2018 Annual Symposium
Juan Fernando Brugge – Argentina
Member of Congress, Chamber of Deputies

Juan Fernando Brugge is a lawyer specializing in public law. With 30 years of experience in university teaching, he is the Chair of Constitutional Procedural Law and Professor of the Faculty of Law of the National University of Córdoba, Argentina. He is a legal consultant in municipal law. He is Vice President of the National Board of the Christian Democratic Party of Argentina, and serves as National Deputy (mandate 2015-2019). He is the President of the Communications and Information Commission of the Chamber of Deputies of the Nation. From 2007-2011, he was a legislator of the Province of Córdoba. He is the former Director of the Bank of the Province of Córdoba (2013-2015). 

David Frol – Argentina
Vice President, Argentine Council for Religious Liberty (CALIR)

David Alberto Frol is Vice President of the Argentine Council for Religious Freedom (CALIR). He is an attorney at law, with a degree from Inter-American Open University (UAI), and a postgraduate degree in international relations, also from UAI. He also has postgraduate degrees in non-profit organizations from San Andrés University, Torcuato Di Tella University, and the Center for Social and State Studies. He is a communications specialist and earned a postgraduate degree in communication with emphasis in social issues at Belgrano University. Certified in Corporate Social Responsibility at Technological University of Monterrey and the World Bank Institute, he was a speaker at the educational program "Leadership training in and for Interreligious Dialogue" sponsored by the Interreligious Dialogue Institute and the "Religious Values" section of the Clarin newspaper. He is an active member and participant of projects that promote interreligious dialogue and mutual cooperation.

Gustavo Marcelo Guillermé – Argentina
Vice President, Judeo Christian Islamic Foundation of the Americas

Gustavo Marcelo Guillermé is the Founder and President of OIIR International Organization for Refugee Integration since 2016. He is also Founder and President, World Congress of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue "A Path to Peace". Other roles include Founder and Vice President of FUJCIA Judeo Christian Islamic Foundation of the Americas (2013 to present), Advisor of Projects, Investments and Real Estate, of the Salesian Order of Argentina (2013 to present), and Adviser of Projects, Investments, and Real Estate, of the Order of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Mercy of Argentina ((2012 to present). He has had a long diplomatic and business career including Executive Director of the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires; Commercial and Cultural Advisor of the Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Jordan in Argentina; advisor to the Military and Naval Attaché of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Buenos Aires; advisor on Argentina and Mercosur of the Deputy of the Republic of Italy; and Executive Director in Argentina of ADCCCA Association for the Commercial and Cultural Development between China and Argentina, among others. 

Carlos Alberto Mahiques – Argentina
Judge, Cámara Federal de Casación Penal

Carlos Alberto Mahiques has a PhD in Law from the University of Poitiers (France), and a PhD in Juridical Sciences from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Buenos Aires. He currently serves as a judge of the Federal Criminal Chamber of Argentina. He is an ordinary associate professor of criminal law at the UCA. and a visiting professor at the Universities of Florence and Ferrara (Italy), and at Puitiers and La Roche sur Yon (France). He was Minister of Justice of the Province of Buenos Aires and received awards from France as Chevalier of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques and from Italy as Grande Ufficiale del'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. He is the author of many articles and has published several books on criminal law and criminal policy. 

Mark Fowler – Australia
Partner, Prolegis Lawyers

Mark Fowler is a partner at Prolegis Lawyers and an adjunct associate professor of Notre Dame Law School in Sydney. His specialist areas within the charity and not-for-profit sector include the law applying to schools, international aid organizations, retirement villages, aged care facilities, and religious organizations. He also has a breadth of experience in property and commercial law, with a particular focus on the affordable, community, and social housing sectors, and has advised many leading national and international housing charities. Prior to joining Prolegis Lawyers, Mark was a director in a firm based in Brisbane also specializing in charity and not-for-profit law.  He is an Appeals Panel member for the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), the peak body for Australian non-government organizations (NGOs) involved in international development and humanitarian action. He is a member of the Australian Charities and Not-for Profits Commission Professional Users Group and has served as a member of the Queensland Law Society’s Human Rights Working Group. Mark is a doctoral candidate in law at the University of Queensland, with his research focusing on religious freedom and tax. He is the Chair of CLEAR Australia International Ltd, a charity uniting Christian lawyers’ societies in Australia to partner with like societies in the developing world in order to progress the rule of law and human rights and is the Deputy Chancellor for the Anglican Diocese of the Northern Territory.

Damian Wyld – Australia
Director, Australian Family Coalition

Damian Wyld has been CEO of Marriage Alliance since 2013 and has been prominent in South Australian State and local government politics. Mr. Wyld graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) (joint honors in politics and history), after which he spent several years as a state and federal political staffer. Mr Wyld has a keen interest in current affairs and also works in the public relations field.

