Hongmeng Cheng is a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Religion and International Relations of Fudan University, Shanghai City. His academic interests are China’s religious policy, religious freedom, and church-state relations, and "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Sino-US Relationship." As the first doctoral student of Ye Xiaowen (former director general of State Administration for Religious Affairs of PRC), he received his PhD in Religious Studies from the School of Philosophy of Renmin University of China in 2014. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree of Management and a Master of Philosophy in Religious Studies from Huangshan College. As a visiting scholar, he did research in the Divinity School of Chung Chi College of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and he was a teacher in Wenzhou University.
Alfredo Abriani earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Sciences from St. Thomas Aquinas College, part of the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA), and a law degree at the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires (UBA). In 2009, he graduated from the Program of Governance and Political Management at the University of San Andrés, CAF and The George Washington University. That same year he joined the Program leaders on the study of the United States and Bilateral Relations organized by the Center for American Studies. In 2014 he participated in the XIII Ibero Visitor Program held in Madrid, Spain, by the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies (FAES). In 2007, he served as Legal Adviser at the General Secretariat of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. He later was appointed General Coordinator of the Directorate General for Religious Affairs of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires, and in 2011, served in the position of Director General of Religious Affairs of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. He currently serves as National Undersecretary for Worship in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina since December 2015. Before serving in the government, he worked as a lawyer.
Marco Gallo graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Rome La Sapienza. He has been living and working in Buenos Aires for over two decades where he is Director of the Pontifical Chair (John Paul II, Benedict XVI, Francis) at the Catholic University of Buenos Aires. He has written articles and essays on interreligious dialogue, with a particular focus on Islamic-Christian relations. He wrote a book about the political and social vision of Pope Francis as well as many studies and essays on Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis. Gallo is also a member of Sant'Egidio Community in Buenos Aires.
Davit Mikayelyan works at the Division of National Minorities and Religious Affairs of the Government Staff of the Republic of Armenia where he deals with practical problems connected with the integration of different religious groups in modern developing society. He studied at Yerevan State University at the faculty of theology and after completing his postgraduate studies, earned a PhD in history. He specializes in religious studies: history of religion, philosophy of religion, and history of the early church. He has been a lecturer at Yerevan State Pedagogical University, Yerevan State University, and Theological Academy of Armenia. During recent years he has been interested in issues dealing with freedom of belief or religion, interreligious dialogue, and religious transformations in modern industrial society.
Dr. Vladimir D. Vardanyan is the Head of Legal Advisory Service of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia. He has written and lectured on legal topics relating to International Humanitarian Law, International Human Rights Law, and International Criminal Law. He is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, and the International and Comparative Law Center of Armenia (ICLaw). He earned his PhD in Public International Law in 2005, his Master’s and Bachelor’s Degrees in Law in 2002 and 2000, accordingly, from Yerevan State University.
Professor Neville Rochow SC is Government Relations Representative of the EU Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brussels. He was an International Fellow of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, is a Member of RUSSLR, University of Adelaide Law School, the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and the Wilberforce Foundation. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School, Sydney. Professor Rochow has practiced as a barrister nationally since 1988 with an emphasis in competition law. He took silk in 2008. He has had various appointments as the head or member of the governing bodies of professional organizations. Prior to his appointment as an adjunct professor, he had provided submissions to all of the federal and State Parliamentary Committees that had been held on the law related to same-sex marriage. Since his retirement from full time practice in 2013 he has taught part-time in law schools and provided professional and pro-bono advice in competition and religious freedom matters. He works with the Australian Economics of Religion Study Group, a multi-faith poly-expert panel, to measure and econometrically value religious performance in Australia. He is active in pursuit of his interests in the areas of interfaith dialogue, philosophical analysis of law and religion, and matters that impact upon freedom of conscience, religion, and association. He speaks, writes and publishes regularly in each of these areas.
Jeremy Stuparich is Public Policy Director at Australian Catholic Bishops Conference since 2011. Previously he was Assistant Director of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. He has served as an adviser to Senator Steve Fielding and before that as an adviser to Senator Brian Harradine. He holds a Diploma of Project Management from Canberra Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Canberra, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government from the Australian National University. He speaks Italian.
Kieran Walton currently serves as the Private Secretary to the Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. Before joining the staff of the Archbishop, he worked as a speech writer to Australian Prime Minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP. Kieran also served as a researcher and adviser to former Australian Prime Minister the Hon. John Howard OM AC. He holds degrees in History, Politics and Management from the University of Sydney.
Mariya Milashevskaya is an international lawyer and economist. Currently she is employed as a teacher in the International Law Department in the International University 'MITSO', Minsk, Belarus. She is the winner of the Martens Moot Court Competition on IHL, and competed in Jessup, Pictet, and CEEMC international law competitions. The topic of her Master's Thesis is 'Migration Issues of Foreign and Security Policy in the EU'.
The Very Reverend Archimandrite, Fr. Aimilianos (Triantafyllos) Bogiannou was born in Germany and studied in Germany, Greece and in the USA. He was ordained a Deacon in 2004 in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, and was sent to work for the Liaison Office of the Orthodox Church to the EU in Brussels as the Assistant to the Director for 10 years. In December 2014 the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople made him the new Director of the Liaison Office. He has represented the Ecumenical Patriarchate on various occasions and in conferences worldwide. In November 2009 he was ordained a Priest. He has his parish in Lille, France. He lives in Brussels, where he also teaches Orthodox Religion in the European Schools. He speaks Greek, German, English, and French fluently.
Ivan Williams graduated as an attorney and presently works for the government of Belize as Labour Commissioner in the Ministry of Labor.
Jorge Ramiro Tapia Sainz is a Medical Surgeon with a degree from Universidad Mayor de San Andreas (UMSA), specializing in Pediatrics, Neonatology, and Child Psychology. He also holds a Master’s in Public Management. He is the author of various research papers with articles published and presented at conferences. He served as Deputy Minister of Higher Education in 2007, and from 2008-2009, served as Minister of Health and Sports. At UMSA he served as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Head of Student Welfare, Professor of Embryology and Genetics, Professor of Pediatric Medical Residence, Professor of Medical Care, and Visiting Professor in the chair of Pediatrics and Genetics, among other teaching positions. As a university student he served in leadership capacities for UMSA and was a member of the grassroots committee for the hunger strike for the declaration of university autonomy in 1982. He was the Executive of the Federación Universitaria Local (FUL) from 1987-88, and participated in UMSA's first Congress, participating and representing UMSA in a series of national and international events. As a professional he was recognized for his active participation in unions. He served as Secretary General of Colegio Medico Departamental de La Paz, and as a member of the medical faculty council of Colegio Media and a series of schools. In respect to his national and international accomplishments, he has been distinguished with many awards and recognitions in the fields of health and education. Currently he represents the nation of Bolivia as Consulate General in Argentina.
Rodrigo Vitorino Souza Alves is a member of the Academic Staff of the Federal University of Uberlandia (Brazil). He was an Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford (2014-2015) and is Director of the Brazilian Center for Studies in Law and Religion. He has published academic works and has spoken at the National Congress of Brazil and the United Nations Office at Geneva, where he served as guest speaker at the Sixth Session of the Forum on Minority Issues on "Beyond freedom of religion or belief: Guaranteeing the rights of religious minorities". He was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) study on freedom of religion or belief. He is a guest academic at the Sacred and Secular Project (Open University) and the Brazilian National Reporter for the Constitute Project. In 2015-2016 he coordinated the project "Religion and Human Rights: Promoting the Respect for Religious Diversity", which received the support of the Ministry of Education of Brazil.
