Image for Brett G. Scharffs


Brett G. Scharffs, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law at Brigham Young University Law School, was appointed Director of the Law School's International Center for Law and Religion Studies effective May 1, 2016. He had served the Center as Associate Director and Regional Advisor for Asia since 2009 and served the Law School as both Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum.

 Professor Scharffs' teaching and scholarly interests include law and religion, legal reasoning and rhetoric, philosophy of law, and legislation and regulation. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a BSBA in international... more

Image for W. Cole Durham, Jr.

Founding Director

W. Cole Durham, Jr., is Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the Brigham Young University Law School. From its official organization on January 1, 2000, until May 1, 2016, Professor Durham was Director of the Center, which was organized to provide an institutional base for long-term initiatives in the field of law and religion throughout the world, begun in the Law School in the mid-1980s by Professor Durham and continued in subsequent years with the help of students and colleagues. 

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a Note Editor of the Harvard Law Review and Managing Editor of the Harvard International... more

Image for Robert T. Smith

Managing Director
Regional Advisor for the United States 

Robert Smith has served as the Managing Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies since 2006. In this role he oversees the activities of the Center, including supervising the Annual International Law and Religion Symposium and numerous international conferences each year, in addition to overseeing academic publications and participating in law-reform consultations. He serves as the Center’s Regional Advisor for the United States. Professor Smith is a co-author, along with W. Cole Durham, Jr. and William Bassett, of the treatise Religious Organizations and the Law, published by Thomson West. This four-volume, four-thousand-page work... more

Image for Elizabeth A. Clark

Associate Director
Regional Advisor for Central and Eastern Europe

As Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Elizabeth Clark has co-organized and taken part in dozens of conferences and academic projects with other scholars and with government leaders from around the world. She has from the beginning been a primary organizer of the annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University. She has taken part in drafting commentaries and legal analyses of pending legislation and developments affecting religious freedom, and has assisted in drafting amicus briefs on international religious freedom issues for the U.S.... more

Image for Gary B. Doxey

Associate Director 
Regional Advisor for Latin America

Professor Gary Doxey, former ICLRS Managing Director, rejoined Center in 2009 after three years during which he served as president of the Mexico City South Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In April 2011 Professor Doxey called as an Area Seventy of the Church. Before joining the law school, Professor Doxey served under Governor Olene S. Walker of Utah as chief of staff – the state’s top appointed official, head of the cabinet, and chief operating officer of the executive branch. Prior to that, he served six years as general counsel to Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt. Professor Doxey has spent much of his career in Utah state government, serving as deputy commissioner of financial institutions... more

Image for Donlu D. Thayer

Senior Editor, Print and Electronic Publications

Donlu Thayer is the Senior Editor at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU Law School, with responsibility for overseeing print and electronic publications, including maintaining the Center's three websites, and producing the Law and Religion Headline News sent daily to subscribers worldwide. Thayer is also Associate Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, and Associate Editor of the forthcoming comprehensive Encyclopedia of Law and Religion (Brill Publishers, Netherlands, Gerhard Robbers and Cole Durham, general editors). She has participated as writer or editor in many other publication projects sponsored by the Center or produced by Center personnel... more

Image for Deborah A. Wright

Center Coordinator and Executive Assistant

Deborah Wright has been with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies since 2001. She supervises the administrative staff and coordinates the activities of all Center personnel. The organization and scheduling of the Center's many conferences, including logistics, travel, accommodations, on campus and all around the world, fall upon her capable shoulders. Most especially, the continued success of the annual International Law and Religion Symposium wouldn't be possible without Deborah’s competence and tireless efforts in the year-round efforts of organization, planning, communication, and coordination of events and facilities, of faculty, students, delegates, hosts, and visitors, all of which combine... more

Image for Sandy Stephenson

International Advisory Council and Conference Liaison

Sandy Stephenson joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies staff in July 2015. She assists in the Center's development efforts as liaison with the growing network of supporters making up the Center's International Advisory Council.  She also works in organizing and coordinating the Center’s many sponsored conferences worldwide. Sandy has owned and operated two different businesses and has worked at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for the U.S. Senate. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Humanities with emphases in Art, Art History, and French. She and her... more

Image for Blythe Shupe

Communications Specialist

Blythe Shupe joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in September 2015 as a Communications Specialist. She had spent the previous ten years as an account manager in the world of pre-employment screening. In this position, she worked closely with Human Resources, Compliance Departments, and Security Departments of large companies setting up and monitoring background screening programs for new hires to ensure the client was hiring the best possible candidate while operating within federal, state, and local laws. She specialized in the complicated screening practices surrounding healthcare, financial firms and aviation. She honed her communication... more