Kristina Arriaga has worked on the defense of freedom of religion or belief in the United States and internationally for more than 20 years as adviser to the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, an appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and as executive director of a U.S.-based public interest law firm that defends all religious traditions.
In 2016, she was appointed by Paul Ryan, then Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and reappointed in 2018. In 2017 and 2018, she was elected vice chairwoman of the commission. Since her appointment to USCIRF, Arriaga has met with the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar in Cairo, the vice minister of Islam in Riyadh, the ecumenical patriarch in Istanbul, among many other foreign government officials, religious leaders and human rights advocates. She has also testified before the U.S. Congress.
Arriaga is a sought-after speaker on religious freedom, on the intersection of religious freedom and women’s rights and on human rights in Cuba. She has spoken at numerous academic conferences, the National Constitutional Center, the Council on Foreign Relations and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, among many others. She has also appeared on several TV and radio programs on MSNBC, C-Span, FOX, CNN Español, EWTN and National Public Radio. Her op-eds have been featured in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. She is the recipient of the Newseum’s 2017 Free Speech award.
She is happily married to Matthew Bucholz and has three children, a disobedient dog and four cats.
Arriaga has a master’s degree from Georgetown University, from which she graduated magna cum laude.