Daniela Araujo Espurio is a coordinator (senior lawyer) in the Real Estate and Litigation Department at Cerqueira Leite Advogados Associados since 2005. She specializes in civil, arbitration, contracts, and real estate. She received a postgraduate degree Real Estate Business from Fundação Getúlio Vargas. She has a specialization in Real Estate Law from the Getulio Vargas Foundation. She also has a postgraduate degree in Public Law from the Catholic University of Minas Gerais. She obtained her Bachelor in Law from Universidade São Francisco. Since 1996, she has been a Member of the Order of Lawyers of Brazil - OAB / SP.
Marcus Barbosa Guimarães has been a priest in the Catholic Church for 30 years. He has both a PhD from Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro and a master's degree in Systematic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. He lectured at the Paulo VI Philosophical and Theological Institute in Nova Iguaçu, and still serves as an Academic Director and Teacher on their Pastoral Theology Course. In the Diocese of Nova Iguaçu, as well as being a Parish Priest, he holds the office of Vicar General. In 2014, he was invited by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil: CNBB) to take up the post of advisor to the Group for Reflection on Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue of the Episcopal Pastoral Commission for Ecumenism. He is currently the president of the Ecumenical Coordination of Service (CESE).
Hélio Carnassale has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a pastor since 1981. He has exercised several ministerial duties and has acted in activities with administrative responsibilities in Adventist institutions. His recent responsibility was as the Principal of the Adventist University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo City campus, until July of 2015. Since August 2015, he is the Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the South American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, headquartered in Brasilia, DC, Brazil, and serves eight countries of South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay). He has a Bachelor of Theology and a Master in Religion Sciences.
Aroldo Cavalcante is a member of the Law and Religious Freedom Committee at the Brazilian Bar Association. He is affiliated with the Bar Association of Pernambuco and Caera, Brazil. Aroldo is a Managing Partner of Barreto Cavalcante Advogados and a former City Attorney. He holds an LLM in Administrative Law and a Bachelor's degree from UFC Law School. He is the J. Reuben Clark Law Society Area Director - South America.
Alexandre Brasil Fonseca, a Presbyterian layman, holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Sao Paulo (2002) and a post-doctorate from the University of Barcelona (2009). He is associate professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Since 2012, he has been working in the Federal Government on issues of human rights and religious diversity, currently as the National Committee Coordinator of Respect for Religious Diversity Rights in the Federal Ministry of Women, Racial Equality, Youth and Human Rights. His latest book is Religion and Privileges: State, Secularization and Religious Diversity in Brazil (2011, in Portuguese).
Dr Odacyr Prigol is Chair of the Curitaba Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. He is an attorney at law and a managing partner of Prigol Advogados Associados. He is a member of the Religious Freedom Commission of the Brazil Bar Association in his state. He is also a founding member/director of the Brazilian affiliate of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, which actively promotes religious freedom in Brazil. Dr. Prigol graduated from Faculdade de Direito de Curitaba and earned an LLM from Academia Paranaense de Estudos Juridicos.
Chancellor Herménégilde Ndoricimpa was ordained a Catholic Priest on July 9, 1989. Between 1989 and 1990 he served as Vicar in the Southwestern province of Rumonge, Burundi, before he simultaneously served as Diocesan Supervisor of the schools under convention of the Bururi Diocese and Pastoral Office Director of this diocese. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and a Bachelor’s degree in Theology. In 1992 he began studies at Ottawa Saint-Paul University and Ottawa University in Canada, earning a Master’s degree in Ethics in 1994. From 1994-1998 he pursued Doctoral studies while he was Moral Existence Lecturer at the same university. In 1995, he received a Canonical License in Moral Theology, followed by a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) – Ethics option - and Theology (DTh) in 1998. From 1998-2010 he played many pivotal roles as Parish Priest, Vicar General in Bururi Diocese, and Professor at the Grand Seminary of the central province of Gitega, Burundi. He is a Member of the Board of Council of Great Lakes University as well as the Council for Education and Development (COPED), a Burundi catholic charity organization. From 2011 to the present, Chancellor Herménégilde Ndoricimpa is Rector and Professor at Great Lakes University, Burundi, Africa.
Dr. Kantha Phavi ING was reappointed Minister for Women’s Affairs and Chairwoman of the Cambodian National Council for Women in 2013. Dr. Ing is an active architect in levying the women’s agenda in the national development and in ongoing state reforms through developing effective mechanisms for gender mainstreaming and ensuring women economic, legal, and social empowerment to increase their voices and representation in public decision making. In 2012 Dr Ing became a co-founder of the Nokor Tep Foundation currently building Cambodia’s first hospital dedicated to better healthcare for women. Dr. Ing received her MD in Paris and a Brevet in Public Administration from École Nationale d’Administration (ENA) Paris. She participated in the executive program “Leaders in Development” at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (2004).
H.E. Mr. Thai Sieng TRAC currently holds the position of Vice Governor of Phnom Penh City Hall (Cambodia). Mr. Trac manages a wide-ranging portfolio of Public Works, Tourism, International Relations and Investment. He is an active contributor to improve the living environment for Phnom Penh people and is instrumental to the creation of public-private partnerships to accelerate the city’s development. Previously, Mr. Trac was a consultant for global corporate companies on communication and media strategies. In 2012, Mr. Trac became a co-founder of the Nokor Tep Foundation currently building Cambodia’s first hospital dedicated to better healthcare for women. Mr. Trac has graduated with two Masters in Management, including an MBA from the ESSEC Graduate Business School, Paris.
John Borrows BA, MA, JD, LLM (Toronto), PhD (Osgoode Hall Law School), LLD (Hons., Dalhousie) FRSC, is the Canada Research Chair in Law and Society at the University of Minnesota Law School. His publications include, Recovering Canada; The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science, 2002), Canada's Indigenous Constitution (Canadian Law and Society Best Book Award 2011), Drawing Out Law: A Spirit's Guide (2010), and Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism (2015) all from the University of Toronto Press. Professor Borrows is a recipient an Aboriginal Achievement Award in Law and Justice, a Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation, and a Fellow of the Academy of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada (RSC), Canada's highest academic honor. John is Anishinaabe/Ojibway and a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario, Canada.
Educated in mathematics, education and philosophy, Dr. Gerald Filson is Director of Public Affairs of the Bahá'í and a member of the national executiveCommunity of Canada since 1993 and is currently a member of the National Spiritual Assembly, the national governing council of the Baha’is of Canada. Engaged in civil society, Dr. Filson served as Chair of the Canadian Network on International Human Rights from 1998-2002, the Mosaic Management Group of VisionTV in the 1990s, and served two terms on the Board of the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs. He was the Chair of the Canadian Interfaith Conversation, 2012-16. Raised in Saskatchewan, and an educator in Quebec for many years, he has travelled widely on international projects.
Ana María Celis Brunet is Professor in the Faculty of Law of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (UC), where she teaches Canon Law and Law and Religion, as well as post graduate courses in different programs. She received her License and Doctoral degree in Canon Law at the Pontificia Università Gregoriana (Rome, Italy) with the dissertation La relevancia canónica del matrimonio civil a la luz de la Teoría general del Acto jurídico, contribución teórica a la experiencia jurídica chilena. Professor Celis is an ecclesiastical lawyer before the Ecclesiastical Court of Santiago. She is Director of the Center for Law and Religion at UC, which began in 2005 as Centro de Libertad Religiosa, a center for studying Church-State matters and promoting religious freedom. She was the secretary and then President (2013-2016) of the Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa (Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom). She was elected President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) in September 2016.