Nasimi Aghayev – Azerbaijan
Consul General, Consulate General of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Nasimi Aghayev is the Consul General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles. The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan appointed him to this position on April 10, 2012. He holds the diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of first class with a consular district that includes California and twelve other Western U.S. states. Prior to this appointment, he served at the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Washington, D.C. as a counselor for political and public affairs. Joining Azerbaijan's diplomatic service in 1999, he also served at the country's Embassies in Austria (2000–03) and Germany (2005–08), as well as in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baku. Nasimi Aghayev also currently serves as Dean of the Los Angeles Consular Corps, which is the world’s second largest consular corps (after New York) representing 105 nations. Nasimi Aghayev holds a Master of European Law (LLM) degree from the Europa-Institut of the Saarland University, Germany, and BA and MA degrees in International Relations from the Baku State University, Azerbaijan. He was also trained at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna in Austria. He has served as the editor-in-chief of the Caucasian Review of International Affairs and wrote a book Humanitarian Intervention and International Law: NATO operation in Kosovo, published in German in 2007. In addition to his native Azerbaijani language, he also knows English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Nathan Gill – Belgium
Member, European Parliament

Nathan Gill was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for Wales, in the United Kingdom, in May 2014. Nathan has been a leading voice in Wales, the UK, and at the European Parliament on the issues of religious freedom, protection of the family unit, and individual liberty.

Raphaël Warolin – Belgium
Policy Officer, European External Action Service (EEAS), European Union

Raphaël Warolin holds a bachelor’s degree in political sciences from Sciences Po Lille (Lille Institute of Political Sciences) and an MA in European Union Studies from the Institute for European Studies at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. His master’s thesis consisted of a comparison of EU and Chinese development policies in Sub-Saharan Africa. He subsequently undertook a traineeship at the EU Delegation to Mexico. Raphaël has been working in advocacy for the last 4 years with international human rights NGOs, firstly, as EU Foreign Policy Assistant at the Amnesty International European Institutions Office, focusing on human rights issues in the Americas, Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and more specifically, the protection of human rights defenders, torture and EU civilian operations. Secondly, he has been working for Peace Brigades International between October 2015 and January 2018, as an international human rights observer in Chihuahua, Mexico, and as field team coordinator and advocacy coordinator in Mexico City. In February 2018, he joined the European External Action Service (EEAS)- Human Rights Division. He is in charge of a geographic portfolio (human rights in Central Asia) whereas he works thematically for the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or belief. Raphaël is a French and Spanish native speaker, is fluent in English, and has an intermediate level of Italian.

Ethan Wilkinson – Belgium
Chief of Staff for Nathan Gill, MEP, European Parliament

Ethan Wilkinson graduated from Cardiff University, UK in 2015 with a First Class Degree in Politics, Italian and Spanish. Upon graduation, Ethan worked as a digital specialist (social media strategy and video content) for the UK General Election, the Welsh Assembly Election, and the EU Referendum campaign. Since June 2016, Ethan has been Chief of Staff for Nathan Gill MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels, working on the Brexit negotiations and religious freedom issues. He organized the first European Parliament event focused on the persecution of Christians in Europe.

Muhammed Haron – Botswana
Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Botswana

Muhammed Haron is a professor at the University of Botswana’s Theology & Religious Studies Department where he teaches Religious Studies courses. Haron was formerly associated with the University of the Western Cape where he taught Arabic Studies. Currently, Haron is an Associate Researcher at the University of Pretoria and was a visiting Professor at Rhodes University (April-May 2018). He edits University of Cape Town’s Annual Review of Islam in Africa and is the Editor-in-Chief of Duke University’s Research Africa Reviews. He authored The Dynamics of Christian-Muslim Relations (2006), edited Going Forward: South African-Malaysia Relations (2008), compiled South Africa’s Muslims: Annotated Bibliography (1997), and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: An Annotated Bibliography (2009), and co-edited Islamic Civilization in Southern Africa (2009) and Muslim Higher Education in Postcolonial Africa (2016). He co-edited Proceedings of the 2016 Islamic Civilization in Southern Africa Congress (Istanbul 2018 [forthcoming]) and edited N. Chand’s Bechuanaland’s Muslim Pioneers: Their Heritage and Legacies (Gaborone 2018 [forthcoming]).

