation, he served as a Law Clerk to Damon J Keith on the US Court of Appeals.
He also earned his Master's degrees in Public Administration (Kennedy School of Government) and Arabic and Islamic Studies from Harvard University.
His academic writings have focused on national security, constitutional law, and civil liberties.
In January 2013, Hussain received the Distinguished Honor Award which was given for exceptionally outstanding service to the agencies of the US Government resulting in achievements of marked national or international significance.
Hussain, son of Indian immigrants from Bihar, is a Hafiz of the holy Quran. Hafiz is a term used for someone who has completely memorised the Quran.