John P. (Phil) and Barbara S. Colton, longtime supporters of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, served most recently as International Fellows, in their capacities as Government Relations Representatives in New York City. Phil Colton received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah in Metallurgical Engineering. Later he did graduate studies at University of Idaho, Moscow; University of Missouri, Rolla; Washington University, St. Louis University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He met Barbara (Bobby) Snyder at the University of Utah. Bobby graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and received her Masters of Music in Conducting from the University of Maryland.
Following their marriage and graduation, Phil worked in the private nuclear fuels Industry in Idaho Falls, Idaho, St. Louis, Missouri (Senior Engineering Supervisor), and in New Haven, Connecticut (Senior Project Engineer). The work involved the manufacturing of nuclear fuels for research reactors, power reactors and Navy nuclear fuels. Leaving private industry, Phil accepted employment with the U.S. Atomic Energy Agency in 1974, and when it was divided, continued working for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. For five years he worked as a senior scientist in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria. During this time he chaired many international technical committees and authored major publications on Nuclear Fuel Cycle activities. During this time, he also acted as an advisor to nuclear energy related projects in twenty-five different countries. Upon his return to the US and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1981 he transferred to the US Arms Control and Disarmament. Phil was responsible, among other items, for technical transfer of US technologies to countries who were members of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. In 1991 Phil once again accepted an assignment with the IAEA in Vienna. He returned to Vienna with his wife, Bobby, remaining there for an additional eight years. He led the IAEA’s transition into the use of computers and system automation as the Director of Fellowships. Each year, in that capacity, he and his staff were responsible for arranging the training in the peaceful uses of the atom of approximately 16,000 medical doctors, scientists and agricultural leaders from 100 developing countries in 40 developed countries. During his last four years with the Agency he was the Program Director for the administration of 100 million dollars in technical projects within the IAEA. He traveled throughout the world to approximately 130 different countries and territories during his professional career in training and evaluating projects.
In 2005, the IAEA Director General and the Staff were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to bring peace to the world. Phil was one of the staff members who shared in the Nobel Peace Prize award and who donated their shares to humanitarian efforts in Africa. Returning to the US in 1999, Phil worked until his retirement in 2000 in the State Department on tasks involving the IAEA, the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, and other technology transfer issues. Parallel to his professional and church activities, Phil has been a career Army Reserve officer. After thirty-seven years and stints of active duty, the last being Desert Storm in 1991, where he commanded a Military Intelligence unit, he retired as a Colonel in the United States Army Reserves. In 2004, The Coltons sold their home of thirty years in Rockville, Maryland, and moved back to Utah. Phil serves on the Governor’s Energy Council and on a Legislative Working Group on Energy issues and has recently been invited by Brigham Young University to be an Advisor to the College of Physical and Mathematical Science Volunteer Leadership Council.
Bobby Colton graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and received her Masters of Music in Conducting from the University of Maryland. Throughout her life she has been active in church and community music groups. She has conducted a community chorus and several musicals and has conducted an annual production of Handel’s Messiah for more than 15 years. She currently conducts a handbell choir which meets weekly and performs for the community. She has also been active in family history, authoring a book on the McGlaughlin family of Ohio. Bobby and Phil have four children and 10 grandchildren.