José Bizon – Brazil
Ecclesiastical Advisor for Ecumenism and Interfaith Dialogue, Archdiocese of São Paulo; Director, Casa da Reconciliação

José Bizon has been a priest in the archdiocese of São Paulo since May 9, 1981. He has a degree in philosophy from the Faculdade Associada do Ipiranga and a degree in theology from the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of São Paulo. He has an MA in ecumenism from the Pontifical University of Santo Tomás, in Rome. He is a member of the organizing committee of the Movimento de Fraternidade de Igrejas Cristãs (MOFIC), and a Catholic coordinator of the Comissão Nacional de Diálogo Religioso Católico-Judaico (DCJ). He is also a member of youth and peace movements and a member of ecumenical associations. He is a professor at the Faculdade de Teologia Nossa Senhora da Assunção, part of the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, in the following areas: ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue and theology of religion. He is the director of the Casa da Reconciliação. He organized six publications: two on ecumenism, three on inter-religious dialogue and one on sacerdotal spirituality. 

Edson Brandão – Brazil
Secretary, Comissão da Liberdade Religiosa

Edson Camargo Brandão is a lawyer and Secretary of the Religious Freedom Commission of the Bar Association of São Paulo State. He is an instructor of the Ethics and Discipline Tribunal of OAB-SP (Bar Association); a collaborating member of the Training and Examination Committee of OAB-SP; a specialist in Politics and Strategy by ADESG (São Paulo); and a professor at UniFMU. He is Baptist.

Christiana Ramalho Cavalcante – Brazil
Public Prosecutor, Pernambuco State

Christiana Ramalho Cavalcante is a prosecutor for the Ministério Público do Estado de Pernambuco. From 1997-2003, she was a managing lawyer of the largest business group in the northeast of Brazil. Christiana is now the Chief for the Third Prosecutor’s Office in the Defense of Citizenship with responsibility for the elderly and for health. She holds an LLM in public law and a bachelor´s degree from Universidade de Fortaleza (UNIFOR) Law School. She is also an associate for the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Northeast Chapter.

Aroldo Barreto Cavalcante Filho – Brazil
Attorney at Law, Barreto Cavalcante Advogados; J. Reuben Clark Law Society Area Director - South America

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 Ceará, Brazil. Aroldo is a managing partner of Barreto Cavalcante Advogados and a former city attorney. He holds an LLM in Administrative and Tax Law and a bachelor´s degree from UFC Law School. He is currently the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Area Director for South America.

Odacyr Prigol – Brazil
Attorney at Law, Prigol Advogados Associados; Member, Brazilian Association for Religious Freedom

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.

Edna Zilli – Brazil
Attorney at Law and Director, Parliamentary Affairs, National Association of Evangelical Attorneys (ANAJURE)

Edna Vasconcelos Zilli graduated in Law from the Universidade Católica do Paraná. She is a Specialist in Environmental Law, Centro Universitário Positivo (UNICEMP); Specialist in Law of the Third Sector by Positivo University (2008); and Specialist in Constitutional Law and Religious Freedom from the Mackenzie University / University of Coimbra / University of Oxford / Anajure. She is a member of the Federal Commission of Law and Religious Freedom of the OAB and has served in various position for the OAB including Chairman from 2016-2018, Secretary from 2008-2015, and a member of the Third Sector Law Commission. She is currently Director of Parliamentary Affairs of ANAJURE – the National Association of Evangelical Jurists.

Aunny Ieng – Cambodia
Former Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh, Capital City of Phnom Penh

Aunny Ieng is the former Deputy Governor of Phnom Penh. He earned a PhD from the Royal Academy of Cambodia, a Master of Public Administration from the University of Hawaii at Mano, and a bachelor degree in architecture and urban planning from the Royal University of Fine Arts. He is currently on the staff of the Ministry of Interior, and Vice President of Land and House Company, Ltd.  Since 2008 he is Vice Governor of Takeo. He has served in various positions in the Municipality of Phnom Penh including Deputy Chief of Cabinet and Chief of Bureau of Urban Affairs. He is the founder of Cambodian Appropriate Technology Development Group (CATDG), an NGO to conduct research and testing on construction materials and to support the poor communities in Phnom Penh.  

Him Vibolrith – Cambodia
Director General, Religious Affairs Department, Ministry of Cults and Religions

Him Vilborith is the Director General of Religious Affairs in the Ministry of Cults and Religions. He earned a Master of Science from the Agricultural University of Poznan, Poland, and a Master of Law from Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology. His work experience includes working as State of the Office of Legislation and Dispute Resolution of Forestry Administration, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (1996-2002) and as Chief of the same office (2002-2011).  He was Deputy Chief of the Office of Investigation and Rapid Response of Forestry Administration (2011-2015) and then Deputy Chief of the District Office of Forestry Administration of Mondulkiri Province (2015-2016). In June 2016, he became State of the General Affair Administration of Department, Ministry of Cults and Religions before moving to his current position in October 2016. 

