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Image for W. Cole Durham, Jr.

Director

W. Cole Durham, Jr., is Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, a position he has held since the Center was officially organized on January 1, 2000. 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 Law Journal, Professor Cole Durham has been heavily involved in comparative law scholarship, with a special emphasis on comparative constitutional law. He is currently the President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), based in Milan, Italy, and a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. From 1989 to 1994... more

Image for Robert T. Smith

Managing Director for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies
Regional Advisor for the United States of America

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 and teaches a course on the taxation of religious organizations at the J. Reuben Clark Law... more

Image for Elizabeth A. Clark

Associate Director for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies
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... more

Image for Gary B. Doxey

Associate Director for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies
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... more

Image for Brett G. Scharffs

Associate Director for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies
Regional Advisor for Asia

Brett Scharffs is Associate Dean of Research and Academic Affairs, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University.

Professor Scharffs' teaching and scholarly interests include comparative law and religion, philosophy of law, and international business law.  He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a B.S.B.A in international business and an M.A. in philosophy. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where... more

Image for David M. Kirkham

Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy
Regional Advisor for the European Union and Council of Europe

David Kirkham, a professor in the BYU Department of Political Science, came to the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in July 2007 from the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, where he served as Associate Dean and Professor of International Politics and Democratic Studies. Dr. Kirkham has also been an Associate Professor of History, Director of International History, and Director of International Plans and Programs at the United States Air Force Academy. He also conducted international negotiations... more

Image for Donlu D. Thayer

Managing Editor, Print and Electronic Publications

Donlu Thayer is the Center's Senior Editor, with responsibility for overseeing print and electronic publications, including maintaining the Center's three websites. She is also responsible for creating the Center's newsletters, and for producing the Law and Religion Headline News sent daily to subscribers worldwide. Thayer is also a Case Note Editor for the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, and she performs editorial management for the forthcoming comprehensive Encyclopedia of Law and Religion (Gerhard Robbers and Cole Durham, general editors) and other publication projects sponsored by the Center or produced by Center personnel. She was editor, with Cole Durham, Silvio... more

Image for Deborah A. Wright

Center Coordinator and Administrative 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, 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 would be impossible 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 to bring to pass such a complex undertaking.... more

Image for Gayla Sorenson

Senior Fellow
Volunteer Network Coordinator

Gayla Sorenson came to her work for the Center following a distinguished 20-year legal career at Motorola. Her career included managing domestic and international litigation matters, negotiating global contracts, joint ventures and alliances and extensive strategic involvement in domestic and international acquisitions. Her career at Motorola culminated with her serving as Vice President, Law for Motorola's Connected Home business unit, where she had oversight of the global legal affairs for that business. Gayla is a graduate of the J. Reuben Clark Law School and is also... more

Image for James Toronto

Senior Fellow in Islamic Studies

James Torono received a PhD from Harvard in Middle Eastern Studies. Jim is Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Brigham Young University, teaching courses in religion, humanities, language, and research methodology. He has lived in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan) for ten years teaching in international schools, studying Arabic language and literature, and conducting research on issues of Islamic education, legal status of religious minorities, and LDS missiology. For three years he served as director of the Center for Cultural and Educational Affairs in Amman, Jordan. James served as mission president of the Italy Catania Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and currently serves as a counselor in the Utah Provo Mission.