2016 Estonia Conference
José Ferrer Sanchez
Professor, Peace and Conflicts Institute, Collaborating Peace and Conflicts Institute, Granada University

Professor José Ferrer Sanchez holds a PhD in Law and Sociology Sciences from the Collaborating Peace and Conflicts Institute, Granada University. As a specialist in Religious Dialogue and Mediation, Professor Ferrer Sánchez teaches in the Mediation Master (Granada University). In addition, he presents seminars at universities and negotiates between management and employees, and works as a human-resources manager for the Local government. Professor Ferrer Sánchez has been invited to and participated in several symposiums and conferences on Religious Freedom and Religious Dialogue internationally. As an executive member of a UNESCO program in Andalucía (Dialogue Intercultural Department), Mr. Ferrer Sánchez collaborates with nongovernmental organizations to carry out humanitarian projects among Sahrawi refugees who have fled Western Sahara. He was Judge of Peace from 2008-2012.

Hovhannes Hovhannisyan – Armenia
Department of the History of Religions, Faculty of Theology, Yerevan State University; Associate Professor, American University of Armenia

Hovhannes Hovhannisyan received his BA in Theology from Yerevan State University, Faculty of Theology, in 2000, and his MA in 2002. He also graduated from the Public Administration School of Armenia in 2002. He did his PhD in June 2007 and the theme of his thesis was "The reformation movement in the Armenian Apostolic Church from 1901-1906." He is currently working in the Department of the History of Religions, Faculty of Theology, Yerevan State University as well as the American University of Armenia. He is the author of more than 30 academic articles published in foreign and local journals. In 2012-13, he was a visiting fellow at Yale University under the Faculty Development Program. He is involved in international projects on dialogue and religious pluralism. He has participated in several international conferences and inter-religious seminars in the USA, China, Turkey, Georgia, and Russia.

Naira Sahakyan – Armenia
PhD Candidate, Chair of Arabic Studies, Yerevan State University

Naira Sahkyan is a PhD student at the Department of Arabic Studies, the Faculty of Oriental Studies at Yerevan State University (YSU). Her dissertation topic is related to the rational Islamic thought. Along with her studies, she is a research fellow in the Center for civilization and cultural studies based in YSU. Naira also is the co-founder of “Middle Orient” project, which is an online platform related to Middle Eastern and Islamic studies․ Naira's research includes the problem of authority in Islam, Islamic rational thought, and Islamic law, among other topics. She is the author of several articles including several on the topics of the phenomenon of the fatwa, and human (particularly non-Muslim) rights in Islamic law.

Vladimir D. Vardanyan – Armenia
Head of Legal Advisory Service, Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia

Dr. Vladimir D. Vardanyan received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in law from the Department of Law of Yerevan State University. After law school he entered the postgraduate studies program of the Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia. In May of 2003, Dr. Vardanyan joined the Staff of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia as a senior expert of Legal Advisory Service. In 2004, he transferred to the postgraduate studies program in Public International Law of Yerevan State University to complete his PhD thesis. In June 2005, he defended his PhD thesis in Public International Law on the topic “Basis of State Responsibility for Genocide” at the Yerevan State University and began work as a lecturer at the Department of European and International Law at Yerevan State University. From April 2006 to May 2013, Dr. Vardanyan was Head of International Treaties Department of the Staff of the Constitutional Court. In May 2013, he was appointed Head of the Legal Advisory Service of the Court. Dr. Vardanyan has written more than 20 scientific papers dedicated to several aspects of Public International Law. He is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, a member of the International Society for Military Law and the Law of War, a member of the Board of Editors of the All-Russian Scientific-Practical Journal Pravovaya Iniciativa, and co-founder of the International and Comparative Law Center of Armenia (ICLaw).

Jan De Groof – Belgium
Professor at the College of Europe (Bruges) and at the University of Tilburg (Netherlands); Government Commissioner at the University of Antwerp and Hasselt University; UNESCO Chargé de Mission

Jan De Groof is a professor at the College of Europe (Bruges, Belgium), and at Tilburg University (the Netherlands), and previously at Ghent University (Belgium), teaching international and comparative educational law and policy. His academic work and numerous publications have covered many education rights-related issues but also constitutional and human rights law. Prof De Groof s founder and president of the European Association for Education Law and Policy (ELA) and co-founded the Russian and South-African Education Law Associations. He chaired – at the request of all regional Education Law and Policy Associations – the two World Conferences on Human Dignity, the Right to and Rights in Education (Amsterdam/The Hague,Brussels). Prof De Groof holds the UNESCO Chair for the Right to Education and is former UNESCO Chargé de Mission on the Right to Education (2007-2010). He was and remains intensively involved in consultancy for national parliaments, governments and stakeholders, not the least in time of transition (Russia: 1990-2000, South Africa: 1995-2002), often in cooperation with multilateral organisations. He is member of the Council of Senior Advisors of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP), accredited to the UN, and vice-chair of the Legal Committee of EQAR. Furthermore, Prof De Groof has been Team Leader of the EU-Project ‘The Rule of Law - Curriculum Reform of Legal Studies in Universities, especially in Iraq'. In 2015 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Pretoria (South Africa), giving “recognition to his significant role as leader in various fields of education and law, his global influence in education law during the late 20th and the 21th century, as well as his assiduous campaigning for justice and good governance in education,” and also chaired the Law Sessions in the framework of the World Congress on Catholic Education (Vatican, November 2015). 

Willy Fautré – Belgium
Director, Human Rights Without Frontiers

Willy Fautré is the director of the Brussels-based NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers International. He was Chargé de Mission at the Cabinet of the Belgian Ministry of Education and at the Belgian Parliament. In the mid-1970's during the Cold War, he started defending religious freedom in Communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. He is a lecturer in the field of human rights and religious freedom. He develops advocacy in international institutions (UN, OSCE, EU). He is the editor of a daily newsletter on FoRB issues, an Annual Report on FoRB in the World and an Annual FoRB Prisoners List which this year comprised over 1500 individual cases. He has carried out fact-finding missions in more than 20 countries.