Solange Lefebvre – Canada
Full Professor, Research Chair for the Management of Cultural and Religious Diversity, University of Montreal

Solange Lefebvre is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She is a full professor at the Institute of Religious Studies, University of Montréal, where she holds the Research Chair in Management of Cultural and Religious Diversity. Her areas of interest include religion in the public sphere, religion and politics, laïcité and secularisation, youth and generations. Lefebvre’s recent publications include Cultures et spiritualités des jeunes [Cultures and Spirituality of Youth] (Bellarmin, 2008); the edited volumes: Public Commissions on Diversity (Routledge, 2017); Catholicisme et cultures. Regards croisés Québec-France [Catholicism and Cultures. Crossed views on Québec-France] (Presses de l’Université Laval et Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015); Religion in the Public Sphere: Canadian Case Studies (University of Toronto Press, 2014); Living with Diversity (International Journal of Theology. Concilium 2014/1); Le programme d’éthique et culture religieuse [Program of Ethics and Religious Culture] (PUL, 2012), Les religions sur la scène mondiale [Religions on the Global Scene] (PUL, 2010), Le Patrimoine religieux du Québec [Religious Heritage of Quebec] (PUL, 2010). She is the editor of Public Commissions on Cultural and Religious Diversity: Analysis, Reception and Challenges, UK: Routledge, 2017. She has directed and collaborated on several funded research projects. She is part of the executive committee for a major Partnership project funded by SSHRC on religious diversity in Canada and around the world (2012-2018). She was the director of the multidisciplinary Center of Study of Religion at the University of Montreal (2000-2008). As someone regularly consulted on religious matters, by governments, the media, as well as public and private organizations, Ms. Lefebvre was a member of the Committee of Experts in the context of the Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences (CCPARDC), chaired by Gérard Bouchard and Charles Taylor (2007-2008). She is coordinating the Canadian section for the European Data Base EUREL.com (with L. Beaman); and offers her own data base PLURI that puts hundreds of documents on the management of cultural and religious pluralism at public disposal.

Giuliana Natale – Canada
Director, Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion

Giuliana Natale serves as the Director of the Inclusion and Religious Freedom Division within the Office of Human Rights, Freedoms and Inclusion at Global Affairs Canada. The Division is responsible for the development and implementation of Canada’s international policies and advocacy efforts related to freedom of religion or belief as well as the promotion of pluralism, respect for diversity and inclusion. Giuliana also serves as a focal point for faith or belief communities and other members of civil society in Canada seeking to advance respect for human rights abroad. Prior to joining Global Affairs Canada, Giuliana served as Chief of Staff to the Foreign and Defence Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister, within the Privy Council Office of Canada. Giuliana also served for several years within the Department of Canadian Heritage, including as acting Director for International Relations where she was involved in the development of Canada’s international cultural policy which focused on the promotion of cultural industries and the advancement of cultural diversity as a critical component of inclusive policies related to social development and economic growth

Dwight Newman – Canada
Professor, University of Saskatchewan

Dwight Newman, BA in Economics (Regina), JD (Saskatchewan), BCL, MPhil, DPhil in Legal Philosophy (Oxford), is a Professor of Law and Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Rights in Constitutional and International Law at the University of Saskatchewan, where he started in a faculty position in 2005 and has also served a three-year term as Associate Dean. He has been a Canada Research Chair since 2013. Dr. Newman has also taught during visiting terms at Alberta, McGill, Osgoode Hall (PD), and Oxford. During the 2015-16 year, he was a James Madison Visiting Fellow at Princeton University, and during the second half of the 2016-17 year, he was a Professeur invité at the Université de Montréal Faculté de Droit and a Herbert Smith Freehills Visitor at Cambridge University. In 2017, he became a member of the College of the Royal Society of Canada. Dr. Newman has published close to one hundred articles or book chapters and ten books. His writing has been cited by all levels of Canadian courts, including a number of times by the Supreme Court of Canada, and in argument before the United States Supreme Court. Dr. Newman is a Munk Senior Fellow of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and has contributed to policy discussions by publishing a number of think tank reports. He also serves as an expert member of the International Law Association (ILA) Committee on Implementation of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and contributes to ongoing discussion on international norms on related issues. Prior to entering a faculty role, Dr. Newman clerked for Chief Justice Lamer and Justice LeBel at the Supreme Court of Canada, worked for NGOs in South Africa and Hong Kong and for the Canadian Department of Justice, and completed his graduate studies at Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. 

