Donlu DeWitt Thayer is the Center’s Publications Director, with responsibility for overseeing print and electronic publications, including the Center’s websites and blog, Talk About: Law and Religion, and the Law and Religion Headlines sent several times a week to subscribers worldwide. A significant responsibility is maintaining the website and case table of the Strasbourg Consortium, which tracks the freedom-of-religion-or-belief jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. She is Associate Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion and manager of the OJLRblog. She was Associate Editor of the 5-volume Encyclopedia of Law and Religion (Brill 2016, Gerhard Robbers and Cole Durham, eds). She has participated as writer or editor in Center publication projects including briefs for the US Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights, revisions of the casebook Law and Religion: National, International, and Comparative Perspectives (Wolters Kluwer 2nd ed. 2019), revisions of the treatise Religious Organizations and the Law (West ongoing, William Bassett, Cole Durham, Robert Smith, eds.), and editing and typesetting of the interim and final volumes of Religion and the Secular State (ICLRS 2010 and Complutense Univ. of Madrid 2015, Javier Martínez-Torrón and W. Cole Durham, Jr., General Reporters). She is co-editor of four volumes in the Routledge ICLARS Series on Law and Religion.
Before joining the Center in 2009, Donlu had a long career as a teacher, writer, and editor. In addition to extensive freelance projects, she worked as an editor for BYU Press and was for many years volume editor for the New World Archaeological Foundation. She taught for the Brigham Young University English Department and Honors Program intermittently during 1970–2008, courses including beginning and advanced composition, intensive reading and writing, technical writing, creative writing, and thesis writing. Most recently, she created and taught the Honors Program course Advanced Writing for Pre-Law Students. Just prior to her retirement from teaching in 2008, she received the Honors Program’s JoAnn Britsch Teaching Excellence Award.
Donlu attended Brigham Young University as an Honors Program Scholar and a Karl G. Maeser Scholar, graduating in 1970 as co-valedictorian of the College of Humanities with a double major in French and English, a University minor in German, and a secondary teaching certification. She received a master’s degree in American Literature from BYU in 1972, and in 2004 she graduated from the J. Reuben Clark Law School, where she received the Faculty Award for Meritorious Service, the J. Reuben Clark Public Interest Service Award, and the Schooley Outstanding Mediator Award and was Justice of the Cowley Chapter of Pi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International.
As a mediator she focused on marriage, family, school, and juvenile court mediations and received specialized training in high-risk victim /offender dialogue. She was for a brief time executive director of Community Dispute Resolution Services in Utah County. She is a member of the Utah State Bar. She was married for 43 years to writer and BYU English Professor Douglas H. Thayer (until his death in October 2017), and they have six children, six children-in-law, and twenty-one grandchildren.