Erlend “Pete” Peterson Named as Center Senior Fellow for the Middle East

The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU Law School is pleased to announced that Erlend “Pete” Peterson, recently retired from service as Brigham Young University’s Associate International Vice President, has accepted a position as Center Senior Fellow for the Middle East.

During his fifty years of full-time employment at BYU, Pete served in several professional positions in Admissions and Records (35 years), as Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Dean of Admissions and Records (25 years). For the past 15 years he was Associate International Vice President, which included many international roles and hosting, including a close working relationship with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and many important contributions to the Center’s mission and work.

Pete became involved in Brigham Young University’s international efforts in 1973 when he was named assistant dean of the Division of Admissions and Records and given responsibility for Brigham Young University’s special international scholarship programs.  In 1985, he was appointed an “associate” to the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. In 1996 Pete began the BYU Ambassador Lecture Series and he has invited and hosted over 260 foreign ambassadors from 104 countries. In 1985 Pete was instrumental in establishing the BYU Jordanian Undergraduate Scholarship Program, and in 2006 he established the BYU Jordanian Judges Scholarship Program. Pete managed both scholarship programs until retirement, which included thirty trips to the country of Jordan. Pete’s love for the Middle East began when he lived with his parents in Tehran, Iran from 1951-1954.

In 1997, King Harald of Norway recognized Pete for his lifelong service to Norway by knighting him Knight First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Norway’s highest commendation to a non-Norwegian citizen. 

Pete began his full-time employment at Brigham Young University in 1966 and holds three degrees from Brigham Young University: a bachelor’s degree in business; a master’s degree in Sociology; and a doctor’s degree in Educational Administration. Pete is married to Colleen Dawn Keith.