Professor Benjamin (Jianming) Chen holds a Doctor in History and is a member of the Chinese Religious Studies Society. He is a researcher at the Institute of Religious Studies of Sichuan University, and Director of the Center for the Studies of Christianity at SCU as well as standing deputy editor-in-chief of the journal Religious Studies. Professor Chen’s research is mainly in the history of Christian missionaries and Christian publishing in China, and he recently turned his attention to the reality of Christianity in today’s China.
Li Songfeng attended Brigham Young University Center's China Certificate Training Program, and was later a visiting fellow at BYU. He has just finished his PhD from Tsinghua, China's # 2 university, and is a junior professor at the University of Politics and Law in Beijing.
Xu Yihua is Professor and Director of the Department of International Politics at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He is a member of the People's Political Consultative Conference of Shanghai Municipality, and a member of the reviewing board of China’s National Endowment for Social Sciences and Humanity Studies. His recent publications include Studies on Relation and China’s National Security (2016), Religion and U.S. Politics and Diplomacy in the Post-Cold War Period (2014) and Religion and Contemporary International Relations (2012, 2015). He received his master’s degree in history from Wuhan University and his doctorate in religion from Princeton University.
Beatriz Lorena Rios Cuellar is a lawyer and Religious Affairs Advisor to the Ministry of Interior in Colombia. She graduated from Rosario University with an emphasis in Environmental Law, and earned a Master in Administrative Law at the same university. Since 2000 she has been conducting studies and research on Religious Freedom in Colombia and the need for the creation and implementation of public policies on the matter. She has served as an advisor to different churches, faith denominations, confessions, federations, confederations, and religious organizations in Colombia. For thirteen years, she was a legal advisor to the Environment Department of the Bogota Mayoral Office.
Euri Cabral is a Dominican communicator with extensive experience in various forms of media. He is currently the host of the radio program El Sol de la Mañana (The Morning Sun), which is transmitted daily on the station Zol FM 106.5. Every week he publishes an article in the newspaper El Caribe and owns the company Producciones Ella y El and the TV channel Senales TV, a channel intended to promote values. He has published some books including Matrimonios Sanos y Felices (Healthy and Happy Marriages) (2016), Amor de Mariposas y otros relatos 2da Edicion (Butterfly Love and other stories), and Duarte un hombre de fe y de accion (Duarte a man of faith and action). He is currently part of the leadership of the Iglesia Cristiana Palabra de Vida (Word of Life Christian Church).
Pastor Raffy Paz directs the Words of Life Christian Church and is president of the Evangelical Fellowship Dominican (CONEDO), the oldest institution of grouping and representation of evangelical churches in the Dominican Republic. For several years he co-hosted the TV show "Teleanálisis with Jesus". He was part of the radio programs "Roses for the Soul" and "En Familia". He studied Business Administration at INTEC and has a specialty in Family Therapy in the Christian Family Counseling Center (CECAF). For four years he worked with the Department of Foreign Languages at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). Also, through the consulting and training firm TRAINS SA, he worked with clients such as the Oakland Athletics and Toronto Blue Jays, the US Armed Forces, the US Agency for International Development (AID) and the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP) among others. For three years he was Executive Director of the Distribuidora Vida, a distributor of Christian books in the Caribbean. Pastor Paz is one of the leading figures in the evangelical leadership in the Dominican nation, and one of the leaders of the Bureau of Evangelical Dialogue, helping to coordinate the actions of Dominican evangelicals. He played a major role in getting Congress and the Dominican Electoral Tribunal to approve the right of realization of legally binding non-Catholic marriages.
Zenebe Beyene (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communication, Director of Office of External Relations, Partnerships and Communication at Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia and NAFSA Global Dialogue Fellow. Dr. Zenebe has taught courses in journalism and political communication as well as peace and security in Ethiopia, Rwanda and the USA. His publications include Media Use and Abuse in Ethiopia, The role of ICT in peace building, state building and governance in Africa (with Abdissa Zerai), and Satellite, Plasmas and Law (with Iginio Gagliardone and Abdissa Zerai).
Dr. Solomon Fikre Lemma received his PhD from the University of Warwick, and an LLM from Erasmus University (The Netherlands) as well as an LLB with distinction from Addis Ababa University. Dr. Solomon is currently serving as Assistant Professor and Dean of the College of Law and Governance Studies of Addis Ababa University. Previously, he was an instructor, researcher, and practitioner of law at Hawassa University, Hawassa, Ethiopia. Solomon has also served as Deputy Chairman of the Lawyers’ Association of the SNNPRS (Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Regional State) in Ethiopia, where he led, directed, and managed the Association in that position between 2007 and 2009. Dr. Solomon has served as a legal advisor, human rights activist, and educator and trainer of law at various international and local NGOs, federal and state agencies, as well as a self-employed consultant and attorney-at-law since October 2002. In these capacities, Dr. Solomon has performed social works, and provided legal advice, human rights advocacy, education, and training for the benefit of vulnerable groups and other members of the community. Dr. Solomon’s research interests include law and development, particularly the role and potential of land, business, and trade laws in tackling poverty and fostering economic development in developing countries like Ethiopia. As a volunteer, Dr. Solomon had served as a UNHCR volunteer at Bonga and Fugnido Camps for Sudanese refugees in western Ethiopia, contributing to his research interest in the protection and treatment accorded to vulnerable groups such as women, children, and refugees under international and Ethiopian laws.
Natia Khantadze is a Founding Dean of the School of Law, Free University of Tbilisi. Under her leadership the Centre on Commercial Law and Institute for Human Rights was established, and Natia is a member of the supervisory boards of both institutions. Before her tenure as a Dean, Natia held advisory and managerial positions at governmental and international agencies. She served as legal advisor to the Minister on Coordination of Reforms and as a legal advisor for the CoE’s anti-corruption project in Georgia. Natia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Law from Georgian Technical University and a Master’s degree in Public Law from German University of Administrative Sciences, Speyer.
Davit Zedelashvili teaches courses in Constitutional Law, Jurisprudence and Political Philosophy at the Free University of Tbilisi. He has published both in English and Georgian languages. Recently, he edited an interdisciplinary volume dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Georgian Constitution. Davit is a graduate of Tbilisi State University (LLB, 2007) and Central European University (LLM in Human Rights with Distinction, 2008). He is completing a SJD dissertation in comparative constitutional law at Central European University. Prior to joining legal academia, Davit has served as legal advisor at the Office of the Prosecutor General of Georgia. He regularly provides expert advice on constitutional matters to various non-governmental and international organization projects.
Professor Heiner Bielefeldt was appointed as United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief on 18 June 2010. Holding both a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Tübingen and a post-doctoral Habilitation Degree in Philosophy from the University of Bremen, following upon undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Catholic Theology at both institutions, Professor Bielefeldt teaches in the areas of political science, philosophy, law, and history. He has taught in faculties of law and philosophy at the universities of Tübingen, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Toronto, and Bielefeld. From 2003-2009 he served as Director of the German Institute for Human Rights, and during 2008-2009 he was Chair of the Subcommittee on Accreditation of National Human Rights Institutions, International Coordinating Committee, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. In 2009, he was appointed professor in the newly created Chair of Human Rights and Human Rights Policy at the University of Erlangen, which position he held at the time of his appointment as Special Rapporteur.
