President Obama today appointed a special envoy to represent the U.S. in the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
The OIC is a group of 57 member states with predominantly Muslim population. The group promotes economic and political cooperation between states and has a permanent representative to the United Nations.
Obama tapped Deputy Associate White House Counsel Rashad Hussain for the position, which he announced in a taped message to the U.S.-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar.
The president said he hoped cooperation with the OIC would help improve U.S. relations with the Muslim world, a key theme of the speech he delivered in Cairo last year.
“I’m proud to announce today that I am appointing my Special Envoy to the OIC—Rashad Hussain. As an accomplished lawyer and a close and trusted member of my White House staff, Rashad has played a key role in developing the partnerships I called for in Cairo," Obama said. "And as a hafiz of the Qur’an, he is a respected member of the American Muslim community, and I thank him for carrying forward this important work."
President George W. Bush first named a representative to the OIC in 2008, noting that the envoy "will listen to and learn from representatives from Muslim states, and will share with them America's views and values."
See video of Obama's remarks below: