Kristina Arriaga

Senior Advisor to the Board

Twitter @ArriagaKristina
Education Education

M.A.L.S., Georgetown University, summa cum laude
B.A., Marquette University

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Kristina joined Becket in 1995 and served in many roles, including Executive Director from 2010 to 2017. During her tenure she led Becket through many successes, including landmark Supreme Court cases. In 2017 she stepped down from day-to-day management to spend more time with her family, pursue academic lecturing on religious freedom issues, and author a book about her more than 20-year career in civil rights, human rights, and religious liberty. She remains Senior Advisor to Becket’s Board.

Kristina is sought out as an expert on religious liberty. She has written numerous articles, spoken at conferences, and appeared on television and radio programs including MSNBC, C-Span, FOX, CNN Español, and NPR. She was featured in a profile in Marquette Magazine.

Kristina is one of nine experts appointed to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) – an independent, bipartisan federal commission that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion and belief abroad.

Kristina is also the recipient of the Newseum’s 2017 Free Expression Award.

Her career in D.C. started at the Cuban American National Foundation, where she worked for U.S. Ambassador José Sorzano. Kristina then became an advisor to the U.S. delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC). Splitting her time between D.C. and the UNHRC seat in Geneva, Kristina worked with New York Times bestselling author and former political prisoner Armando Valladares to raise awareness of the plight of political prisoners. After returning permanently to the U.S., Kristina continued to work on behalf of defectors and refugees. She orchestrated a spectacular airplane rescue of a Cuban defector’s family, earning her recognition in global media outlets including Reader’s Digest, Paris Match, and Vanity Fair.

Kristina has a M.A. in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University.

Throughout all this, she has had the greatest adventure of all: she is happily married with three kids.