President George W. Bush has named a Pakistani-American, Sada Cumber, to be Presidential Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference. Mr. Bush says Mr. Cumber has an important job to do:
“The core of his mission is to explain to the Islamic World that America is a friend – is a friend of freedom, is a friend of peace, that we value religion. . . .We value it to the point where we believe that anybody should be able to worship the way they see fit, and we respect that.”
President Bush said the Special Envoy will help promote a better understanding of America in the Islamic world:
“There’s a lot of misperception about America and Sada is going to be part of our effort to explain the truth.”
Born in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1951, Sada Cumber came to the U.S. in 1978 and has been an American citizen since 1986. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Cumber was an entrepreneur and investor based in Austin, Texas. He has founded eleven companies in technology-based industries and been active in civic organizations and charitable foundations.
Mr. Cumber is committed to using his multicultural background and extensive business, social, and political skills to promote cooperation across cultures, to support international economic development, and to help advance meaningful dialogue among the world’s religious communities. He has served on the board of directors for the Texas Foundation of Religious Studies.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference is an inter-governmental organization with fifty-seven member nations. The organization has consultative and cooperative relations with the United Nations and other inter-governmental organizations.
Special Envoy Cumber met with OIC Secretary General Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to engage with the Muslim world. A statement issued by the OIC said “The Secretary General appreciated the initiative of the USA to reach out to the Muslim world in a positive manner and underlined Mr. Cumber’s appointment as a significant step.” The Secretary General invited Mr. Cumber to the 11th OIC Summit in Dakar, Senegal this month.