Leni Franken – Belgium
FWO Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Antwerp; Centrum Pieter Gillis/Centrum voor Ethiek (Department Wijsbegeerte)

Leni Franken studied philosophy at the University of Antwerp/Catholic University of Leuven, and religious sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven, and obtained her PhD in Philosophy at the Centre Pieter Gillis, University of Antwerp (Belgium). Currently, she is an FWO postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Antwerp. Her main research topics are contemporary liberal theories; perfectionism, antiperfectionism and state neutrality; and church-state regimes with a particular focus on financing religions, religious education and faith-based schools. On these topics, she has been published in several peer-reviewed international journals. She was also co-editor of Religious Education in a Plural, Secularised Society: a Paradigm Shift (Waxmann), and in 2016, her monograph, Liberal Neutrality and State Support for Religion, was published (Springer).

Susan Kerr – Belgium
Europe Advocacy Manager, Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Dr. Susan Kerr is the Europe Advocacy Manager at Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a human rights NGO that specialises in Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and works to promote and defend this right for people of all faiths or none. Before working for CSW, Susan worked in the European Parliament. Susan represents CSW as a member of the Board of Coordinators of the European Platform on Religious Intolerance and Discrimination (EPRID), which brings together different faith and non-faith based organisations to promote FoRB worldwide. Susan is also a member of the Board of Experts of the Conscience and Liberty Journal. Susan holds a PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, an MA in International Politics from the Université Libre de Bruxelles, and an MA in Modern Languages and EU Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Susan is a member of the International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) and is also engaged in peace and conflict resolution initiatives.

Vanja-Ivan Savić – Croatia
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Head of Legal Theory Department, University of Zagreb

Dr. Vanja-Ivan Savić is a lawyer and legal scholar. He is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Law, where he works as Head of the Legal Theory Department. He holds a First Law Degree, cum laude, a Master of Science in Law Degree, and a PhD degree in Legal Theory from the University of Zagreb. In 2005, he was British Chevening Scholar at The University of Edinburgh, and in 2010, he was an international fellow at DePaul University’s International Human Rights Law Institute in Chicago, United States. His has worked in many branches of law including a law firm in Zagreb, an international company focused on tourism, and for the past ten years, in academia. His areas of expertise include legal theory, theory of law and state, law and religion, corporate criminal law, and human rights. His interests include law, religion, and state together with religious legal systems. He has been a participant and a speaker at various international conferences and workshops. Dr. Savić has conducted workshops on combatting human trafficking for Vietnamese lawyers at the Vietnam National University in Hanoi and for Croatian lawyers and students at the Inter-University Center for Advanced Studies in Dubrovnik, Croatia.  In collaboration with Professor Richard Farkas, Savić created an academic blog dedicated to political, ethnic, religious and legal problems of Bosnia and Herzegovina entitled “Chicago Initiative for Bosnia”. Most recently, he served as Distinguished Visiting Research Fellow at University of Adelaide’s Research Unit for the Study of Society, Law and Religion and as a visiting scholar at the Buffett Center at Northwestern University in the United States. At the same time, he was a guest professor at DePaul University. He has published articles in Croatian, English, and Vietnamese as well as a textbook, Criminal Liability of Juristic Persons.

Alar Kilp – Estonia
Lecturer in Comparative Politics, University of Tartu

Dr. Alar Kilp is a lecturer in comparative politics at the University of Tartu, Estonia, since 2004. In 2012, he defended his doctoral thesis, “Church Authority in Society, Culture and Politics after Communism”, at the University of Tartu. His research deals with religion and politics, secularization, morality politics, and church-state relations in post-communist Europe. He has co-edited a special issue, “Religion, Politics, and Policy-making in Russia: Domestic and International Dimensions”, in Religion, State, and Society (Taylor & Francis, 2013, issue 3), and the volumes, Extremism Within and Around Us (Tartu University Press, 2011) and Religion and Politics in Multicultural Europe (Tartu University Press, 2009). He has published articles in Kultura i Polityka (Tischner European University), Forschungen zur Anthropologie und Religionsgeschichte (Ugarit Verlag), Studies in Church History (Annuals of the Lithuanian Catholic Academy of Science), Religion, State and Society, Religion und Gesellschaft in Ost und West, and Proceedings of the Estonian National Defense College. University of Tartu has awarded Alar with the Good Teaching Scholarship (2015-2017).

Merilin Kiviorg – Estonia
Senior Research Fellow in Public International Law, University of Tartu, School of Law

Dr. Merilin Kiviorg (DPhil Oxford, Mag iur Tartu) is a senior research fellow in public international law and human rights at the University of Tartu Faculty of Law, and an author of many articles published on law and religion, and on European human rights law and practice regarding freedom of religion or belief.  She has taught international law, human rights and international relations at the University of Oxford as well as serving as a lecturer and assistant professor in International Law, Human Rights, and EU Law at the University of Tartu in Estonia. She was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. She has also served as an expert advisor on freedom of religion or belief for non-governmental and governmental bodies such as the Estonian Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Legal Chancellor, and the Estonian President. She is currently teaching courses on Comparative Human Rights and on Religion and Human Rights. Her current research interests are human rights and religion in Europe with special focus on Eastern Europe and specifically Russia.