Qian Qin – China
Associate Professor, Fudan University: Center for American Studies

Qian Qin is the Associate Professor of International Politics at Fudan University of China, Researcher of the Study Center for Religion and International Relations, and Vice Dean of the Institute for Policy on Integrative Medicine. Her teaching and scholarly interests include law and religion, International Law and International Relations, and Medicine and International Relations. She is also co-editor of the two following journals, Religion and American Society, and Fudan International Relations Review. Qian Qin is a visiting scholar (2018-2019) of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University. For the past ten years she has been a senior visiting professor at Hongkong Chinese University (2007) and Oxford University (2010-2011). Dr. Qin holds an LLB in Civil and Commercial Law from East China University of Political Science and Law, a LLM in Business Law from Fudan University Law School, an LLD from Fudan University, and an MD from Shanghai University of Traditional Medicine. In her ten-year academic career, Dr. Qin has written more than 20 articles and 4 books. Her books include Religious NGOs and International Law (2018), Religious NGOs in China: Practices and Law (2017), Chinese Medicine in West: Politics and Law (2016), and Antarctic Geopolitics and National Interests (2017). She is currently finishing work on a textbook about International Law and International Relations.

Mardory Llanos Cortés – Colombia
Deputy Director for Freedom of Religion and Conscience, Office of Human Rights

Mardory Llanos Cortés is a lawyer and business administrator, with a postgraduate degree in social politics. With a trajectory of more than 20 years of work in the protection, promotion, and recognition of human rights, her work has focused especially on people who are victims of armed conflict, social leaders, people with disabilities, people deprived of their freedom, and women victims of attacks with chemical agents. She is currently working for the guarantee and protection of fundamental freedoms of religion and conscience, from the Office of Religious Freedom and Conscience of the Government Secretary, Bogotá City Hall.

Ivonne Acuña Cabrera – Costa Rica
Deputy, Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica

Ivonne Acuña has a degree in psychology from Universitdad de Fidélitas. Currently, she is the President of the Government Commission of the National Assembly and works in other commissions on human rights, education, health, and childhood and adolescence.

Cisse Djiguiba – Côte d'Ivoire
Imam, The Mosque of Plateau, Abidjan

Cisse Djiguiba is the principal Imam of the Mosque of Plateau in Abidjan. He is a founding member of the Superior Council of Imams in Côte d’Ivoire, a founding member of the National Islamic Council of Côte d'Ivoire, a permanent member of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, and a member of the World Conference of Religions for Peace. In addition, he is a communication officer and spokesperson of the Higher Council of Imams in Côte d'Ivoire, a consultant-trainer at the Islamic Organization for Education, Science, and Culture, and Director General of the National Islamic Radio AlBayane. He earned a Bachelor of English from the University of Cocody, a Certificate of Studies of Arabic Language and Islamic Studies in Makka, a Bachelor of Arts in Jeddah, and a Diploma of Studies from Washington DC Academy of Sciences (USA). He speaks fluent Arabic, French, and English. 

Šime Jerčić – Croatia
Director, Government Office of the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities

Šime Jerčić is the Director, Government Office of the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities. He has a Master of Laws (LLM) from the Technical University of Dresden, Faculty of Law, and a BA in Law from the University of Split. Previous experience includes working for the State Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Croatia form 2006-2013, working for the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute, and working for MI & M, Ltd. 

Enrique Alemán Gutiérrez – Cuba
Deputy, National Assembly of the Popular Power of Cuba; President, Cuban Platform for Interreligious Dialogue

Dr. Enrique Alemán Gutiérrez is the Deputy of the National Assembly of the Popular Power of Cuba and President of the Cuban Platform for Interreligious Dialogue. As a Doctor in Sciences and Social Anthropology, he has worked tirelessly in pursuit of interreligious, multi-ethnic dialogue and cultural diversity, in Cuba and the World, for the recognition of religions and the importance of dialogue between them, which is a very important part of the Quisicuaba Association Center. Dr. Enrique Alemán has participated in many conferences at multiple universities around the world focusing on interreligious dialogue for the resolution of global conflicts. He was the coordinator of the International Meeting for Interreligious Dialogue and World Peace in Havana, Cuba. He has received many distinctions, including the title of "Paradigm of Cuban Culture" given by the University of Havana and the Council of Rectors of Cuba on July 15, 2016. He was a delegate from the Republic of Cuba in the first Caribbean Religious Freedom Symposium, held in November 2017 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Michael Suhr – Denmark
Ambassador/Special Representative for Religious Freedom or Belief, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Michael Suhr began his role as Special Representative for Religious Freedom and Belief in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark in September of 2018. He also serves as Ambassador of Denmark in Portugal, a position he has held since August 2014. He is Head of Department, European Neighborhood Policy since 2013. Former positions include Head of Department, European Policy in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009-2013), and Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of Denmark in Paris (2008-2009). He earned an MA in International Economics and International Relations Theory from the John Hopkins University – Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). 

Maximo Ramon Euripides Cabral Jimenez – Dominican Republic
President, Señales TV / Commentator “El Sol de la Mañana”

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 Señales 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).

