Tom Berg is the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota), where he teaches and writes on religious liberty, constitutional law, and intellectual property and supervises the religious liberty appellate clinic. He is the author of four books (including a leading casebook), more than 100 scholarly and popular articles, and many briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and other courts on religious liberty issues. He also writes on issues concerning intellectual property, social justice, and human development. He has been co-director of St. Thomas’s Terrence J. Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy; he serves on the board of the Democrats for Life of America; and he contributes to Mirror of Justice, the SCOTUS Blog, and other weblogs. He has degrees from the University of Chicago, in both law and religious studies; from Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar; and from Northwestern University. Before entering law teaching, he practiced law at Mayer Brown & Platt in Chicago and clerked for the Hon. Alvin B. Rubin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. In his spare time, he writes musical plays with his wife, Maureen, and appears onstage with the Gilbert & Sullivan Very Light Opera Company of the Twin Cities.
As Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Elizabeth Clark has co-organized and taken part in dozens of conferences and academic projects with other scholars and with government leaders from around the world. She has from the beginning played a major role in organizing the Annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University. She has taken part in drafting commentaries and legal analyses of pending legislation and developments affecting religious freedom, and has assisted in drafting amicus briefs on international religious freedom issues for the U.S. Supreme Court. Before joining the Center, Professor Clark was an associate in the Washington, D.C., office of Mayer, Brown & Platt, where she was a member of the Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Group. Professor Clark also clerked for Judge J. Clifford Wallace on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Clark graduated summa cum laude from the BYU Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the BYU Law Review. Drawing on her multilingual talents in Russian, Czech, German and French, Professor Clark has been active in writing and lecturing on church-state and comparative law topics. She has taught classes on Comparative Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, International Human Rights, and European Union law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. She has published numerous articles and chapters on church-state issues and has been an associate editor of three major books: Facilitating Freedom of Religion and Belief and two books on law and religion in post-Communist Europe. Professor Clark has also testified before Congress on religious freedom issues.
Steven T. Collis is the chair of the religious institutions and First Amendment practice group at Holland & Hart LLP, as well as a member of the firm’s complex civil litigation and employment groups. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he teaches courses on the intersection of law and religion. Mr. Collis publishes and speaks regularly on religious freedom issues and represents religious and other institutions in a variety of complex matters, including in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Ninth and Tenth Circuits and the United States Supreme Court.
Cole Durham is Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a Note Editor of the Harvard Law Review and Managing Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. He has been heavily involved in comparative law scholarship, with a special emphasis on comparative constitutional law. He is President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS), based in Milan, Italy, and a Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. He served as the Secretary of the American Society of Comparative Law from 1989 to 1994. He is an Associate Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law in Paris—the premier academic organization at the global level in comparative law. He served as a General Rapporteur for the topic "Religion and the Secular State" at the 18th International Congress of Comparative Law held in July 2010. He served in earlier years as Chair both of the Comparative Law Section and the Law and Religion Section of the American Association of Law Schools.
Alexander Dushku is a shareholder and member of the board of directors of the Salt Lake City law firm of Kirton McConkie. He graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1990 and magna cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark law school at BYU in 1993. After law school, Alexander practiced law in California for two years and then clerked on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for the Honorable Judge Daniel A. Manion. In 1996, following his clerkship, Alexander joined Kirton McConkie, where he is a member of the firm’s constitutional and appellate law section, specializing in appellate brief writing and critical law and motion practice. He has authored numerous briefs in important religious liberty cases before appellate courts across the United States, including in the United States Supreme Court, and has consulted with legislators and advocates across the country on religious liberty issues. Much of his legal work is for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in cases involving complex issues of First Amendment law. Alexander is past president of the Constitutional Law Section of the Utah State Bar and is listed as one of Utah’s "Legal Elite" by Utah Business Magazine and as a Mountain States Super Lawyer.