Katre Luhamaa – Estonia
Research Fellow in Public International Law, University of Tartu, School of Law

Dr. Katre Luhamaa is a researcher at the University of Tartu. She lectures at the Faculty of Law on a number of various subjects of international law, international human rights law, transitional justice, and EU law. She has also worked as a counselor to the Constitutional Review Chamber of the Supreme Court of Estonia. She completed her PhD in September 2015 with the thesis, “Universal Human Rights in National Contexts: Application of International Rights of the Child in Estonia, Finland, and Russia.“ Her research interests are connected with the national implementation of international human rights, focusing on the national values and constitutional values that influence the national interpretation and implementation of human rights. Recently, her attention has turned to the relationship and interaction of international human rights in EU, ECHR, and the national legal systems. She participates in the research project of Prof. Lauri Mälksoo (University of Tartu) on the evolution of human rights law and discourse in the Russian Federation, and its interaction with human rights in Europe and the world.

Lauri Mälksoo – Estonia
Professor of International Law, Head of the Department of Public Law, University of Tartu, School of Law

Prof. Dr. Lauri Mälksoo has worked as a Professor of International Law at the University of Tartu since 2009. He is a graduate of the University of Tartu (1998), has studied at Georgetown University (LLM, 1999), Humboldt University Berlin (Dr iur, 2002) and has been a post-doctoral researcher at NYU (2004-2005) and Tokyo University (2006-2007). He was the main organizer of the 4th Research Forum of the European Society of International Law on 26-28 May 2011. He has published on the international legal status of the Baltic States, history and theory of international law, and Russia’s concept of international law.

Thomas-Andreas Põder – Estonia
Extraordinary Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Institute of Theology of the EELC; Extraordinary Research Fellow at the School of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Tartu

Thomas-Andreas Põder, Dr. Theol. (University of Greifswald/Germany), is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Institute of Theology of the EELC in Tallinn, and Research Fellow at the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Tartu. He studied theology and philosophy at the University of Tartu, at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, and at the University of Tübingen. He taught Systematic Theology at the University of Tartu between 2005-2015. He is a member of the International Association for Semiotic Studies, the Estonian Semiotics Association, and the Academic Society of Theology (Estonia). His most recent publication is Solidarische Toleranz. Kreuzestheologie und Sozialethik bei Alexander von Oettingen (Vandenhoeck&Ruprecht, 2016).

Ringo Ringvee – Estonia
Advisor, Ministry of Internal Affairs, Department of Religious Affairs; Professor (extraordinarius) of Comparative Religion, Theological Institute of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church

Ringo Ringvee is an historian of religion with a focus on contemporary trends in the relations between mainstream society and religion, especially minority religions. He has published articles and book chapters on minority religions including New Religious Movements and Islam in Estonia and in other Baltic States, and a book on Estonian legislation concerning Islam. Ringo Ringvee holds a position as adviser at the Religious Affairs department at the Estonian Ministry of the Interior, and holds the post of Professor (extraordinarius) of Comparative Religion at the Theological Institute of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church. He received his Master’s degree from the University of Helsinki and his PhD from the University of Tartu. 

Olga Schihalejev – Estonia
Associate Professor of Religious Education, Faculty of Theology, University of Tartu

Dr. Olga Schihalejev is an associate professor (docent) in religious education in the Faculty of Theology at Tartu University and a researcher in the School of Historical and Contemporary Studies in Södertörn University. She researches how young people's beliefs and commitments are expressed in different discourses of school, family, religious communities, and the youth culture. Her second field of interest is didactics of religious and values education in school context. She is a member of the International Seminar of Religious Education and Values (ISREV), the European Network for Religious Education through Contextual Approaches (ENRECA), the Baltic Initiative in Developing Religious Education (FBI), and she is a committee member of the Nordic Conference on Religious Education (NCRE).

Halliki Voolma – Estonia
University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies

Dr. Halliki Voolma was born in Tallinn, Estonia, but at the age of ten moved to Hungary and then to the UK for university. She earned a Bachelors, MPhil and a PhD degree at the University of Cambridge, UK, where she was a Gates Cambridge scholar at King’s College. Halliki’s PhD research at the University of Cambridge Department of Politics and International Studies addressed intimate partner violence against women with insecure immigration status in England and Sweden. The study combined survivor and stakeholder interviews with an analysis of theory and national politics. Halliki has also worked with UN Women on the International Women, Peace and Security Agenda, and on gender (in)equality research projects as part of a European Commission programme and a European Parliament initiative. She is currently directing a Health Estonia Foundation spin-off “Action-Metre” - a collective awareness online platform which provides accessible and evidence-based information on the large-scale societal outcomes of individual everyday micro actions.

Ingo Richter – Germany
Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, (em.), Honorary Professor, University of Paris-Nanterre and Tuebingen; Chairman of the Irmgard-Coninx Foundation

Prof. Dr. Ingo Richter is President of the Irmgard Coninx Foundation and a professor at the University of Tübingen. He studied law at the universities of Göttingen, Munich, Hamburg, and Paris, receiving a Doctorate in Law from Hamburg University, and a Doctorate from Université de Paris. He has taught at numerous universities including the University of Hamburg and the universities of Bordeaux, Rostock, Hastings, and Chicago. He served as Chairman and Head of Deutsches Jugend Institut in Munich from 1993-2002, as Chairman of the 11th Government Commission on Children and Youth from 1999-2001, and since 1977, as the editor of the educational – law journal Recht der Jugend und des Bildungswesens. His areas of research include constitutional and administrative law; educational politics and law, with a particular focus on school law and the law of continuing education; social policy and law, with a particular focus on children and youth law; and labour law, with a particular focus on youth in training and work.

Christos Tsevas – Greece
PhD Candidate, University of Strasbourg-France and Democritus University of Thrace-Greece; Member, Greek Asylum Appeals Committees

Christos Tsevas is currently a PhD candidate under co-tutoring on the field of human rights law and especially on freedom of religion at the University of Strasbourg-France and the Democritus University of Thrace-Greece. He is a member of the Greek Asylum Appeals Committees, designated by the National Commission for Human Rights. Christos is an attorney-at-law specialized in national and European public law, international and European human rights law, international refugee law, and EU asylum and immigration law.