José Ángel González – Dominican Republic
Director, Center for Research and Studies of Religion, Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (CIER-PUCMM)

José Ángel González is the Director of the Center for Research and Studies of Religion (CIER-PUCMM) at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM). He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the PUCMM. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in religious sciences and in clinical psychology. He is a specialist in Project and University Management and in Sciences of Education, having studied in Rome, Italy. He has been a teacher of Ethics and Philosophy in the Pontifical Seminary Santo Tomás de Aquino of the Universidad Católica Tecnológica del Cibao (UCATECI); former President of the Universidad Católica Tecnológica de Barahona (UCATEBA); Executive Director of the Dominican Association of University Presidents (ADRU); and Vice Rector of the Universidad Católica Tecnológica del Cibao (UCATECI). He is an advisor for la Fundación Kolping Dominicana; Piaget Private School in Cotuí; and for “El Anzuelo”, an ecotourism project. He has published articles on ethics for the magazine Perspectives of the Seminario Pontificio Santo Tomás de Aquino.

Florentin Meléndez Padilla – El Salvador
First Magistrate, Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador

Florentin Meléndez Padilla has a doctorate in law and a master’s degree in human rights from Universidad Complutense (Madrid Spain), as well as a degree in Legal Sciences from the University of El Salvador. He is a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the OAS (CIDH - IACHR) and served as President of IACHR from 2007-2008, and Rapporteur of the IACHR for Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas. He is editor and promoter of the "Principles and Best Practices on the Protection of Persons Deprived of Liberty in the Americas," of the IACHR, and Rapporteur of the IACHR for Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. He is a member of the General Assembly and a professor of courses of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights. (IIHR). At Central American University "José Simeón Cañas", El Salvador, he is Director of the Legal Research Institute and Director of the Chair "State of Law." He is a consultant of the Human Rights Ombudsman, and an independent consultant and human rights trainer.

George Arthur – Ghana
Assistant Commissioner of Police; Chaplain, General Director, Ghana Police Service

George Arthur was ordained a Catholic priest on 29 July 1995. He enlisted as the first Catholic Chaplain to the Ghana Police Service (GPS) on 1 April 1998. He currently holds the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and the position of Chaplain, General (Director) of the Ghana Police Service. He has served as Director, Religious Affairs Directorate (GPS); as Priest-in-Charge, St. George Catholic Church, Accra-Ghana; and as a lecturer on professional police ethics, Ghana Police Academy. He has a BA Hons in sociology and religions from the University of Ghana, Legon, and a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) certification from McFarland Institute, New Orleans, LA, USA.

Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso – Guatemala
Advisor, International Organizations

Carlos Raúl Morales Moscoso is a Guatemalan lawyer. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala from September 2014 to August 2017. Currently, he works as an advisor with several agencies. He began his diplomatic career in 1989 as Second Secretary in the Office for United Nations Affairs of the Multilateral Policy Department. He was promoted in 1991 to head of the Office of Belize and Honduras Affairs at the Integration Department. His first posting in the foreign service came in 1993, when he was appointed First Secretary and Consul at the Guatemalan Embassy in Belize. Ambassador Morales returned to Guatemala in 2000 to take up the position of Director General of the Administrative Division of the Foreign Ministry. In 2003, he returned to the Foreign Service as Minister Counsellor at the Embassy of Guatemala in Honduras, where he acted as Chargé d’Affaires Ad Hoc. He was appointed Director General for Bilateral International Relations in 2006 and was promoted to the position of Deputy Minister four years later, in 2010. He has also acted as General Coordinator for Guatemala of two General Assemblies of the Organization of American States (OAS) (2013 and 2014) and as National Coordinator of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) since its creation; of the Ibero-American Summit; and of Guatemala’s Presidency Pro Tempore of the Central American Integration System (SICA) (2000 and 2011). He has received a number of Guatemalan and international honors, such as the Order of the Aztec Eagle (Sash class) from the Government of Mexico (2016), and the White Nun Medal (second class) conferred by the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense (2015).

Evens Souffrant – Haiti
Director General, Ministry of Cults, Ministry of Religion

Cekli Setya Pratiwi – Indonesia
Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang

Cekli Setya Pratiwi has a Bachelor of Law, Brawijaya University of Malang, an Advocate License, the High Court of Surabaya, and a Master of Laws (LLM), Utrecht University. She is Head of the Legal Office of the University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) and a senior law lecturer teaching human rights law, international law, and public interest litigation subjects. She recently was a resource for the master level course on Syariah and Human Rights, coordinated by the Center on Religion and Multiculturalism of UMM, the Oslo Coalition on Human Rights – Norway, and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies- BYU-Utah. She participated in "Religion and The Rule of Law," a certificate training program in Myanmar, Vietnam, Beijing, and Jakarta, and in February 2017, was a speaker in the East Java Training Program sponsored by Surabaya Legal Aid, the Asia Foundation, and USAID. She was a chief researcher on The Judges Verdicts Research, sponsored by the Center for Human Rights Study of Law Faculty of UMM and the National Judicial Commission of Indonesia; a senior researcher on The Doctrinal Research about The Principles of Good Governance in Indonesia; and a researcher on A Socio-Legal Research of Good Governance Principles in Indonesia, both coordinated by the Judicial Support System Program – Supreme Court of Indonesia and the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, and supported by the Van Vollen Hoven Institute, University of Leiden. She has multiple publications on human rights, religion, and law. Her most recent book is The Guidance Book of UNGPs on Business and Human Rights, INFID (2016).

