Kristina Arriaga

Kristina Arriaga

Former Vice Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

Kristina Arriaga is a passionate communicator with a storied life. Early on in her career, she orchestrated the rescue of a Cuban woman and her two children, for which she was featured in Vanity Fair and Reader’s Digest. More recently, she visited American Pastor Andrew Brunson in a prison in Turkey where she advocated for his release in Congress, in Turkey, and through the pages of The Wall Street Journal.  In her other life, as President and CEO of Intrinsic Communications, she helps her clients elevate their stories in the court of public opinion. 

Arriaga also serves with the inaugural group of seven trustees who oversee a newly created Oversight Board, an independent entity that makes biding decisions on content moderation for Meta’s 2.9 billion users. Its 20-member Board includes Judge Michael McConnell (Stanford Law School), Helle Thorning-Schmidt (former prime minister of Denmark), and Tawakkol Karman (first Arab woman to win a Nobel prize), among other notable freedom of expression experts.

Formerly, in 2016, the U.S. Congress appointed her to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, where she was elected Vice Chair for two consecutive terms. During her 3-year tenure, she met with high-ranking government officials to advocate for human rights in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Nigeria, Turkey, and many other countries. In protest over legislation that turned the watchdog agency into a government lapdog, she resigned with an explanatory op-ed for the Wall Street Journal.

Before the Commission, Arriaga was a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission and the executive director of a public interest law firm that defends free expression. During her tenure at the law firm, she oversaw several strategic public relations campaigns on landmark cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Arriaga is the recipient of the 2017 Newseum Free Expression Award along with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, ABC’s correspondent Martha Raddatz, and civil rights champion John Lewis. 

A sought-after speaker, she has appeared on BBC, MSNBC, C-Span, CNN, and NPR, among many others. She has lectured in numerous universities worldwide. Her 2020 op-ed for USAToday, “My family fled Fidel Castro's Cuba, where 'cancel culture' was deadly serious” went viral. Her recent interviews include an extended feature by Crux entitled: “Cuban Americans cling to both U.S., Cuban identities.”



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