David Kirkham served as Academic Director and professor at the Brigham Young University London Centre from 2015-2019. He has served ICLRS as Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy and Advisor for Europe since July 2007 and continues in this role in an advisory and representational capacity. David first came to the Law School 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. He 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 and held an associate professorship in the BYU Department of Political Science until his retirement in 2019.
For several years David conducted international negotiations and diplomatic activities for the US Government and United Nations, including as Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva (with duties primarily in Africa). He has lived nearly nineteen years of his adult life in five European countries (Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France and Belgium) and represented the United States and the UN in some fifty nations on six continents. He also originated and co-directed BYU’s first ever study abroad program in human rights, which launched in 2019 in England, Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. He began his career in the early 1980s with a five-year law practice for the US Air Force in England and in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Kirkham’s writing and teaching address international human rights, democratization, constitutionalism, diplomacy, the United Nations, international humanitarian relief, and the global challenges posed by ideological extremism. He is the editor of the book State Responses to Minority Religions (Ashgate, 2013) as well as co-editor of two books on Islam, law, and politics in Europe. He speaks French and German and holds a Ph.D. from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from the J. Reuben Clark Law School. Dr. Kirkham is married to the former Judith Hunter, and they are the parents of eight children.