Francis X. Hezel is a Jesuit priest who has worked in Micronesia for nearly 50 years. He spent part of this time as a teacher, principal, and director at Xavier High School, Chuuk. He also served as regional superior of the Jesuits in Micronesia. For 39 years, he served as the director of the Micronesian Seminar, a Jesuit-sponsored research-pastoral institute engaged in extensive community education work in the Pacific. In this capacity, he has organized several conferences on current issues and has written and spoken widely about social change and its impact on island societies. He has also published nearly a hundred articles and eleven books on Micronesian history and culture, including The First Taint of Civilization and Strangers in their Own Land. He produced over 70 video documentaries for local broadcast, including a seven-hour series on the history of Micronesia, and introduced a popular website that offers Micronesians everywhere the opportunity to access MicSem products and to discuss contemporary issues with one another.
Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria is Secretary General of the Central American University High Council. He was the Vice-President of Guatemala from 2015-2016. Fuentes Soria earned a Master in Educational Measurement, Evaluation, and Research from the Universidad del Valle, Guatemala. He is a dentist surgeon and a professor at the Faculty of Dentistry USAC for 25 years, and served as Dean from 1980-84. He has acted as an international senior consultant for the Pan American Health Organization and the United Nations Development Program among others. He has lectured at over 150 academic and research events in over 27 countries and authored or co-authored over 75 papers on education and human rights. From 2001-2004 he was Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights and Coordinator of the Presidential Unit for Conflict Resolution. He served as Technical Secretary of the Department of Peace of Guatemala and Executive Secretary of the Committee Accompanying the Peace Accords from 2000-2001, and President of the University of San Carlos of Guatemala, 1990-1994. In 2014 he received a Distinguished Professional Gold Medal from the Assembly of Presidents of Professional Associations.
Cesar Vásquez Miranda graduated as auditor and certified public accountant and is an ordained minister of the Central American Church in Guatemala. He has also served as president of the General National Evangelical Council and as treasurer of the Evangelical Alliance of Guatemala. His current duties include representing the Evangelical Church when meeting with state authorities and civil society leaders, organizing Evangelical denominations in Guatemala, ensuring the establishment of principles and values of national life in the country, and being an intermediary between Evangelicals and civil and military authorities.
Christian de Lespinasse is a fourth generation attorney with expertise in IP rights and insurance matters and handles general legal matters on a case by case basis. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Babson College, Wellesley, MA, USA and a License in law from Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Économiques at Universite d'État d'Haiti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He also holds the insurance designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Risk Manager (CRM). He is the owner-manager of Cabinet de Lespinasse, a boutique law firm established in 1877. With over 30 years’ experience in both legal and insurance matters, he is a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA) where he is also a member of the Latin America Trademark Office Relations Sub Committee; the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) where he is a founding member of the Regional Group for Central America and the Caribbean; Asociacion Interamercana de la Propriedad Intellectual (ASIPI) where he is a member of the Administrative Council as the former Haiti delegate and current alternate delegate; and the Intellectual Property Caribbean Association (IPCA) where he is a member and co-chair of the IPCA Legislation & Registry Liaison Committee.
Rajeev Bhargava is Senior Fellow and Former Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies. He is also the founding Director of the Institute of Indian Thought, Delhi, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Social Justice, ACU, Sydney, and Honorary Fellow, Balliol College, Oxford. He did his BA in Economics from the University of Delhi and his MPhil and DPhil from Oxford. He has been a fellow at the Centre for Ethics and the Professions at Harvard, Wissenshaftskolleg, Berlin, Institute of Advanced Study, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and Institute of Human Sciences, Vienna. His published works include Individualism in Social Science (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1992), Secularism and Its Critics (OUP, Delhi, 1998), What is Political Theory and Why do we need it? (OUP, Delhi, 2010) and The Promise of India's Secular Democracy (OUP, Delhi, 2010).
Mokhammad Najih is a lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Muhammadiyah Malang, since 1990. He completed a PhD (2015) at the University Kebangsaan Malaysia. He studies criminal law policies, particularly the issue of combating corruption, and Islamic criminal law. He has been involved in three books, Introduction to the Law of Indonesia (2011), Indonesia Introduction to Criminal Law (2001), and Criminal Law Politics (2014).
Dr. Khozin, MSi, is a lecturer at the department of Islamic Religious Education (PAI), Faculty of Islamic Studies (FAI) UMM. His research interest is in the history of Islamic education and especially the development of the implementation of religious education in Indonesia.
Dr. Sidik Sunaryo is a senior lecturer, lawyer, and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Muhammadiyah Malang, Indonesia and Chairman of Muhammadiyah Organization of East Java on field of settlement of legal disputes. He currently serves as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at UMM. His areas of expertise include the Criminal Justice System and Corruption In Indonesia, Customary Law, and Sociology of Law. He has done research in Crime and Settlement Patterns in Indonesia, and Model of Criminal Justice System in Indonesia. He is currently researching about the Reconstruction of Terrorism Justice System and Prevention Efforts in Indonesia.
Dr. Tongat is a lecturer on the Law Faculty of Muhammadiyah University of Malang specializing in criminal law. He studied law at the University of the General Soedirman graduating in 1990. He received a Master of Laws degree in 2000 and earned a doctorate in 2013 from the University of Diponegoro Semarang.
Khalid Jamal Alber Talya is Director General of Christian Affairs, Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs.
Elena Ervas is a PhD candidate in Law, Market, and Person at the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, working under the supervision of Professor Andrea Pin. Prior to beginning the PhD program, Ervas graduated in law from University of Padua with a thesis in comparative public law. Her research interests are comparative public law and constitutional law, and in particular freedom of religion, religious discrimination, and the relationship between law and religion. In addition to pursuing her PhD, she collaborates with the Fondazione Studium Generale Marcianum of Venice.
Professor Aki Kitazawa is Professor of Private International Law, International Civil Procedure, and International Business Law at Keio University, and Vice Dean of Faculty of Law, Keio University. She is a member of the Religious Juridical Persons Council of Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology. He earned a Master of Law from Keio University.
Wissam Raji earned his PhD in Mathematics from Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. He held a postdoctorate lectureship at Temple for two years. He is currently an associate professor and the chairman of the department of Mathematics at the American University of Beirut. Dr. Raji is the president and the founder of the Center of Development, Democracy and Governance (CDDG) located in Beirut, Lebanon whose main mission is sustainable development and best democratic practices. Dr. Raji has more than 20 published papers in Mathematics and a book on number theory. He also conducted a demographic study about Lebanon that is being referenced by international organizations.
Associate Professor Dr. Mohamed Azam currently serves as Deputy CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia. He began his career as a lecturer at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia in 1990 and held several administration posts there from 1994 until 2013 before joining IAIS. He was appointed as Independent Director of CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad on 5 November 2014, and is the Chairman of the Group Shariah Committee. He obtained his Bachelor degree in Shar'ia and Law from the University of Malaya, and his Master of Laws (LLM) and PhD degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Dr. Sergio Cuevas Urrea is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he has served in local and regional leadership positions within the church. He earned a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Administration, a Master’s Degree in Education and has completed several courses on Education. Currently he is the Vice-president for the NGO “Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa”, whose purpose is to defend and promote Human Rights for the family, children and religious freedom.
Julio César González Castillo is with Fundacion Conciencia Nacional Por La Libertad Religiosa, a civil association nonprofit, founded in Mexico City in 2015, in order to act in the promotion and defense of human rights related to the family, religious freedom and conscientious objection. The organization goals include establishing a culture of respect and protection in government and society by the year 2030.
Carlos Penagos is a Member of Congress of the state of Chiapas. He has worked various jobs and is the owner of his own business. He currently serves as the Secretary of Youth, Recreation, and Sports.
