Brett G. Scharffs, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law at Brigham Young University Law School, was appointed Director of the Law School's International Center for Law and Religion Studies effective May 1, 2016. He had served the Center as Associate Director and Regional Advisor for Asia since 2009 and served the Law School as both Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum.
Professor Scharffs' teaching and scholarly interests include law and religion, legal reasoning and rhetoric, philosophy of law, and legislation and regulation. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, where he received a BSBA in international business... more
W. Cole Durham, Jr., Susa Young Gates University Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, is Founding Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. From its official organization on January 1, 2000, until May 1, 2016, Professor Durham was Director of the Center, which was organized to provide an institutional base for long-term initiatives in the field of law and religion throughout the world, begun in the Law School in the mid-1980s by Professor Durham and continued in subsequent years with the involvement of many students and colleagues.
Professor Durham holds am AB degree in Philosophy magna cum laude from Harvard College, and he joined the faculty at BYU Law School in 1976, just one year... more
Regional Advisor for Europe
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 been a primary organizer of 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, including... more
Regional Advisor for Latin America and Africa
Professor Gary Doxey, former Managing Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, rejoined Center in 2009 after three years during which he served as president of the Mexico City South Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In April 2011 Professor Doxey was called as an Area Seventy of the Church, with a five-year term ending in 2016. Before joining the law school, Professor Doxey served under Governor Olene S. Walker of Utah as chief of staff – the state’s top appointed official, head of the cabinet, and chief operating officer of the executive branch. Prior to that, he served six years as general counsel to Utah Governor Michael O. Leavitt. Professor Doxey... more
Senior Editor, Print and Electronic Publications
Donlu DeWitt Thayer is Senior Editor at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, with responsibility for overseeing print and electronic publications, including the Center's websites and social media outlets, and the Law and Religion Headline News sent near daily to subscribers worldwide. A significant responsibility is maintaining the website and case table of the Strasbourg Consortium, which tracks the freedom-of-religion-or-belief jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. She is Associate Editor and Case Note Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, and Associate Editor of the 5-volume Encyclopedia of Law and Religion (Brill 2016, Gerhard Robbers and Cole Durham,eds). She has participated as writer or editor in Center publication projects... more
Center Coordinator and Executive Assistant
Deborah Wright has been with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies since 2001. She supervises the administrative staff and coordinates the activities of all Center personnel. The organization and scheduling of the Center's many conferences, including logistics, travel, accommodations, on campus and all around the world, fall upon her capable shoulders. Most especially, the continued success of the annual International Law and Religion Symposium wouldn't be possible without Deborah’s competence and tireless efforts in the year-round efforts of organization, planning, communication, and coordination of events and facilities, of faculty, students, delegates, hosts, and visitors, all of which combine... more
Blythe Shupe joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in September 2015 as a Communications Specialist. She had spent the previous ten years as an account manager in the world of pre-employment screening. In this position, she worked closely with Human Resources, Compliance Departments, and Security Departments of large companies setting up and monitoring background screening programs for new hires to ensure the client was hiring the best possible candidate while operating within federal, state, and local laws. She specialized in the complicated screening practices surrounding healthcare, financial firms and aviation. She honed her communication... more
International Advisory Council and Conference Liaison
Sandy Stephenson joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies staff in July 2015. She assists in the Center's development efforts as liaison with the growing network of supporters making up the Center's International Advisory Council. She also works in organizing and coordinating a number of the Center’s many sponsored conferences worldwide. Sandy has owned and operated two different businesses and has worked at the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and for the U.S. Senate. She graduated from Brigham Young University in Humanities with emphases in Art, Art History, and French. She... more