WASHINGTON (AP) — James Standish, a former legislative affairs official with the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has been named executive director of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Standish succeeds Joseph R. Crapa, who died last fall. The commission is an independent, bipartisan federal agency that advises the president and Congress on religious freedom issues worldwide.

Standish worked for seven years as director of legislative affairs at the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters, representing the denomination on Capitol Hill and on country visits around the world.