Oscar Eduardo Ramírez Aguilar is the President of the Board of the State Congress, Chiapas, Mexico. He holds a doctorate degree in Political and Social Sciences. He has held multiple government commissions including President of the Border Affairs South-Southeast Commission from 2012-2013.
Leobard Tenorio-Malof is a partner at TP Legal, S.C. dba Tenorio, Torres, Pedrin & Tortolero. From 1994-2010, he was a partner at Baker & McKenzie. He received an LLM from the University of California, Davis School of Law and also earned a tax degree and a law degree from Universidad Autonoma de Baja California.
Gregorio Treviño Lozano is the Director of Religious Affairs of the State Government of Nuevo Leon. He graduated from la Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon with a diploma in Political Science in the UANL and a second diploma in Quality Control and Administration at ITESM. He began his career as Director of Costs and Budgets in Monterrey Trailers S.A. from 1969 to 1970. From 1971 to 2010, he served as partner and CEO of Papeleria y Libreria del Maestro S.A.
Mahn Palmerston earned a BSc (Maths) from Yangon University, a Bachelor of Religious Education from Myanmar Institute of Theology in 2002, and a Media Production Course (Cert.) Nairobi, Kenya in 2003. His varied work experience includes working as a gardener, a gold mining worker, and serving as Youth Minister at the Myanmar Council of Churches (MCC) for 15 years. He also was the principal of the Poe Karen Bible School for 6 years. Palmerston serves as General Secretary of the Myanmar Council of Churches elected by the (86) Biennial Meeting of MCC on 12th May 2016. As a religious leader, Palmerston has negotiated potentially dangerous situations between Christians and Buddhists in his state.
Ashin Thondara is Pro-Rector, Sitagu International Buddhist Academy (SIBA). He studied English in the United States while simultaneously teaching at the Dhammarakkhita monastery in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thondara has a Master of Arts degree with a speciality in Buddhism from the University of Pune, India, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the same university. He has been a visiting professor in Hyderabad, India, as well as a lecturer and administrator for SIBA.
Ashin Visuta is Lecturer in charge of Foreign Affairs at Sitagu International Buddhist Academy. He earned an MA in philosophy from the Central University of Hyderabad, India, and an MA in Buddhism from Pathamakyaw Pali Buddhist University. He was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Human Right Studies at Columbia University. He is chief coordinator and assistant to Chancellor Yangon of Myanmar and in 2013, coordinated a conference on security, citizenship, and peaceful coexistence with SIBA and the Institute for Global Engagement, and another on preservation, promotion, and protection of Buddhist Culture with Sitagu Buddhist Academy and the Indian Council Culture Relation. In addition, he organized a Buddhist conference on the theme of Preservation, Promotion and Protection in Nepal in 2014. Ashin Visuta has translated two books to Burmese and edited many books published by Sitagu Buddhist Academy. He has taught Buddhist Teaching for five years and wrote a draft for the establishment of a university of religions in Myanmar which he translated to English.
Chester Borrows was an officer in the New Zealand Police for 24 years. As a Detective he investigated serious crime, and saw service in metro areas and smaller rural communities. In 1999 he left the Police to stand for election. Between the police and parliament Chester obtained a law degree and practiced law specializing in Criminal Defense work. He won the Whanganui seat in 2005. Since becoming a politician he has served in the portfolios areas of Justice and Welfare including serving as Minister for Courts, Associate Minister of Social Development, and Associate Justice with an emphasis on Youth Justice Policy and enforcement. Chester is an elder and lay preacher in the Presbyterian Church.
Ayodele Atsenuwa is a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. She holds an LLM in Law and Development from the University of Warwick and another LLM degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of London. A Professor of Law at the University of Lagos, her research and teaching areas span human rights, criminal law and justice, and gender and the law.
Akinola Ibidapo-Obe is Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. As Dean of Law, he pioneered the introduction of Law and Religion studies as an approved course in the Curriculum of the Faculty of Law of the University of Lagos for the 2016/2017 session. He is the former Director of the Centre for Human Rights (CHR) in the Faculty of Law. Professor Ibidapo-Obe's involvement with the law and religion movement began when he attended the 21st International Conference on Law and Religion held in Provo in October 2014. His faculty subsequently hosted an International Conference, "Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa", with support from Brigham Young University (BYU). Ibidapo-Obe together with his colleagues in several other Nigerian Universities and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) branches in Lagos and Ikeja, have formed the Nigeria Association for Law and Religion Studies (NALARS) and the West African Regional Centre for Law and Religion Studies (WARCLARS) to promote teaching and research on law and religion in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region. NALARS, WARCLARS, ACLARS, ICLARS, and the National Judicial Institute of Nigeria are also collaborating to organize the 1st National Judicial Roundtable on the Intersection Between Law and Religion: World Perspectives in the Nigerian Capital, Abuja on June 20, 2016. He is currently a visiting scholar at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
Sulyman Kawu graduated from the University of Ife, Osun State Nigeria with an LLB (Hons) in 1982, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1983. From 1983-84 he served as State Counsel, Ministry of Justice, Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. He was appointed Magistrate in the Kwara State Judicial in 1984, and a Judge of the High Court, Kwara State in December 1994. From January 2010 to February 2012, he was acting Chief Judge, Kwara State. On the 16th December 2014, he was appointed substantive Chief Judge, Kwara State, a position he still holds today. Judge Kawu has served in several election tribunals from 1998 to 2007, and has attended several workshops, seminars and conferences, and written several papers on law and law-related issues.
Tore Lindholm is Emeritus Professor (philosophy) at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo and board member of the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief and of the Human Rights Committee of Church of Norway. His research interests focus on the grounds for embracing universal human rights, in particular the right to freedom of religion or non-religious basic conviction, and on the ongoing two-way traffic between human rights and religions/basic convictions, in particular with respect to Islam and Muslims. He co-edited Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief, now published in Indonesian and Russian. He edited Islamic Law Reform and Human Rights: Challenges and Rejoinders and made a study of Muslim immigrants to Oslo, Religious Commitment and Social Integration: Are There Significant Links? Other writings include “The Cross-Cultural Legitimacy of Universal Human Rights: Plural Justification Across Normative Divides,” in Francioni & Scheinin, eds., Cultural Human Rights and “Magna Carta and Religious Freedom,” in Magraw & Martinez, eds., Magna Carta and the Rule of Law.
Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani began practicing at the District Courts in Multan in 1974 and later became the Advocate General of Punjab. In 1994 he took oath as Judge of the High Court and ten years later, was elevated to the Supreme Court of Pakistan. When martial law was imposed in 2007, he was one of those judges who refused to take an oath of loyalty to General Musharraf. Because of that decision, in 2008 he was honored for upholding the Rule of Law by receiving an award on behalf of Judges from the American Bar Association. After the restoration of democracy, he was reinstated as judge of the Supreme Court, and became Chief Justice of Pakistan in 2013. He was conferred the Honorary Chair by The World Justice Project, appointed by the Hague Conference as the Co-Chair of the Working Party on Mediation in Family International Law, and appointed as a member of the Hague International Judicial Network. ‘Justice for All’ penned by Mr. Jillani has been declared as the Judicial Anthem of Pakistan by the Full Court. He authored the well celebrated judgment on religious freedom and minority rights in 2014.
Sir Gibuma Gibbs Salika attended the University of Papua New Guinea from 1975-1978, graduating with a Bachelor of Law Degree. He was admitted to the bar in 1979 and went on to work with the Office of the Public Prosecutor. He was a State Prosecutor for six and a half years. In 1988 he was appointed a Magistrate, and in 1990 he was appointed a Judge of the National Court and the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea. He has served as a judge for 26 years, eight of those as Deputy Deputy Justice.
