Managing Director and Regional Advisor for the United States and Africa (2006-2016)
Robert Smith served as the Managing Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies from 2006 until his call in June 2016 to Buenos Aires, Agentina to serve a three-year term as a mission president for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In his role at ICLRS Professor Smith oversaw 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 served as the Center’s Regional Advisor for the United States and was a primary influence in expanding the work of the Center into Africa.
Professor Smith was, and will continue to be, a co-author and editor, along with W. Cole Durham, Jr. and William Bassett, of the Treatise Religious Organizations and the Law, published by Thomson West and updated annually. Under Professor Smith’s direction, this work went from its original 11 chapters in 2 volumes to a 19-chapter, 4-volume, 4000-page work. And then, enlisting the assistance of law and religion scholars nationwide, Professor Smith sheperded the Treatise into a second edition that will be a truly comprehensive guide for lawyers representing religious organizations in the United States for years to come.
Professor Smith has also co-authored numerous articles on religious freedom and other legal topics, and he is a speaker at international conferences on religious topics. In September 2014 he testified before the US Congress about protecting international religious freedom.
Before joining the law school, Professor Smith served as Executive Vice-President and General Counsel to CaseData Corporation. Previously, he was a shareholder and chairman of the Corporate and Tax department at the law firm of Kirton & McConkie in Salt Lake City. He also practiced with large law firms in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, Illinois. He spent his early career working as a CPA for Deloitte & Touche in California and Washington, D.C.
Professor Smith received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from BYU and is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a Masters of Business Administration. He is also a magna cum laude graduate of the J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he was named to the Order of the Coif and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brigham Young University Law Review.