Brett G. Scharffs, Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law at J. Reuben Clark Law School, was appointed Director of the Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies effective 1 May 2016. He had served the Center as Associate Director and Regional Advisor for Asia since 2009 and the Law School as both Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum. Formerly Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, Professor Scharffs was appointed on 1 September 2017 to the Law School’s Rex E. Chair. 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 and an MA in philosophy. He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, where he earned a BPhil in philosophy. He received his JD from Yale Law School, where he was Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. More ….
W. Cole Durham, Jr. is Emeritus Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University, where he held the Susa Young Gates University Professorship. He is Founding Director of the Law School’s 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 an AB degree in Philosophy magna cum laude from Harvard College, and he joined the faculty at BYU Law School in 1976, just one year after he received his own juris doctor degree from Harvard Law School, where he was a Note Editor of the Harvard Law Review and Managing Editor of the Harvard International Law Journal. Throughout his long career he has been heavily involved in comparative law scholarship, with a special emphasis on comparative constitutional law. 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 the Center’s brief in the landmark 2012 case Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC. 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 as Associate Director 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. More ….
Dr. Paul E. Kerry joined the Center in 2019 as an Associate Director. Professor Kerry is an associate professor in the department of History at Brigham Young University, a member of the European Studies faculty, and a former associate dean of Undergraduate Education. Dr. Kerry has for many years aided and supported the work of the Center in conferences and programs held in Oxford. For the past several years Dr. Kerry has lived in the United Kingdom, where was a supernumerary research and teaching fellow at the University of Oxford’s Rothermere American Institute, co-convener of the RAI’s research seminar on Constitutional Thought and History, and co-convener of the Oxford History Faculty’s research seminar in Historiography at Christ Church, participating in the Voltaire Foundation’s Enlightenment Workshop, and collaborating with the Faculty of Theology and Religion’s Centre for Theology and Modern European Thought. More . . .
David Moore, Wayne M. and Connie C. Hancock Professor Law at BYU Law School, joined the Center as an Associate Director in 2019. Professor Moore has been involved with the Center since his days as a law student, including serving on the Center’s Academic Advisory Council. Professor Moore is a scholar of international law, development, human rights, and U.S. foreign relations law. His publications have appeared in leading journals, including the Harvard, Columbia, Virginia, and Northwestern Law Reviews. Professor Moore served as Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs at the law school, has received the University’s R. Wayne Hansen Teaching and Learning Fellowship, the BYU Law Alumni Association Teacher of the Year Award, and the Student Bar Association First Year Professor of the Year Award. More . . .
Jane Wise joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies as an Associate Director in May 2017. She comes most recently from twenty years as an adjunct professor (advocacy faculty) at the Law School, where she served on the legal writing and external relations committees. She taught legal writing, lawyering skills, and law and literature courses in the classroom, as well as legal writing classes online. She developed curricula for the American legal academy including materials for English as a–second-language law students, and the the writing curriculum she helped design for BYU Law’s Rex E. Lee Advocacy Program was ranked 17th in the nation for legal writing programs in law schools by U.S. News and World Report … More …
Donlu DeWitt Thayer, following her retirement from Brigham Young University on December 31, 2019, assumed a role as Senior Fellow for the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, where she was most recently Publications Director. During her more than ten years with the Center, Donlu oversaw print and electronic publications, including the building and management of the Center’s websites — the ICLRS website and its companion database, Religlaw, and 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. Most recently she has developed the Center’s blog, Talk About: Law and Religion, which she will continue to manage as a Senior Fellow. She will also contiune to oversee the Strasbourg Consortium case table and Law and Religion Headlines, a project she developed in 2012 and since has sent regularly to subscribers worldwide. Donlu has been an Associate Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion since its inception in 2012. More …
Center Coordinator and Executive Assistant
Deborah Wright has been Coordinator and Administrative Assistant at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies since 2001. She supervises the administrative staff and coordinates the activities of all Center personnel and is at the heart of organization and scheduling of the Center’s many conferences, including logistics, travel, accommodations, on campus and worldwide. 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 to bring to pass such a complex undertaking. Deborah is the patient voice on the phone, the unflagging e-mail correspondent, for hundreds of Center friends worldwide. More …
Sherie Rogde joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University in November 2018 in the role of Conference Liaison. Sherie’s past experience includes working for several years in BYU’s Division of Continuing Education as a program administrator, planning and executing numerous conferences, and providing a variety of educational opportunities to many people. Sherie earned a master’s degree from BYU’s Marriott School in Organizational Behavior with an emphasis in international development. She has served on nonprofit boards of directors and participated in development and humanitarian efforts in West Africa, Egypt, Central and South America. Her responsibilities at the Center include acting as a key liaison officer for the Religious Freedom Annual Review, assisting with the International Law and Religion Symposium, and coordinating other conferences worldwide.
Blythe Shupe joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in September 2015 as a Communications Specialist. In this role she manages the Center’s social media outlets and works on the ICLRS website and has responsibility for media and documentation at major Center conferences, including the Annual Symposium, the Religious Freedom Annual Review, and the international G20 Interfaith Forums. She has charge of the Center’s Annual Reports and other publications featuring the Center. Before coming to the Center, 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. 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. More …