Emilia Patricia Alfaro de Franco is an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, a politician, a passionate worker for social causes, and sensitive to urgent national problems. She is the creator of the nationally acclaimed Abue Club and President of the Non-Profit Association Tesape’a Paraguay. She served as National Deputy and First Lady of the nation (as wife of the former President of the Republic of Paraguay, Dr. Federico Franco) and as Vice President of the Association of American Women Politicians and the Latin-American Parliament. She is currently a National Senator, president of the Commission on Audit and Control, Vice President of the Commission on Equity and Gender, parliamentary secretary, and promotes the creation of the Parliamentary Front of Senior Adults in the High Chamber.
Juan José Bernal Guillén is a Lawyer, Public Notary, and Higher Education Specialist at la Universidad Católica "Nuestra Señora del Asunción" (Alto Parana, Paraguay). He is a Professor of the Property Law, Communication and Legal Language, and Christian Anthropology and an Assistant Professor of Canon Law. An Ordinary member of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom (CLLR), he was also a Professor of the Social Sciences at Colegio Santa Teresita del Niño Jesús (Ciudad del Este, Paraguay). Currently, he serves as Chancellor of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) and Academic Coordinator of the Department of Theology at the Catholic University (Campus Alto Paraná).
Luis Frederico Franco Gómez is a surgeon, politician, and statesman, and a member of the Partido Liberal Radical Auténtico (Liberal Radical Authentic Party), the second largest political party in Paraguay. He was President of the Republic of Paraguay from 2012-2013. He served as Vice-President of the Republic of Paraguay from 2008-2012, and was also the Governor of the Department of Central. Previously he had served as the Provincial Mayor and Provincial Councilor in the city of Fernando de la Mora. Currently, he is President of the Fundación Centro Franco (Franco Foundation Center), which is dedicated to providing ongoing training to citizens who are committed to the development of the nation, in order that they can act responsibly and prospectively concerning the national condition, and advise and collaborate with the three branches of government regarding the proper role of institutions and Human Rights.
Mr. Arata Solís earned his law degree from the National University of San Marcos and earned a Master's degree in Civil and Commercial Law from San Martin de Porres University. He is a professor of property law at the Universities of Lima, San Martin de Porres, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. He has developed specialized consultancies in property rights and public records for the Inter-American Development Bank. He has provided advice on matters in his areas of specialization to institutions of the Peruvian government like the Property Registry Authority, the Special Commission on Privatization, and the Government Property Authority. He has also counseled The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints among others. Mr. Arata Solís was a member of the commission charged with amending the regulations of the Law of Urban Development, representing the Property Registry Authority and was also a member of the committee responsible for reviewing the draft of the property registration regulations, representing the Board of Deans of the Peruvian Bar of Lawyers. Additionally, he was a consultant in property registration issues for the public investment project "Registration with National Jurisdiction" of the Peruvian Property Registration Authority.
Javier Augusto Del Río was ordained a Priest in Callao, Peru and appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of the same city. He now serves as Archbishop of Arequipa, Peru, a position he has held since 20 August 2006. He studied law at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and earned a Degree in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Rome 1997), and a Doctorate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome 2001). He was Vice-president of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference from 2006-2011. He was a Member of the Permanent Council of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference (2006-2014), and is currently a member of the Legal Committee of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, the Board of Directors of the Populorum Progressio Foundation, the International Council for Catechesis, and is a full member of the Peruvian Academy of Ecclesiastical History. He is an honorary member of the Law School of Arequipa, and the Peruvian Association of Canonists, and Vice-president of the Peruvian Mission, Inc. (USA). The Pontifical Gregorian University awarded him the medal St. Robert Bellarmine. He has received many awards and recognitions including medals of Honor for Juridical Merit in the degrees of Jurist Arequipeño Toribio Pacheco and Jurist Arequipeño Francisco Garcia Calderon and Landa from The Law School of Arequipa, the Gold Medal from the National University of Saint Augustine, the "Medal of Citizenship Merit" from the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the Recognition of National Character "Strengthening the Constitutional Rule of Law and Access to Justice" from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the "Gold Medal of the City" from the Provincial Municipality of Arequipa, and the gold Medal "Union for Peru".
H.E. Archishop Bernardito Auza was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tagbilaran on 29 June 1985; then in 1986 he was incardinated to the newly created Diocese of Talibon. He earned a doctorate in Theology and entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1990. He served at the Apostolic Nunciature in Madagascar, in Bulgaria, and then in Albania. Then he served in the Secretariat of State in the Vatican and from there was appointed to the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York. On the 8 May 2008 he was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, and was ordained Titular Archbishop of Suacia on 3 July 2008. He was appointed Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York on 1 July 2014 and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States on 16 July 2014.
Rev. Fr. Carlos V. Reyes studied Civil Engineering at the University of the Philippines and worked as a civil engineer until 1992. He then studied philosophy at the University of Santo Tomas’ Ecclesiastical Faculties, transferring later to the Istituto Teologico Marchigiano in Fermo, Italy where he studied philosophy and theology for three years. He returned to the University of Santo Tomas and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology (magna cum laude) in 1999. Fr. Reyes then earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in the field of Patristic Theology and History of Theology (magna cum laude) at the Gregorian University in Rome in 2001. After his advanced studies, Fr. Reyes became a spiritual director of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary for eight years concurrently working as Minister for Ecumenical and Interfaith Affairs for the Archdiocese of Manila and Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Commission for Interreligious Dialogue. After five months helping out in the parish of St. John Vianney in Los Angeles, Fr. Reyes returned to Manila and the role of minister and executive secretary, positions he still holds today. Fr. Reyes was also assigned as the Executive Vice President of the Domus Mariae Foundation, the housing arm of the Archdiocese of Manila and as the Parish Priest of the Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Mandaluyong City. He speaks Pilipino, English, Italian and a little Spanish, and earned his private pilot certificate in February 2016.
Andrey Lymar is a graduate of Lomonosov Moscow State University, a philologist, a cultural specialist, and a sociologist. He earned a Doctor of Social Sciences. Currently he serves as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in Gdansk. Lymar has authored approximately ninety academic papers on cultural, educational, and youth policy topics. He served as the Russian national coordinator of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project-ASPnet, and has worked in state and social organizations. He is considered an expert in the field of social organization activities. He has lectured in higher education institutions in Moscow and Poland. In addition, he is a graduate of the program Library of Congress "Open World" (Washington, San Diego). He is an expert researcher in the field of youth policy and youth education in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Paulo Jorge Soares Mendes Pinto is Coordinator of the Religious Studies Department the the Universidade Lusófona (Lisbon, Portugal), where he is the Director of the Bachelor, Master, and the Lusophone Journal of Science of Religions. He coordinates several projects in the field of interreligious dialogue, especially projects in the school universe, with focus on the development of a culture of respect, and in various religious communities, stimulating working groups and reflection. He has coordinated many academic events for the "First Congress of Religions Science Lusophone" (May 2015); the seminar "Republic and Religions", at the Portuguese Presidency (2005); and "Religions: History - Texts - Traditions", at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (2006).
Yuri Kozhokin graduated from Moscow Trade Academy under Moscow Government with a law degree. He is an attorney with Lev Simkin's Attorney Office. Prior to joining Lev Simkin's office, he worked for Latham & Watkins, LLP. Mr. Kozhokin has participated in several roundtables hosted by the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Science and the Russian Public Chamber dedicated to religious freedom.