Renáta Uitz – Hungary
Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, Central European University

Renáta Uitz is Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, Chair of the Comparative Constitutional Law program, and co-director (with Károly Bárd) of the clinical specialization at Central European University Legal Studies. She obtained her Doctor juris degree (summa cum laude) at Eotvos Lorant University, Faculty of Law, and received an LLM in Comparative Constitutional Law at CEU Legal Studies. She earned the SJD (summa cum laude) in comparative constitutional law, also from CEU Legal Studies. She began teaching at CEU in 2001, and became chair of the Comparative Constitutional Law program in 2007. Her teaching covers subjects in comparative constitutional law in Europe and North America, transitional justice and human rights protection with special emphasis on the enforcement of constitutional rights and on issues of bodily privacy and sexuality. At the center of her research interests are theories and practices of good governance in and after democratic transition, and the role of courts in constructing the constitutional subject. Constitutions, Courts and History (2004) was her first book, while her most recent is Freedom of Religion in European Constitutional and International Case Law (2007). In addition, she is the author of over 30 articles and book chapters which have appeared mainly in English, Hungarian, and Russian. She regularly speaks at international conferences on comparative constitutional subjects.

Silvio Ferrari – Italy
Professor of Canon Law, University of Milan

Silvio Ferrari, founder and honorary lifetime president of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, is Professor of Canon Law at the University of Milan. He was visiting professor at the University of California (Berkeley), the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (London), the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Sorbonne, Paris), and the University of Leuven. His publications in English include Law, Religion, Constitution (ed. with Cole Durham, Cristiana Cianitto, and Donlu Thayer); Religion in Public Spaces (ed. with Sabrina Pastorelli); Law and Religion in the 21st Century (ed. with Rinaldo Cristofori); Law and Religion in Post-Communist Europe (ed. with Cole Durham and Elizabeth Sewell), Islam and European Legal System (ed. with Anthony Bradney). He is a member of the Advisory Council on Freedom of Religion and Belief of the OSCE/ODIHR, member of the International Academy of Comparative Law, a founding editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, and member of the editorial board of the Ecclesiastical Law Journal. In addition, Prof. Ferrari is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Institut européen en sciences des religions (EPHE, Paris) and of the Board of Expert of the International Religious Liberty Association (Silver Spring, Maryland). He delivered a Messenger Lecture at Cornell University and received the Distinguished Service Award of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.

Roberta Medda-Windischer – Italy
Group Leader/Senior Researcher, Institute for Minority Rights

Roberta Medda-Windischer (LLM, PhD), Senior Researcher and Group Leader for National Minorities, Migration and Cultural Diversity at the Institute for Minority Rights of the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen, Italy (EURAC), is an international lawyer specialised in human rights and minority protection. Her research focuses on the protection of minorities in international law and on new minorities stemming from migration, on which she has authored and edited monographs and multi-authored volumes, and published numerous articles and chapters in edited volumes both in Italy and abroad. Dr Medda-Windischer lectured in various post-university programs, including the European Master Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC -Venice School of Human Rights).

Bakyt Ospanova – Kazakhstan
PhD candidate, International Relations, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University

Bakyt  Ospanova is a PhD  candidate  in  International  Relations  at  the  L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan.

Roman Podoprigora – Kazakhstan
Professor of Law, Caspian University, Kazakhstan

Roman Podoprigora is Professor of Law at Caspian Public University (Almaty, Kazakhstan). He has consulted with the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan and served on the Advisory Council of the OSCE Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion. He has authored many publications on religious freedom and state-church relations in Kazakhstan and Central Asia including State and Religious Associations: Administrative Law Issues (2002), "Freedom of Religion and Belief and Discretionary State Approval of Religious Activity" in Facilitating Freedom of Religion or Belief: A Deskbook (2004), State and Religious Associations in Central Asia: Constitutional and Administrative Law Approaches (2005), "Kazakhstan" in Encyclopedia of World Constitutions (2007), Commentary to Law on Religious Associations and Religious Activity (2013), and  "Religious education in Kazakhstan in The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education (2013). 

Saule Sarkenova – Kazakhstan
Senior Lecturer, Karaganda University

Saule Sarkenova, is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Law at Karaganda University, Bolashak, Kazakhstan.  She teaches Human Rights in the Department of Civil law.

Ammar Younas – Kyrgyzstan
PhD candidate, American University of Central Asia

Ammar Younas, originally from Pakistan, is currently a PhD candidate of International and Comparative Politics at American University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, and a part time student of law at MAUPFIB, Kyrgyzstan. Ammar holds a Master’s Degree in Political Marketing from Rome Business School, Italy, and an Associate Degree in Finance. At the age of 21, he earned an MD (Doctor of Medicine) degree from International Higher School of Medicine, Kyrgyzstan, making him one of the youngest medical doctors in the world. He lectures on Political Science as an Honorary Lecturer at Eastern University, Kyrgyzstan. Ammar is very much interested in Political Philosophy, Moral Philosophy, Politics and Religion, Terrorism Studies, and Linguistics.

Juris Rudevskis – Latvia
Senior Lawyer, Research Division of the European Court of Human Rights

Juris Rudevskis studied law at the University of Paris-I (Panthéon-Sorbonne). He is the former Head of the Division of European Affairs of the Latvian Ministry of Justice, and has been working at the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights since 2000. From 2004 to 2005, he worked as a legal secretary (“référendaire”) of the Latvian judge of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. He is currently a lawyer in the Research Division of the ECHR. He has published articles on the principle of subsidiarity, legal philosophy and epistemology, international law, EU law, canon law, and Islamic law.