Scott Ferrin is an associate professor of educational leadership and foundations and adjunct professor of law at Brigham Young University. He is also an affiliated scholar at the Wheatley Institution. Prior to joining BYU, Ferrin served as executive assistant to the president, trustee liaison officer and secretary to the board of Bryant College. His research focuses heavily on educational law and policy; school and Constitutional law, including church and state issues; politics and policy; language policy; leadership issues including relationship of higher education to primary and secondary education; and governance issues in higher education. He has lectured internationally and been published widely in many scholarly journals and books, including the Bilingual Research Journal, Education and Urban Society, Equity and Excellence in Education, Higher Education Policy, International Journal of Higher Education and the Journal of Law and Education. Ferrin holds a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate from BYU and master of education and doctorate of education degrees from Harvard University.
Michael D. Frandsen has worked in public affairs and corporate communications for more than 20 years. He is currently a director in the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a particular focus on religious freedom. Michael began his career in journalism but early on served as Press Secretary for a U.S. Senator in Washington, DC. He has helped lead the public affairs and corporate communications efforts of several Fortune 500 companies working in Salt Lake City, Chicago, Philadelphia and London. He holds a master’s degree in Comparative Politics from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in Journalism from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Japanese from Brigham Young University.
Dr. Mark Goldfeder, Esq. is Senior Lecturer at Emory Law School, the Spruill Family Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, and Director of Law and Religion Student Programs at Emory. He is also an ordained orthodox rabbi and rabbinic court judge, and serves as an attorney of counsel to the American Center for Law and Justice.
M. Christian Green is Senior fellow at the Center for the Study of Law and Religion and an editor at the Journal of Law and Religion at Emory University. She taught religious ethics at DePaul University, Harvard Divinity School, and the Candler School of Theology at Emory. During the 2010-2011 academic year, she was a visiting research fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, researching issues of religion, rights, and identity. Her general research interests include law and religion, human rights, feminism and the family, religion and world affairs, and global ethics.
Matthew S. Holland was appointed the sixth president of Utah Valley University in 2009. Under his leadership, UVU adopted a unique educational mission focused on student success and developed core themes of being inclusive, serious, and engaged. These things helped the university become a full-fledged university in practice, maintaining high academic standards while expanding offerings to meet market demands. As a result, UVU experienced unprecedented growth and reached the distinction of largest public institution of higher education in Utah in 2015. President Holland earned a B.A. in political science from Brigham Young University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Duke University. He also earned a graduate certificate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the study of ethical political leadership. Despite many administrative demands at UVU, President Holland remains active in his academic discipline, publishing and guest lecturing at universities such as Stanford, Harvard, Notre Dame, and Oxford. He is a Visiting Fellow in the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He and his wife, Paige, are the parents of four children.
Michael L. Jensen, an International Fellow of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, is at present Area Legal Counsel, Office of General Counsel, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Frankfurt, Germany. He served from 2007-2009 as Area Legal Counsel in Hong Kong, and from 2001-2005 in the same role in Moscow, in which capacities he supervised corporate, tax, employment, real estate and construction, litigation, government relations, religious liberty, and related legal issues for the Church in 26 countries in Asia and in 16 countries in Eastern Europe, respectively. Intermittent with these assignments he has been a member of Counsel of the International Law Section and Employment Law Section of the law firm Kirton McConkie, with a practice focusing on international law for not-for-profit organizations and on advising employers on all aspects of the employment relationship. Previous to his assignments for the Church, Mr. Jensen was associate then partner in the firm Luce Forward, San Diego, California, a member of their Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, and Practice Group Chair, specializing in all aspects of employment law and litigation in state and federal courts, including individual and class discrimination and wage litigation, wrongful termination litigation, collective bargaining, and general employment counseling and training. He was before this an associate in the firm O'Melveny & Myers, Los Angeles, California, and Law Clerk to the Honorable Eugene A. Wright, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Seattle, Washington. A graduate cum laude of Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Mr. Jensen received his law degree, cum laude, from J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the law review and research assistant to Associate Dean E. Gordon Gee. He is admitted to practice in Utah, California, and Washington, and before the Supreme Court of the United States.
A professor in the Brigham Young University Department of Political Science, David Kirkham is academic director of Brigham Young University Limited (London Centre). He was for eight years before that Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy and Regional Advisor for Europe, for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He came to the Center 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 was Associate Professor of History, Director of International History, and Director of International Plans and Programs at the US Air Force Academy. He conducted international negotiations and diplomatic activities for several years 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 officially represented the US and the UN in more than 40 nations on six continents. He holds BA and JD degrees from BYU and a PhD from George Washington University.