Ann Power-Forde – Ireland
Presiding Judge, Constitutional Court Chamber, Kosovo Specialist Chambers, The Hague; Former Judge, European Court of Human Rights

Ann Power-Forde SC is an international judge, a senior counsel, and an academic. She is currently the Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court Chamber of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague. She served as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights— working through French and English — from January 2008 until her final case in July 2015. During her time on the European Court of Human Rights, her separate opinions contributed to notable developments in the case law, including, on the protection of journalists’ sources, the right to conscientious objection at work, and the right to international protection from persecution on the basis of religious belief. She adjudicated on issues arising from the invasion of Iraq, the annexation of Crimea, the consequences of global terrorism, the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean and the legacy of European genocide. A consultant adviser in International Human Rights Law, Ann joined Doughty Street Chambers in London as an Associate Tenant in September 2015, and she is a member of the Doughty Street International Team. She is Senior Counsel with extensive experience in Medical Law, Public Law and Constitutional Law. As an academic, Ann has over 20 years’ experience of teaching Philosophy and Jurisprudence. She has published and presented papers on a wide range of topics — including international human rights law, bioethics, and risk management. She is a regular guest speaker at national and international conferences.  Ann has a keen interest in the not-for-profit sector having served at Executive Board level on numerous bodies, including, the Board of Governors of a national hospital, the Board of a Statutory Health Care Agency and the Academic Council of All Hallows College, Dublin. She continues to serve on a voluntary basis in the not-for-profit sector. 

Eiichiro Takahata – Japan
Professor of Constitutional Law, Nihon University, Japan

Eiichiro Takahata is a Professor of Constitutional Law at Nihon University, Japan. He received an LLM from the University of Georgia, USA in 1997. His specialties are constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, and “Law and Religion.” His publications include: "Religious Accommodation in Japan," 2007 Brigham Young University Law Review 729; "Das Recht auf religiöse Selbstbestimmung in Japan," in Persönlichkeitsschutz und Eigentumsfreiheit in Japan und Deutschland (Philip Kunig & Makoto Nagata, von., 2009, Carl Heymanns); "Japon," in Dictionnaire du Droit des Religions (Francis Messner, dir., 2011, Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); "Religious education in Japan," in The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education (Derek H. Davis & Elena Miroshnikova, eds., 2012, Routledge), as well as many articles and book chapters in Japanese. His recent academic interest focuses on religious education in Japanese private schools and governmental funding, and denominational autonomy and Japanese laws on religious institutions. This is his second appearance to the conference.

Abdel Rahman Al-Nusairat – Jordan

Chae-Young Kim – Korea, Republic of
Professor and Chair, Department of Religious Studies, Sogang University; President, Korean Associations for Religious Studies

Dr. Chae-Young Kim is a highly respected academic, author, and researcher. He is Director of the Jesuit Scholar Program at Sogang University and is also a leading Presbyterian academic. He currently is president of the Korean Association for Religious Studies, and has also co-chaired their joint conference with the Korean Society for the Sociology of Religions. Dr. Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Anjou University, a Masters of Religious Studies from Seoul National University, a Masters of Religion and Philosophy from University of Madras (India), and a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Ottawa.

Y. Dato' Sri Mustafar Bin Haji Ali – Malaysia
Director General, Immigration Department of Malaysia

Y. Dato' Sri Mustafar Bin Haji Ali began his career in public service in 1985 in the Anti-Corruption Agency. He held several positions in the agency including Senior Investigator in the Economic Branch, Prosecution Officer, and Head of Coordination and Policy Monitoring. In 2000, he was appointed as Director of Research and Planning and after being appointed Deputy President of the Malaysian Institute of Integrity in 2004, pioneered the establishment of the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM). In March 2010, he was appointed Director of Investigation, followed by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Deputy Chief Commissioner (Prevention) in 2014. On August 1, 2016, he was appointed to his current position as Director General of Immigration. He is on numerous National Level Committees such as Head of Secretariat of the Integrity Management Committee Chaired by the Right Honorable Prime Minister of Malaysia, and a member of the National Coordinating Committee on Anti-Money Laundering. He has a Bachelor of Arts Degree - BA (Hons) from University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, and Masters of Science (MsC) in Criminal Justice, from the University of New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Cristian Badillo – Mexico
Director General, Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa

Cristian Badillo earned a Bachelor in Business Administration with a specialty in business development and trade. He specializes in human rights, dignity, public policies, and new citizenship. He is a businessman in the publishing, automotive, and food sectors. He has collaborated with national and international non-governmental organizations. He was the H20 for Humanity Mexico General Director, an NGO with divisions in the United States and India. He is currently Director General of Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa (National Conscience for Religious Freedom), an organization dedicated to promote and defend religious freedom as a fundamental human right in Mexico. He has participated in congresses and worktables on religious freedom, conscientious objection, family and the rights of children in Mexico and internationally. He is a national and international speaker on human rights and religious freedom.