Sophie van Bijsterveld – Netherlands
Senator, Dutch Upper House of Parliament; Professor of Religion, Law, and Society, Radboud University

Sophie van Bijsterveld graduated in law at the University of Utrecht in 1983.  She received a doctorate in Law at Tilburg University in 1988. Currently, she is professor of religion, law and society at the Radboud University, the Netherlands. Sophie has published extensively in the fields of international human rights protection, religious liberty, constitutional law, and hybrid governance. Former professional activities include membership of the Council for Public Administration (Raad voor het openbaar bestuur), a statutory advisory body of the government, and parliament. At the international level, Sophie van Bijsterveld was a member of the Advisory Council of Freedom of Religion or Belief of ODIHR/OSCE (1998 – 2013). As of June 2007, Sophie is a member of the Dutch Upper House of Parliament (Eerste Kamer der Staten-Generaal) for the Christian Democratic Party (CDA). Committee Memberships include the Security and Justice Committee (vice chair), the Home Affairs Committee, and the Asylum and Immigration Committee. From 2008 – 2015, she was also a Member of the Board of the Scientific Institute of the Christian Democratic Party in the Netherlands.

Adriaan Overbeeke – Netherlands
Faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Adriaan Overbeeke, Lic. Political Sciences KULeuven, PhD Law U Antwerp, is Assistant Professor Constitutional Law and Senior Researcher at the Faculty of Law, Free University Amsterdam, participating in the research-group Fundamental Rights, Regulation & Responsible Government (Kooijmans Institute (VU)).  He is a part-time researcher at U Antwerp, Faculty of Law, involved in a research-program on religion, life stances, and law. His research topics are law relating to church-state issues, education law, and human rights. He is a member of the board of the Institute of Jewish Studies (UAntwerp); and the Centre for Religion and Law (VU)); and on the editorial board of Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Kerk en Recht (web publication), and Recht, Religie en Samenleving.

Jeroen Temperman – Netherlands
Professor of Public International Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Prof. Dr. Jeroen Temperman is Professor of Public International Law at the Department of International Law of Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research is focused on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and extreme speech (particularly religious hate speech), religion-state relationships, and issues of discrimination on religious grounds. Previously, he worked as assistant professor of public international law at the University of Amsterdam; he has been a research fellow at the Irish Centre for Human Rights (National University of Ireland, Galway); and prior to that, he worked as a trainee with the human rights department of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, London, UK, on issues of religious freedom. He was awarded a EUR-fellowship in 2010 for his project: "The prohibition of advocacy of religious hatred in international and domestic law" and was a Fulbright Scholar, visiting at Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C. in 2014-15. He is Editor-in-Chief of Religion and Human Rights, an international law journal. Cambridge University Press is publishing his book on the prohibition of advocacy of religious hatred in domestic and international law.

Tymen van der Ploeg – Netherlands
Professor Emeritus of Civil Law, Free University of Amsterdam

Tymen J. van der Ploeg studied Law at Leyden University. He worked from November 1972 to September 2012 at the Law Faculty of the VU-University at Amsterdam where he has been a full professor in civil law, especially law on legal persons and partnerships, since 1992. His research focuses on the law on associations and foundations and the relations between religion, especially religious communities, and law. He is editor–in-chief of the Netherlands Journal on Law and Religion, (NTRR – formerly NTKR), and a member of the board of the Centre on Religion and Law at the VU. He was a member of the General committee for church order of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands and is a member of the executive committee of CIO, an organisation for the relations of 30 Christian and Jewish churches with the government.

Krystyna Bleszynska – Poland
Professor, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Department of Social Sciences

Krystyna Bleszynska holds MA, PhD and habilitation degrees from Warsaw University. She completed post-doctoral studies on Human Rights at the Institute of Law, Polish Academy of Sciences. She was a professor at Warsaw University, Warsaw School of Social Psychology and Graduate School of Humanities in Pultusk. Currently, she is Professor at the College of Social Sciences, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, where she is the Chair of Intercultural Education and Social Pedagogy. She is a visiting professor and visiting scholar at universities in Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the USA. She is a member of the US I-SIG COSMOS-project. She is a member of numerous education associations and societies. She has been awarded multiple research grants and was the winner of the EU EQUAL-project competition with a grant to establish an intercultural center for advising immigrants and refugees in Warsaw. She has participated in and organized numerous conferences and seminars in Poland and internationally. She authored a report on migrant children at Polish schools for the Polish Ministry of Education. She has authored numerous publications as well as acting as a reviewer of Polish and international scientific journals. In addition, she has acted as an expert for Polish and US governmental bodies. Her scientific interests include Global and Intercultural Education; Education for Peace; Post-conflict societies; Human Rights; Social inclusion/exclusion; Migrations, Diverse Societies, Inclusive Education. Professor Bleszynska has received numerous honors including the Silver Cross of Merit for scientific and organizational achievements.

Kishan Manocha – Poland
Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Human Rights Department, OSCE/ODIHR

Dr. Kishan Manocha is Senior Advisor on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the Organization for Security and Co-operation Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw.  Before this, he was Director of the Office of Public Affairs of the Bahá’í community of the United Kingdom. He holds degrees in medicine and law from the Universities of London and Cambridge respectively. He has extensive experience in religious freedom and minority rights issues in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia as a consultant to international and non-governmental organizations. He first trained in psychiatry, completing a Research Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry, before studying law. He specialized in international criminal and human rights law for his LLM and practiced as a barrister in a number of international criminal law cases before the English courts. He has worked at the Special Court for Sierra Leone and has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard as well as a Fellow of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University. He has lectured at universities in the United Kingdom and Pakistan, and is a Research Fellow at the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, a Professional Associate at the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Centre for Religion and Global Affairs. 