Dr. Daniel Mark is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University, where he also serves as a faculty associate of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good and holds the rank of battalion professor in the Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps unit. For the 2015-16 academic year, Dr. Mark was on sabbatical from Villanova as a visiting fellow in the Department of Politics at Princeton University under the sponsorship of the department’s James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He also earned his BA (magna cum laude), MA, and PhD from the Department of Politics at Princeton and wrote his dissertation under the direction of Professor Robert P. George. In May 2014, then-Speaker of the House John Boehner appointed Dr. Mark to the nine-member, bipartisan US Commission on International Religious Freedom. In addition, Dr. Mark is an assistant editor of Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy; a fellow of the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ; and a contributor to Arc of the Universe: Ethics and Global Justice; and he works with the Tikvah Fund in New York and the Hertog Foundation in Washington, DC. Before graduate school, Dr. Mark spent four years as a high school teacher in New York City, and he received the New Jersey Department of Education Commissioner’s Distinguished Teacher Candidate Award while earning his teaching certification.
David Masci is a senior editor and senior researcher at Pew Research Center, where he is the in-house expert on church-state issues, culture war issues, and religion and science. In this capacity, Masci conducts research and writing and gives public presentations and media interviews on various topics, including gay marriage, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, the controversy surrounding teaching evolution, religious displays (Ten Commandments, Christmas crèches, etc.) and stem cell research. Before joining Pew Research Center, Masci worked for 14 years as a journalist for Congressional Quarterly, writing for many of the company’s publications, including The Daily Monitor, CQ Weekly and, most recently, The CQ Researcher. His work has been published in The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, and a host of other national and regional newspapers. Masci has a bachelor’s in medieval history, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University, and a JD from The George Washington University Law School. He has given interviews to most major American newspapers, including the The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on media outlets such as CNN, ABC News, NBC News, and NPR.
Terry Mattingly (tmatt.net) has written the nationally syndicated “On Religion” column for 28 years and now serves as Senior Fellow for Media and Religion at The King's College in New York City. He double-majored in journalism and history at Baylor University and then earned an M.A. at Baylor in Church-State Studies and an M.S. in communications at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He is the founder and editor of the GetReligion.org website that critiques the mainstream media’s coverage of religion news. The Mattinglys are members of St. Anne's Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Imam Muhammad Musri serves as the Senior Imam, President and Chairman of the Board of the Islamic Society of Central Florida (ISCF). He is the President and Chairman of the Board of Leaders Preparatory School and the Horizons Childcare & Learning Center. He serves as President of the Muslim Social Services, as well as President of the Peace Institute, which conducts outreach programs and services, and which partners with various organizations to promote peace, justice and respect among all people. Imam Musri is an advisor on Islam and Muslims to various agencies of the U.S. government. He was successful in stopping the “Florida Pastor” from “Burning the Qur’an” in 2010. Since 2005, he is a member of the Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council and, in 2009, was appointed by Governor Charlie Christ to the Governor’s Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census for the State of Florida. Active in interfaith work and public service, Iman Musri is a member and past co-chairman of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida’s Advisory Board; a member of the Council of Clergy for Orlando’s Mayor Buddy Dyer; a member of the Advisory Council of the Peace & Justice Initiative at Valencia College; and a member of the Interfaith Advisory Council for the Orange County Public Schools. Imam Musri is a national speaker on various topics about Islam, religious diversity, interfaith work, and the history and culture of the Middle East, and has represented American Muslims on national and international radio and television. Since 2006, he produced a weekly television program, ‘ISLAM’, on Brighthouse Networks Cable, and, is a co-host of “The Three Wise Guys” weekly radio program on NPR affiliate, WMFE 90.7 FM.
Gene Schaerr began practice in 1987 following clerkships on the U.S. Supreme Court (for Chief Justice Warren Burger and Justice Antonin Scalia) and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (for then-Judge Kenneth Starr). He graduated in 1985 from the Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal on Regulation and Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. From 1991 to 1993, he served in the White House as Associate Counsel to the President, where he had responsibility for a wide range of constitutional and administrative-law issues, including those involving higher education, separation of powers, economic regulation, federalism and religious freedom.
