The Honorable Julia Nesheiwat
Acting Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Ms. Nesheiwat:

We, a group of concerned Georgetown students, families, alumni, faculty, and staff, are writing to thank you for your commitment to securing the release of Austin Tice, and to request a re-doubling of your efforts in the initial months of the Trump administration.

Most of us have never met Austin, but we all have a lot to learn from him and his story. He is an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He displayed exceptional courage when, during the summer between his second and third year at the Georgetown Law Center in 2012, he went as a freelance journalist to Syria, where he risked his life in order to expose the plight of ordinary people caught in the midst of civil war. Austin’s dedication to those in harm’s way makes us proud to be Hoyas.

After being captured on August 14, 2012 and suffering for more than four years, Austin is currently the only living American journalist held captive in Syria. We are deeply grateful for the White House's commitment to securing his release and to your dedicated efforts thus far as Acting Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. But, along with Austin’s family, the journalism community, and so many other Americans, we are calling on you to make Austin’s safe return an even more urgent priority in the months ahead.

Although supporting a fellow Hoya is extremely important to us, this is not solely about one person’s fate. By securing Austin’s freedom, you will be making a powerful statement to the world about the United States’ commitment to press freedom––a fundamental tenet of our democratic society.

On behalf of the entire Georgetown University community, we add our names to the chorus of voices calling to #FreeAustinTice.

The following students, families, alumni, faculty, and staff of Georgetown University

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