Marek Szopski – Poland
Senior Lecturer, English Institute, Warsaw University

Marek Szopski has Master’s degrees in English Philology and Sociology from Warsaw University and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana. He is currently on the faculty of the English Institute of Warsaw University (IA), and at the Academy of Social Sciences (SAN) in Warsaw. Marek Szopski has also lectured at the Communication Department and at the Sociology Department of the Appalachian State University, NC. At the University of Notre Dame, IN, he taught courses in Social Movements, Self and Society, and Introduction to Sociology. He translated into Polish and had published a General Theory of Authority by Yves R. Simon in 1998. He was also a co-translator of the History of the United States of America, ed. by A. Bartnicki and D. Critchlow, into Polish. In 2005 he published a handbook of Intercultural Communication in Polish. In 2011 he translated Solidarity: The Self-Limiting Revolution by Jadwiga Staniszkis. Recently he co-authored a chapter in Gender, Religion and Migration ed. by G.T Bonifacio and V. S.M. Angeles, published in Canada. At present he is working on an expanded version of Intercultural Communication. He is also invited to comment on social and political issues on the Polish media.

Piotr Szymaniec – Poland
Vice-Director of the Institute of Socio-Legal Studies, The Angelus Silesius University of Applied Science in Wałbrzych

Dr. Piotr Szymaniec currently holds the position of Vice-director of the Institute of Socio-Legal Studies at The Angelus Silesius University of Applied Sciences in Wałbrzych (Poland). He specializes in the history of legal, political and social thought, legal philosophy and public security. He is the author of more than forty publications, including the monograph Republikanizm dla społeczeństwa handlowego. Myśl polityczno-prawna Adama Fergusona (‘Republicanism for a Commercial Society. The Political and Legal Thought of Adam Ferguson,’ 2013). He is the editor and co-author of the monographic volume Zasada proporcjonalności a ochrona praw podstawowych w państwach Europy (The Principle of Proportionality and the Protection of Fundamental Rights in the European States, 2015). He has participated in many international conferences, including in Stockholm, Hannover, Vienna, St. Petersburg and Banská Bystrica. Szymaniec holds a PhD in Law from the University of Wrocław.

Mikhail Antonov – Russia
Professor of Law and Director of the Department of Legal Theory and History, Higher School of Economics Moscow

Mikhail Antonov is Professor of Law associated with the Law Faculty at the National Research University “Higher School of Economics”. Professor Antonov’s research interests focus upon contemporary legal theory, upon the problems of normativity in law, on the theory of sovereignty and on the theoretical problems pertaining to protection of human rights. He holds a master’s degree in sociology (University Paris V, 2005), and a PhD degree in law from Saint Petersburg State University (2006) with the dissertation on the legal conception of Georges Gurvitch. He is the author of more than 100 articles and papers, some of which have been published in English, French and German; a list of selected publications is at http://www.hse.ru/org/persons/23948027.

Sergey A. Belov – Russia
Associate Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Director of the Institute of Official Language, St. Petersburg State University

Sergey Belov received his Ph.D. in 2003 from St. Petersburg State University. He is currently Associate Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law at St. Petersburg State University. Before joining the Law Faculty at St. Petersburg State University in 2004, he acted as Assistant Deputy of the Legislative Assembly of St. Petersburg, as Deputy Judge of the Charter Court of St. Petersburg, and as Advisor to the Acting St. Petersburg Governor on legal matters. His field of expertise is public law, both Russian and comparative. Prof. Belov researches comparative constitutional review and values in legal system, public-private partnership in Russia and abroad, and the direct effect of constitutions. He is the chair of the expert group of the project “Monitoring of Law Enforcement”, and Director of the Research Institute of Official Language within St. Petersburg University. Prof. Belov is a member of expert boards in the federal parliament, expert projects “Strategy 2020” and “Open Government”. He is an individual member of IACL-AIDC (International Association of Constitutional Law). He taught as a visiting professor in universities in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Aleksandr Anatol'evich Burov – Russia
Senior Researcher, State Museum of the History of Religion

Olga Ganina – Russia
Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, Volga region State University of Service

Olga Ganina works as Assistant Professor in Philosophy and Religious Studies Comparative Politics at the Department of Philosophy, Volga Region State University of Service, Toglyatti. Her PhD thesis at Samara State University deals with the problem of traditional and transgressive forms of religion identity of the Middle Volga region. Her research is devoted to the religious everydayness of regional culture. She has co-edited the monograph, Features of everyday culture of the Middle Volga region religion (Ryazan, "Koncepciya", 2015). She has published articles in Vestnik Samarskogo Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta (Samara State University), in V mire nauchnykh otkrytiy (In the World of Scientific Discoveries). In 2015, she participated in the International Scientific Conference "Сhallenges of religious freedom and the development of legislation" at the American University in Armenia.

Olga Kudriashova – Russia
Associate Professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law, St. Petersburg State University

Olga Kudriashova is Associate Professor of the Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law at St. Petersburg State University. In 2008, she earned a Master’s of Law degree from St. Petersburg State University. In February 2013, she defended her Ph. Thesis, “Limitation of freedom of expression aimed to counteract extremism: constitutional aspects”, at St. Petersburg State University. She has worked for the Public Prosecutor's Office, the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation, and St. Petersburg State University. Her research interests are comparative constitutional law, human rights, in particular freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and rights of migrants.

Ekaterina Samokhina – Russia
Professor, Faculty of Law, St. Petersburg University for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Ekaterina Samokhina is an associate professor at the University of Humanities and Social Sciences (St. Petersburg, Russia) and an advocate. In 2011, she became a co-organizer of the research group Center of Legal Argumentation and Normativity of Law founded in the Saint-Petersburg branch of the National Research University Higher School of Economics. From 2012, she has been a visiting researcher at the Center of Legal Philosophy of Chaim Perelman at the Free University of Brussels. Her current research is devoted to the genesis of argumentative legal theory. She is the author of more than 20 articles and 25 translations.  

