Emilie Kao is the director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. She has defended religious freedom for the last 14 years. Kao has worked on behalf of victims of religious freedom violations in East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and South Asia at the State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom and Becket Law.
Previously, she worked at the United Nations and Latham and Watkins. Kao also taught international human rights law at George Mason University Law School as an adjunct law professor.
She earned an A.B. degree in Near Eastern Civilizations and Languages at Harvard-Radcliffe College and a J.D. at Harvard Law School. Kao is a member of the Supreme Court Bar and the bar associations of California and the District of Columbia.