Richard T. Foltin is legislative director and counsel in AJC's Office of Government and International Affairs in Washington, D.C. He is responsible for the development, promotion and execution of AJC's legislative agenda, which includes church-state, civil rights, immigration, social policy, hate crimes and terrorism, and foreign affairs issues.
Before moving to Washington, Foltin served in AJC's New York headquarters as director of governmental affairs and house counsel. Prior to that, he was an associate with the litigation department of a major New York law firm.
Among other accomplishments, Foltin has worked to promote passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Religious Violence Act, the Hate Crime Statistics Act, and the International Religious Freedom Act. Most recently he testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce about religious discrimination in government-funded programs.
Foltin serves as a member of the National Immigration Forum's board of directors; co-chairs a coalition to promote passage of the Workplace Religious Freedom Act; serves as co-chair of the First Amendment Rights Committee of the ABA Section on Individual Rights and Responsibilities; and is a member of the National Council of Churches' Committee on Religious Liberty. In 1999, he was named a Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow at Harvard Law School.
A native of New York City and a child of Holocaust survivors, Foltin received his bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, in political science from New York University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. In the 1980s, Foltin attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for a year in order to study Jewish philosophy and history, during which period he also took classes in Talmud and Jewish thought at a Jerusalem yeshiva.
He lives in Montgomery County, Maryland, with his wife and two children, and serves on the board of directors of a local synagogue.