Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
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Seal of the United States Department of State
Agency overview
Formed2004; 18 years ago (2004)
JurisdictionExecutive branch of the United States
Agency executive
Parent departmentU.S. Department of State

The Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism is a part of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs (S/RGA) at the United States Department of State. The office "advocates U.S. policy on anti-Semitism both in the United States and internationally, develops and implements policies and projects to support efforts to combat anti-Semitism."[1]

Its responsibilities under federal law (22 U.S.C. § 2731) are:

  • "annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices";
  • "Annual Report on International Religious Freedom"; and

Head of office

The head of the office is the Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating anti-Semitism (SEAS).[2] The position is sometimes referred to as the "anti-Semitism envoy".[3]

The Special Envoy post is required by statute to be filled.[4] The post had been vacant from the beginning of the Trump administration through early 2019, leading to significant Congressional pressure to fill it.[5][6] On February 5, 2019, Elan Carr was appointed to the position.[7][8]

On July 30, 2021, President Joe Biden nominated Deborah Lipstadt to the position.[9][10] She was confirmed by the Senate on March 30, 2022.[11]


The Office was created by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004.[2] The first Special Envoy was Gregg Rickman, who was sworn in on May 22, 2006 and served until the end of the George W. Bush administration.[12][13]

Hannah Rosenthal served in the post under the Obama administration from November 23, 2009 to October 5, 2012.[14][15] Rosenthal was praised for formalizing the office's work and criteria, and for her personal involvement against anti-Semitic acts globally; however, she also received criticism from her predecessor, Rickman, and early on from Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, for including Muslim community leaders in joint activities against religious hatred.[15][16]

Rosenthal was succeeded on an interim basis by an acting Special Envoy, career diplomat Michael Kozak, who had previously served as U.S. ambassador to Belarus.[17] Kozak served in that role until Ira Forman, the former executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, was sworn in as Special Envoy on May 20, 2013; he served until Obama's term in office ended in January 2017.[18][19][20]

In June 2017, five months into the new Trump administration, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cast doubt on whether the post of Special Envoy would be filled during Trump's presidency.[21] Members of the House and Senate publicly expressed concern that the position was unfilled and called for Trump to make an appointment, at the same time calling on Trump to fill the vacant position of White House Jewish Liaison.[5][20] Congressional concern over the vacancy continued to grow throughout 2018 and early 2019.[6] On February 5, 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the appointment of Elan Carr, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney who had served as an active duty officer in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps.[7][6][8][22][23][24]


  1. ^ "Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism". Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  2. ^ a b 118 Stat. 1282, 1284
  3. ^ Ben Solomon, Ariel (March 9, 2017). "Should Trump retain the State Department's envoy on anti-Semitism concerns?". Jewish News Syndicate. Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  4. ^ Cortellessa, Eric (July 6, 2017). "Top Democrat urges Trump to appoint anti-Semitism envoy, Jewish liaison". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Park, Sumner (July 11, 2017). "Lawmakers press Trump to appoint liaison to Jewish community". The Hill. Archived from the original on June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Wilner, Michael (February 5, 2019). "Pompeo appoints Elan Carr, prosecutor, as antisemitism envoy". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Pompeo, Michael R. (February 5, 2019). "On the Appointment of Elan S. Carr as Special Envoy To Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism" (Remarks by the Secretary of State). Washington, DC: United States Department of State. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Kampeas, Ron (February 4, 2019). "Trump names prosecutor, former AEPi leader, Iraq war vet to be anti-Semitism monitor". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  9. ^ "Biden to nominate Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt as US antisemitism envoy". The Times of Israel. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  10. ^ "Emory historian Deborah Lipstadt nominated as U.S. envoy to combat and monitor antisemitism". Retrieved 2021-10-06.
  11. ^ Shimron, Yonat (1 April 2022). "U.S. Senate confirms Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism monitor". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  12. ^ Jordan, Mirmiam (October 31, 2009). "Secret Mission Rescues Yemen's Jews". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  13. ^ "Rickman, Gregg". United States Department of State. October 31, 2006. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  14. ^ Fingerhut, Eric (November 24, 2009). "New anti-Semitism monitor sees role as reactive, proactive". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  15. ^ a b Kampeas, Ron (October 16, 2012). "Leaving State Department's anti-Semitism post, Hannah Rosenthal reflects on accomplishments". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  16. ^ Schuyler, David (May 3, 2018). "Rosenthal to retire as CEO of Milwaukee Jewish Federation". Milwaukee Business Journal. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  17. ^ Powell, Colin (2003) [1995]. My American Journey. Ballantine Books. p. 598. ISBN 0-345-46641-1. LCCN 2003091156.
  18. ^ "Reports of anti-Semitism increase". Atlanta Journal Constitution. Associated Press. May 20, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  19. ^ "Forman, Ira N." United States Department of State. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  20. ^ a b Cortellessa, Eric (June 26, 2017). "Former anti-Semitism envoys warn of 'terrible loss' of post under Trump". The Times of Israel. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  21. ^ Ziv, Stav (June 15, 2017). "Rex Tillerson: Anti-Semitism Could Get Worse With a State Department Special Envoy". Newsweek. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  22. ^ "Trump to appoint Elan Carr Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism". JewishInsider. February 4, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  23. ^ Frydberg, Tracy (January 6, 2013). "Iraqi past trails former frat boy to Israel, LA and Saddam's former palace: Now a prosecutor and the head of the world's largest Jewish fraternity, Elan Carr has drawn on his painful family history in each phase of life". The Times of Israel. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
  24. ^ Daunt, Tina (June 4, 2014). "Republican Elan Carr Leads Wendy Greuel, Ted Lieu in Race for Henry Waxman's 33rd District Seat". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2019.