Brett Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law at Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School, and Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. His teaching and scholarly interests include international and comparative law and religion. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a BSBA in international business and an MA in philosophy. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, earning a BPhil in philosophy. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. For the past eight years he has been a visiting professor at Central European University in Budapest, teaching comparative law and religion. For the past several years he has helped organize a certificate training program in religion and the rule of law at Peking University Law School’s Center for Administrative and Constitutional Law, and a similar program in Vietnam at the Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. He has also taught and helped organize programs at several Indonesian universities on sharia and human rights, and has taught law and religion as a visiting professor at the University of Adelaide School of Law in Australia. Professor Scharffs has written more than 100 articles and book chapters and has made more than 300 scholarly presentations in 30 countries. His casebook, Law and Religion: National, International and Comparative Perspectives (coauthored with W. Cole Durham Jr.), has been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese, with Turkish and Burmese in process, and is scheduled for a second English edition in 2016.
As president of the 1st Amendment Partnership, Tim Schultz works with the nation’s leading faith communities and state legislators to protect religious freedom in law. In the last four years, Mr. Schultz has on-the-ground experience in more than 30 state capitols, routinely offering policy guidance and testifying in favor of religious freedom laws. He has particular expertise concerning laws that protect religious freedom alongside LGBT rights. He is frequently featured in national media, including the Associated Press, NPR and The New York Times. He is a graduate of Kansas State University and Georgetown University Law School.
Hannah Smith joined The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in 2007 following two clerkships at the U.S. Supreme Court, for Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito, Jr. She was a member of the Becket Fund legal team that secured victories in key U.S. Supreme Court religious liberty cases, including (1) Holt v. Hobbs, 574 U.S. ___ (Jan. 20, 2015); (2) Burwell v. Hobby Lobby 134 S. Ct. 2751 (June 30, 2014); and (3) Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, 132 S. Ct. 694 (2012). Hannah also contributed to the Becket Fund’s Supreme Court filings in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius, 134 S. Ct. 1022 (Jan. 24, 2014); Wheaton College v. Burwell, 134 S. Ct. 2806 (July 3, 2014); Bronx Household of Faith v. New York City Board of Education (2014); Elmbrook School District v. Doe (2014); Big Sky Colony v. Montana Department of Labor and Industry (2013); among others. She has been featured on numerous television and radio programs and in many publications. She has delivered lectures at several law schools, and given briefings on religious liberty issues at the U.S. Capitol, the State Department, the Heritage Foundation, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, and the American Bar Association. She received her BA from Princeton University, concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She graduated from Brigham Young University Law School and was elected to the Order of the Coif. She served as Executive Editor of the BYU Law Review, as a research assistant for the BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and as president of the BYU Federalist Society. BYU awarded her its Alumni Achievement Award in 2013. Following law school and in between clerkships, she was an associate in private practice at national law firms in Washington D.C., representing clients before state and federal courts and the U.S. Supreme Court in civil, criminal, and constitutional cases. She served as a full-time volunteer missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in France and Switzerland. Currently, she serves as a member of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society International Board and as a member of the Deseret News Editorial Advisory Board. She writes a regular column on religious liberty issues in the Deseret News.
Steven D. Smith is a Warren Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of San Diego and Co-Director of that university’s Institute for Law and Religion. A graduate of Brigham Young University and Yale Law School, Prof. Smith has also taught at the University of Notre Dame, the University of Colorado, and the University of Idaho. His scholarly work, mostly in the areas of jurisprudence and constitutional law, includes The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom (Harvard 2014), The Disenchantment of Secular Discourse (Harvard 2010), and Law’s Quandary (Harvard 2004).
Elder Lance B. Wickman is an Emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is currently the general counsel of the Church. He practiced law in Los Angeles and San Diego and graduated from Stanford Law School. He served in the United States Army as a captain during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Valorous Unit Award, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Elder Wickman was born in Seattle, Washington but raised in California. He and his wife Patricia are the parents of five children.