Lev Simkin – Russia
Professor of Law, Moscow State Academy for Intellectual Property

Dr. Lev Simkin is a Professor at Law, Moscow State Academy for Intellectual Property. He practices in the area of Russian constitutional, civil, and intellectual property law. He is also an expert in the Russian court and arbitration systems. Dr. Simkin is an author of books and numerous articles on intellectual property and religion-state relations in Russia. He was awarded the title of Honorable Advocate of Russia. He is the former president of the International Committee for Facilitating Legal Reform in Russia.

Mr. Enrique Montes Perez – Switzerland
President, Association Miraisme International

Enrique Montes Pérez trained as a Social Graduate at the University of Vigo and undertook a postgraduate degree in Social Capital and Citizen Participation at the Open University of Catalonia. He also specialized in Design and Evaluation of Public Policy for Development at the Pompeu Fabra University and is currently finishing his Master in Government and Public Management in Latin America at the same institution. For 12 years he emigrated, living in Colombia and the United States. In the latter he specialized in the areas of Strategic Direction, Marketing, and Internationalization in diverse sectors, such as commerce, the motor industry, real estate, and ICT. He combined his professional activities with civic activism, with a profound calling for the defense of human rights. He was on the Board of Directors for the platform “Immigration Reform”, a civil movement that expanded to a national scale in support of the legalization of 12 million immigrants without documents. Since 2009, he has lived in Spain, where he decided to affiliate himself exclusively with the third sector. He is President of the Association of Miraisme® International, an organization in special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council since 2015, based in Geneva, from where Miraisme® is developed as a system of values to build a harmonious society in the context of coexistence with respect. From 2013, he has been developing an intense agenda with the United Nations’ Universal System for the Protection of Human Rights, with emphasis on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Status of Women, and Immigration issues. He is also the President of the Freedom of Religion International Center.

Bülent Senay – Turkey
Professor of History of Religion and Culture; Culture Head of the Chair of History of Religion Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Uludag University; OSCE Human Rights Advisor

Bülent Şenay is associate Professor of History of Religion and Culture at the Department of Philosophy and Religion, Uludag University, Bursa, Turkey. Following his PhD in religious studies & philosophy from Lancaster University, UK, he started as a lecturer in Philosophy of Islam and Ethics at the University College of St. Martin’s in Lancaster, UK. He continued as Associate Professor of History of Religion teaching various courses. His research interest is focused on culture, religion, and identity in multicultural societies, Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations, and religion and politics in Europe. Prof. Şenay has been a participant at both the academic and the diplomatic level in the Intercultural Exchange Project of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. He is currently a member of the OSCE Advisory Panel for Freedom of Religion or Belief. He has published extensively in his field of research, and currently supervises various international projects on religion, ethnicity and diversity.

George Kovalenko – Ukraine
Head of Open Orthodox University of Saint Sophia-Wisdom, Ukrainian Orthodox Church

Archpriest George (Iurii Kovalenko) is currently the Head of Open Orthodox University of Saint Sophia-Wisdom. He has been involved in religious journalism for more than 20 years. He is the founder and chief editor of the first Ukraine Orthodox Internet resource in the Ukraine titled "Orthodoxy in Ukraine", orthodoxy.org.ua. In 2003, he created the first church news program on a national television broadcast, and from 2005-2008, he participated in the creation of the spiritual and educational TV Channel, «Glas». Since 2008, he has served as the press secretary of the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the Church Minister of Information (Chairman of the Synodal Information Department). He was spokesman for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church during the times of Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine Volodymyr including during Euromaidan and the Revolution of Dignity (2013-2014). He is a participant in the public initiative "November 21”.

Olesia Otradnova – Ukraine
Vice-Dean for International Relations, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

Prof. Olesia Otradnova, Dr. Habil. in law, is Vice-Dean for Research and International Relations, and a professor in the Civil Law department, Faculty of Law, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. She is a member of the Faculty Senate, and a member of the Research Council of the Supreme Court of Ukraine. Her fields of expertise include civil law (torts and contracts), and human rights law (remedies for human rights violation). She is an author of over 80 scientific publications and actively participates in drafting civil legislation in Ukraine. 

Dmytro Vovk – Ukraine
Associate Professor of Religious Education, Yaroslav the Wise National Law University

Dmytro Vovk, PhD in Law (2008), is an associate professor within the Theory of State and Law Department, Yaroslav the Wise National Law University (Kharkiv, Ukraine). His main areas of research are rule of law, religious freedom in transitional societies, state and church relations in post-Soviet countries. He is an expert of the OSCE, Council of Europe, Freedom House, and Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union projects. He has translated articles from English for Ukrainian and Russian academic journals, including authors such as Ronald Dworkin, Norbert Horn, Martin Krieger, Kaarlo Tuori, Pauline Westerman, and Lorenzo Zucca. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Philosophy of Law and General Theory of Law – the only specialized Ukrainian journal dedicated to philosophical problems in legal area.

Viktor Yelensky – Ukraine
Ministry of Culture Member of Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine and Head of Parliament’s Sub-Committee for Freedom of Conscience

Viktor Yelensky is a Member of Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Ukraine and Head of Parliament’s Sub-Committee for Freedom of Conscience. He earned his MA in History from Kyiv State University, and Candidate of Science and Doctor of Science Diplomas from the Institute of Philosophy of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Previously, he worked as a researcher at the Institute of Sociology and Institute of Philosophy, as an editor for the Ukrainian Journal for Religious Studies, Lyudina i Svit, as the head of the Kyiv Bureau of Radio Liberty, and as a professor at the Ukrainian Catholic University and Diplomatic Academy of Ukraine. He has authored many books, articles, and essays on religious freedom, religion and politics, and global religious trends and transformations. He is head of the Ukrainian Association for Religious Liberty. His most recent book is Great Comeback: Religion in Global Politics and International Relation in the End of 20th – Beginning of 21st Century.