Theresa Potoi is Executive Director of the Samoa Law Reform Commission. She is an admitted Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Samoa, the Australian Capital Territory and the High Court of New Zealand. As a Public Sector Solicitor in both Samoa and New Zealand, she has worked extensively on Legislative Reform and Development. She graduated with a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Tasmania in 1997. That same year she also obtained a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University. She started her professional career as a Law Clerk before becoming a State Solicitor at the Attorney General's Office in Apia, Samoa. She then headed the Legal Division of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment as a Principal Legal Officer. In 2004 Leota obtained a scholarship from the World Bank/Joint Japan to undertake post-graduate studies in the United States of America. She graduated with a Master of Law specializing in International Environmental Law at George Washington University in Washington D.C. in 2005. After moving to New Zealand, Leota began working at the Ministry of Fisheries as an in-house solicitor and later as a senior solicitor. She was then seconded to the Ministry of Environment as Senior Solicitor. She later served as Manager for the Legislation, Standards and International Team at the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Dr. H. Mohamed Saleem is currently Vice President-I of Jamiyah Singapore, an NGO engaged in community service missions benefiting the needy and disadvantaged sections of society regardless of race, religion, or language. The mission provides educational and outreach services including activities promoting inter-faith harmony. He holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from Madras University, India, and a PhD in Women Studies from Alagappa University, India. Dr. Saleem's career background includes teaching and research, and NGO Management in India and Singapore. He is currently Chairman of the Management Committee of Jamiyah Nursing Home and Chairman of Jamiyah's Volunteer Management Committee. He is a lifetime member of the Inter-religious Organization of Singapore. Dr. Saleem has presented at many international conferences, co-edited two books of social work interest and authored two books in the area of philosophy. He was the recipient of the Long Service Award from the Ministry of Community Development, Singapore, the Community Service Commendation Award presented by Jamiyah Singapore 70th Anniversary Celebration, a Certificate of Commendation for Control of Drug Menace from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore, and the Appreciation Certification from New York University for formulating and implementation of the ‘Touch of Harmony’ program of Jamiyah Singapore.
In May 2016 Ján Figeľ was nominated by the European Commission as the first Special Envoy for promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) outside the European Union. His role is to work closely with other institutions within the EU (EEAS, Council, Parliament) and Member States. Jan Figeľ is an experienced Slovak and European politician. The Former European Commissioner for Education, Training & Culture, Mr. Figeľ has also held other positions such as State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was the Chief Negotiator for Slovakia's accession into the EU. Mr. Figeľ started his career when he joined the Christian Democratic Movement party in 1990 and was elected two years later as an MP to the National Council of the Slovak Republic, serving on its Foreign Affairs Committee and becoming a member of Slovakia's delegation to the Council of Europe. In 1998 he left his parliamentary seat and was appointed State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is at this post that he but led Slovakia's accession negotiations with the European Union. As State Secretary, Mr. Figeľ was also the representative of the Slovak government in the European Convention which drafted the European Constitution. From 2004 to 2009 Mr. Figeľ served with the European Commission as Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism, with a brief stint as Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society. Mr. Figeľ stepped down from his Commission post in 2009 following his election as the leader of the Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia. He also held the post of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport, Construction and Regional Development.
Doo Ah Lee is an attorney at law for Vision International Law Firm, and a current member of the Seoul Bar Association. She passed the bar exam in 1993, and graduated from Seoul National University with a Bachelor's Degree of Law in 1994. She served as a member of the National Assembly from 2009-2012, and has served as an executive committee member of the "International Conference on North Korean Human Rights" from 2005.
Jaime Rossell Granados received his PhD in Law (Complutense University of Madrid) in 1995. Since 1999 Professor of Law in Church and State Legal Affairs in the University of Extremadura, he has been Dean of the Faculty of Law (2007-2015) and he is currently the Deputy Director General of Relations with the Religious Denominations in the Ministry of Justice. His research in the last years is focused in the study of the exercise and development of religious freedom, the phenomenon of religious migration in Spain and the legal consequences of interculturality. He is author of several publications in collective volumes and specialized national and international journals, including "Promoting religious freedom through cooperation between the State and religious denominations" (2015), "Governance, non-discrimination and religious minorities in Spain and the EU" (2013), "Non-discrimination on religious grounds in Spain" (2008), "Religious denominations and the media" (2001), "The Agreements between the State and the Churches in Germany" (1997) or "Religion and criminal jurisprudence" (1996).
Mr. Nihal Ranasinghe obtained a degree in Business Administration (Special) from the University of Sri Jayawardenapura in 1986 and subsequently obtained a postgraduate Diploma in Provincial Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA with a Merit pass) from the Postgraduate Institute of Management of the University of Sri Jayawardenapura. He has been an officer of the Sri Lanka Administration Service since 1991, and has held several senior level positions in public service at Divisional, District, Provincial, and National Level departments in the Ministries. He is presently a special grade officer of the SLAS and holds the post of Controller General of the Department of Immigration and Emigration Sri Lanka. Mr. Ranasinghe has been instrumental in transforming the Department of Immigration and Emigration Sri Lanka and has been a key member of the team that steered the automation process of the department. These days, there are some key significant initiatives undertaken under the leadership of Mr. Ranasinghe towards taking the organization to the next globally accepted level, that include the establishment of an integrated Boarder Management System, undertaking a Gap-Analysis exercise focused on upgrading the existing Immigrant and Emigrant laws and related regulations with the objective of accommodating present and future needs emerging from economic and social expectations of the people.
Tom Hamilton has worked for several years in policy and politics, first for charities campaigning on disability and mental health, and then in a number of different policy roles for the UK Labour Party, as Head of Research and subsequently Head of Briefing. From 2010 until 2016 he prepared the Leader of the Opposition for Prime Minister's Questions, as well as briefing front bench spokespeople in advance of media appearances and working on the 2015 TV election debates. He previously completed a PhD in Theology at the University of Durham, with a focus on ethics and philosophy of religion.
Harriet Hoffler is a Research Fellow in the Department of Theology and Religion, University of Birmingham, and a Research Fellow at the Commonwealth Initiative on the Freedom of Religion or Belief. She has an extensive background in multi-disciplinary human rights research. Most recently she worked as Lead Research Fellow at the University of Roehampton on the Is Britain Fairer review and the Human Rights Measurement Framework for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Previously she worked as a Research Consultant to the Overseas Development Institute, to the University of Roehampton, and to the Humanitarian Department at Oxfam GB. She was a researcher on the Eurasia Europe/South Asia FP7 project with a particular emphasis on the application of international and regional human rights laws for religious minorities in South Asia and Europe. She held the positions of Adjunct Assistant Professor in International Law & Politics at the Richmond American University in London, and Visiting Lecturer in International Human Rights Law at the University of Roehampton and Brunel University. She has lectured on international human rights in Nepal, Italy, and London. Harriet has co-authored publications relating to human rights, indigenous and minority rights, with numerous credits in other books and articles in this field.
