Nury A. Turkel is an attorney, foreign policy expert, and rights advocate with nearly two decades of experience working in the intersection of law, business, government, and the human rights community.
He specializes in corporate governance and regulatory compliance, national security, foreign policy, digital authoritarianism, and forced labor and supply chain risk issues.
He is currently serving as Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom after being appointed as a Commissioner by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in May 2020. He has testified before the US Congress, speaking about Uyghur internment camps and advocating a legislative response to China’s atrocities. His policy recommendations have been incorporated into US laws and pending bills relating to Uyghurs and China.
As a rights advocate, he has led efforts to raise the profile of the Uyghur cause, previously as the president of the Uyghur American Association and now Chair of the Uyghur Human Rights Project, which he co-founded in 2003. He also advised past and present leadership of the World Uyghur Congress.
He is a senior fellow at Washington think tank, the Hudson Institute, where he works on US foreign policy and national security issues. He is also a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
His policy-oriented essays appeared in major publications such as Foreign Affairs, Wall Street Journal, New York Times Foreign Policy, TIME, Newsweek, and USA Today. He frequently provides commentaries on TV and radio programs, including CNN, BBC, Radio Free Asia, Fox News, PBS, NPR, Al Jazeera, and France 24.
In 2020, he was in TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list, and in 2021, he was listed as one of Fortune’s 50 Greatest Leaders. In June 2021, he received the inaugural Notre Dame Prize for Religious Liberty.
He holds a Juris Doctor and a Master of Arts in International Relations degrees from the American University. He resides in the Washington, DC, area.