Andriy Yurash – Ukraine
Director, Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities, Ministry of Culture, Ukraine

Andriy Yurash is the Director of the Department for Religious Affairs and Nationalities of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. He has a PhD in Political Science. He is an Associate Professor at the Ivan Franko National University of L’viv, as well as the Mykhajlo Drahomanov National Pedagogic University in Kyiv. He is a member of the International Editorial Board of the journal Religion, State & Society, of the International Study of Religion in Eastern and Central Europe Association (ISORECEA), and of the Ukrainian Association of Religious Studies Scientists. He has participated in more than 70 international and 10 All-Ukrainian conferences and seminars. He is the author of Pope John Paul II, co-editor of several editions, and has written several chapters, brochures, and over 110 scientific articles published in 9 languages. He has done 870 interviews and special comments for Ukrainian and foreign media (press, radio, television), and more than 100 analytical articles in the media of Ukraine, Canada, France, Russia.

Martin Browne – United Kingdom
Associate Researcher, Barrister, Manchester International Law Centre, University of Manchester

Martin Browne is a Barrister providing freelance legal services based in Manchester, UK. He works in large criminal cases, fraud, and extradition. He also experienced practice in public law, inquests, and inquiries. He worked for 2 years on the longest jury trial in British legal history, concerning the recent historic inquiry into the Hillsborough Disaster. Martin is also an Associate Researcher at the Manchester International Law Centre. In this role, Martin sits as a member of the ESIL Annual Conference 2018 planning committee. He has recently been working on two projects concerning education: first regarding the comparative legal regimes concerning the development of international schools, and secondly, how senior courts approach the balancing of religious rights in the education sphere in different ways. 

Maria Smirnova – United Kingdom
Research Associate, The University of Manchester School of Law

Dr. Maria Smirnova (PhD, Moscow; LLM, Exeter) is a Research Associate at the University of Manchester where her research covers the area of transnational constitutional law in the context of the most recent institutional transformation in the Russian legal system. The impact of international human rights law on the transformation of the Russian judicial system is of particular interest. As a member of the scientific committee of the Federal Centre for Educational Legislation in Moscow, she also focuses on the Russian education law and policy in its current state and in comparison with other countries. Her publications in this area cover such topics as linguistic diversity in education, fighting poverty through education, corruption in education, religious rights and the right to education, and in more general terms, the justiciability of the right to education.

Elizabeth A. Clark – United States
Associate Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School

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.

Jerry Pankhurst – United States
Professor of Sociology, University of Wittenberg

Prof Dr. Jerry Pankhurst, Professor of Sociology, is a noted scholar of the societies of Russia and the Post-Soviet region. He teaches on this topic as well as on sociology of religion and political sociology. He also has developed a teaching and research specialization on Islam and Islamic societies, with special interest in Egypt. He has coedited two books of original articles on Soviet society, Contemporary Soviet Society and Understanding Soviet Society, and has contributed articles to several other scholarly collections and professional journals. He has served as peer reviewer for many professional journals, including the American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Family Issues, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociology of Religion, Review of Religious Research, and Soviet and Post-Soviet Review. He has received research grants from the International Research and Exchanges Board, The Center for the Study of World Religions at Harvard University, The Ohio State University, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies at the Smithsonian Institution's Wilson Center for International Scholars, and Wittenberg. With this support, he has carried out research at Leningrad and Moscow State Universities; the University of Sofia, Bulgaria; Keston Institute in the United Kingdom; American University of Cairo (Egypt); and the Library of Congress. Pankhurst received his BA degree from Justin Morrill College of Michigan State University and his MA and PhD degrees from The University of Michigan. He completed additional graduate studies at Leningrad State University and Harvard University. He joined the Wittenberg faculty in 1984.

Maria Achton Thomas – United States
PhD Candidate, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

Maria Achton Thomas is a PhD candidate with the Faculty of Law at National University of Singapore (NUS). Supported by the NUS Graduate Research Scholarship she is researching to what extent legal regulation can promote religious harmony and integration of religious minorities, using Singapore as a case study. She holds an LLM (Comparative & International Law) from NUS (2013) and an LLB (hons) from London Metropolitan University (2006). Previously Maria was a practicing lawyer in the United Kingdom, specialising in asylum and human rights law.  She is currently a visiting research scholar at Columbia University with the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life.

Jay D. Wexler – United States
Professor of Law, Boston University

Jay Wexler is Professor of Law at Boston University and the author of five books, including two about religion: Holy Hullabaloos: A Road Trip to the Battlegrounds of the Church/State Wars, and When God Isn’t Green: A World-Wide Journey to Places Where Religious Practice and Environmentalism Collide, both published by Beacon Press. His current book project for Stanford University Press is tentatively entitled Our Non-Christian Nation: How Wiccans, Atheists, Satanists, and Other Non-Christians are Demanding Their Rightful Place in American Public Life. A member of the Boston University faculty since 2001, Wexler has published scholarly articles in places like the Texas Law Review and the Brigham Young Law Review and has taught on Fulbright Fellowships in both Krakow, Poland and Buenos Aires, Argentina. Prior to teaching, Wexler worked as an Attorney Advisor at the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Justice Department and as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court. Wexler has a BA in East Asian Studies from Harvard, an MA in religious studies from the University of Chicago Divinity School, and a JD from Stanford Law School.