Simon McCrossan is the Head of Public Policy at the Evangelical Alliance UK. Prior to joining the Alliance, he was in full time practice as a barrister with specialisms in personal injury and discrimination law. A scholar of Gray's Inn, Simon holds a specialist LLM in employment law (Distinction) and is focused upon issues of religious liberty. Before he was called to the Bar, Simon worked as a teacher in secondary education (11-18). Moreover, he is also an experienced law lecturer having tutored both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Sahar F. Aziz is a professor of law at Texas A&M University School of Law where she teaches courses on national security, civil rights, and Middle East law. She also serves as a Nonresident Fellow at Brookings Doha Center. Prior to joining Texas A&M, Professor Aziz served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where she worked on law and policy at the intersection of national security and civil liberties. Professor Aziz’s scholarship incorporates political science, sociology, and social psychology literature to examine how national security laws and policies adversely impact racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in the United States. She is also an expert on the Middle East wherein she focuses on the relationship between authoritarianism and rule of law in Egypt, with a particular interest in the role of the courts. Her academic articles have been published in the Harvard National Security Journal, George Washington International Law Review, Penn State Law Review, and the Texas Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Journal. In 2015, Professor Aziz was named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education and received the Derrick Bell Award from the American Association of Law Schools Minority Group Section. Professor Aziz has been featured on CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, Fox News and Al Jazeera America and published commentaries on CNN.com, the New York Times, Sada Journal, World Politics Review, Houston Chronicle, The Guardian, and Christian Science Monitor.
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 BYU's J. Reuben Clark 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.
Gary B. Doxey, Associate Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, joined the Center in 2005 and serves as regional advisor for Latin America. He also heads the Center’s development effort. He has co-authored several commentaries on draft legislation, and a number of amicus briefs in Latin America. He also teaches in the History Department at Brigham Young University. Professor Doxey’s career has been divided between academia and public service. Prior to joining the law school, he was chief of staff and general counsel to Utah governors Mike Leavitt and Olene Walker and served as deputy commissioner of financial institutions and as associate general counsel to the Utah Legislature. He has a PhD in History from Cambridge University and a JD from Brigham Young University. He speaks or reads several languages and has authored several scholarly publications.
Cole Durham is Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law and Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University. 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 a founding 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 Congress of the International Academy 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. Professor Durham was President of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS) from 2011-2016.
James Heilpern is currently serving as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Edith Clement on the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He recently completed a one year clerkship with the Honorable Robert H. Cleland on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In 2015, he graduated magna cum laude from the J. Reuben Clark Law School where he served on the management board for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies for two years. He graduated with highest honors and with distinction with a degree in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012.
Scott Isaacson is Senior Fellow with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and a member of the International section of the law firm Kirton McConkie. He advises domestic and foreign businesses and not-for-profit organizations regarding all aspects of international trade and business, with specific emphasis in Latin America. He previously served as International Legal Counsel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, supervising all of the church's legal work in South America. As part of this position, he managed international real estate acquisitions and construction, complex litigation and international arbitration, international tax compliance for not-for-profit organizations, government relations, and legal implementation of new programs. On a regular basis, he makes presentations at international seminars held in countries such as Chile, Argentina, and Mexico about legal matters related to non-profit and religious organizations. Isaacson is recognized as one of Utah's Legal Elite in international law.
Sandra Jolley was appointed on April 27, 2016 by Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to serve on the United States Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). A leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sandra Jolley has spent decades in Nevada advocating for women and families. Jolley served as co-chairman of the Las Vegas Area Public Communications Committee of the Church and facilitated interfaith and community outreach. In addition, she served five years as president of the Las Vegas South Stake Relief Society and two years as assistant director of Life Line, a women’s resource center serving southern Nevada. She also has worked with numerous campaigns and local charities. Jolley is a UNLV graduate with a degree in Women’s Studies with special emphasis on women’s religious history.
A professor in the Brigham Young University Department of Political Science, David Kirkham is academic director of Brigham Young University Limited (London Centre) and 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 50 nations on six continents. He holds BA, MFA, and JD degrees from Brigham Young University and a PhD from George Washington University.
Joshua Neoh is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge and a tenured member of faculty at the Australian National University. He is currently a Visiting Doctoral Scholar at Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University and a Master of Laws from Yale Law School. He is on the Management Board of the Research Unit for the Study of Society, Law and Religion at the University of Adelaide, Australia. He is the co-author of Religion and Law in Australia (Kluwer Law International, 2015). His doctoral project examines the relationship between law and love in Paul’s theology.
Brett G. Scharffs is Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law and Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University Law School. He received a BSBA in international business and an MA in philosophy at Georgetown University and, as a Rhodes Scholar, earned a BPhil in philosophy at Oxford. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was senior editor of the Yale Law Journal. He is a recurring visiting professor at Central European University in Budapest and at the University of Adelaide Law School. He has for several years helped organize certificate training programs in religion and the rule of law in China and in Vietnam and has taught and helped organize programs at several Indonesian universities on sharia and human rights. Author of more than 100 articles and book chapters, he has made more than 300 scholarly presentations in 30 countries. His casebook, Law and Religion: National, International and Comparative Perspectives (with Cole Durham, 2nd English edition forthcoming 2017), has been translated into Chinese and Vietnamese, with Turkish, Burmese, and Arabic in process. He is author with Elizabeth Clark of Religion and Law in the USA, a 2016 contribution to Wolters Kluwer’s International Encyclopaedia of Laws.
Judge J. Clifford Wallace is a Navy veteran and a 1955 graduate of the University of California Boalt Hall School of Law. He has devoted more than fifty years to the law, as partner in a San Diego law firm, as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of California, and as member, Chief Judge, and Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Since assuming Senior Judge status in 1996, Judge Wallace has spent much of his time traveling every continent of the world to promote the rule of law in developing countries. A prolific writer, lecturer, and teacher, he has taught courses in judicial administration in the United States and throughout the world and has consulted with more than fifty judiciaries worldwide. He developed the concept of the Conference of Chief Justices of Asia and the Pacific and originated the idea and developed the concept for the American Inns of Court. He has received many honors, recognitions, and awards, including the 2005 Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award, generally regarded as “the most prestigious honor conferred on a member of the federal judiciary,” and the 2009 Distinguished Service Award for Religious Freedom from the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
Duong NGUYEN graduated from the Master Program of Human Rights at the School of Law, Vietnam National University Hanoi (in cooperation with the Norwegian Center for Human Rights) in 2014. She works as a lecturer in the School of Law, VNU, teaching Constitutional Law and Human Rights. Duong has taken part in some research projects on human rights and is now working on her PhD thesis on human and citizen’s rights protecting mechanisms in Vietnamese Constitutions.
Khac Duc NGUYEN began work for the Institute for Religious and Belief Studies, Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics in Vietnam, after graduating from university. He lectures on and researches religion topics. He earned a PhD.
THAO Phung thi Phuong graduated from The Academy of Journalism and Communication and has a bachelor degree in English Translation. She is pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Management. She has translated a book on the topic of direct democracy and voting from abroad. Currently, she works at the Institute of Public Policy and Law, a Vietnamese NGO and think-tank working on issues of public policy and law. Its mission is to contribute to the improvement of the rule of law, good governance, and sustainable development in Vietnam. Her research is in the protection of religious freedom in Vietnam.
Huyen Tran has been Deputy Director of Saigon Centre for International Studies since 2015 and a lecturer of the Faculty of International Relations, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University (VNU) in Ho Chi Minh City since September 2010. She teaches Advanced English and ASEAN Studies. Huyen earned her Master of International Relations from Griffith University, Queensland, Australia in 2010. Currently, she is a PhD Candidate in International Relations at the Diplomacy Academy of Vietnam and her research interest is religions and current issues in Southeast Asia.
TRINH Le Ba graduated from teacher's college and earned a masters in mathematics at the University of Hue, Vietnam. He received a PhD in Philosophy of Religion at the Academy of Social Sciences of Vietnam. Trinh has participated in thematic presentations on Vietnam Fatherland Front with the management of the state of religion in Vietnam in short-term training courses on religious affairs, jointly organized between Brigham Young University and the University of Science, Society and Humanity of Vietnam National University.