Mark P. Lagon is a Centennial Fellow and Distinguished Senior Scholar in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University and is the former president of Freedom House. From 2007 to 2009, he served as ambassador-at-large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State. Lagon also served in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State as deputy assistant secretary. In this capacity, he had lead responsibility for United Nations-related human rights and humanitarian issues, UN reform, and outreach. Lagon also served as a member of the Secretary of State Colin Powell's policy planning staff, where he focused on the UN, democracy and human rights. Prior to that, was on the senior staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
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The House of Saud may be attempting to modernize its economy, but the gulf between U.S. and Saudi values and national interests is deepening.
The following should make friends and allies of Saudi Arabia, including the United States, question their embrace of such a brutally repressive government.
Saudi Arabia, one of the twelve worst human rights abusers in the world, is ranked as not free in Freedom in the World, and receives the lowest possible score of 7 for both political rights and civil liberties.