Sergio Cuevas – Mexico
Vice President, Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa

Dr. Sergio Cuevas Urrea has a Bachelor in Public Administration and Political Science and a master's degree in Human Resources Administration from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California. He has a Master in Education, State University of Pedagogical Studies of Baja California, and a Doctorate in Education, University of Tijuana. He has served as Director in the educational system of the State of Baja California, and as a businessman in different sectors. He has participated on the board of directors of various civil associations in favor of protecting the family and children in vulnerable conditions. He is a founding member and currently President of the Board of “Conciencia Nacional por la Libertad Religiosa” (National Conscience for Religious Freedom), a civil association dedicated to the protection and defense of religious freedom as a fundamental human right. He is a national and international speaker on human rights and religious freedom.

Dr. Alejandro Martin García, PhD – Mexico
Professor, Autonomous University of Chiapas

Alejandro Martin García studied law at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome and the University of Navarra (Spain), obtaining the degree of Doctor in 2010. He also studied Philosophy at the University of Navarra earning a PhD in the branch of philosophy and ethics. He studied theology at the University of Navarra and the Universidad Agustiniana de México. 

Juan Pérez Cornelio – Mexico
Advisor, Government of Mexico

Gardenia Aisek – Micronesia, Federated States of
Senator, Congress of the Federated States of Micronesia

Gardenia Aisek attended college in California where she earned an Associate of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science, and a Master of Business Administration. She returned to Micronesia and taught business and accounting at the College of Micronesia for six years, and then taught business and accounting at Northern Marianas College. During her time at Northern Marianas College, she chaired the Finance Committee for the college’s self-study for accreditation, was the Chairperson of the Business Education Department, and was the Director of the School of Business and Hospitality. In 1997, she moved back to Chuuk State and worked in the private sector managing Blue Lagoon Resort. During this time, she was nominated to represent Chuuk State on the Board of Regents for the College of Micronesia-FSM—the first woman regent. In 2010, she became the first woman director in the Chuuk State government as the Director of Education. Seeing the need for reform, she ran for and was elected to the Senate. She was the first female senator. She was also elected a member of the Health, Education and Welfare committee and Vice Chair of the R & D Committee. She represents the House of Senate on the Board of Directors of the Association of Pacific Islands Legislatures (APIL). 

Ganbat Ganzaya – Mongolia
Senior Specialist, Foreign Labor Force Movement Division, The General Office of Labor and Social Welfare

Ganbat Ganzaya is a senior officer in the Foreign Labor Force Movement Division, the General Office of Labor and Social Welfare, since 2016. This office is an executive agency of the Mongolian Ministry of Labor. His division is responsible for regulating foreign labor forces, advising on work visa permissions, obtaining visa documents, and improving cooperation with related organizations such as the Ministry of Education and Immigration office. Prior to this, he worked at the Mongolian Immigration agency and the Mongolian Intelligence office. He graduated from the Mongolian Intelligence Institute as a lawyer. 

Tore Lindholm – Norway
Professor Emeritus, Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo

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.

Francisco Javier Blanco Lopezuazo – Panama
Vice President, Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua

Javier Blanco graduated from the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala with a degree in social sciences and graduated from La Salle University of Mexico with a degree in theology. He earned a master's degree in Social Doctrine of the Church at the Pontifical University of Salamanca, and has pursued studies in philosophical science at the University of Havana, Cuba. Mr. Blanco is currently the Academic Vice-Rector of the Santa María la Antigua Catholic University in Panama (USMA). He has also worked at the same university as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Religious Sciences, Director of General Studies, Director of Integral Training, Director of University Life, and Director of Admission and Scholarships. In addition, he was a founding member of the Academy of Ecclesiastical History of Panama. Mr. Blanco has participated in several international events, including the International and Interreligious Conference held in Prishtina, Kosovo in 2016. He was a speaker at the IV International and Interreligious Conference held in Prishtina, Kosovo, with the presentation "The contribution to the humanity of a small great people, Panama" in 2015, and a participant in the Meeting of Catholic Intellectuals held in Lima, Peru in 2015.

Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee – Papua New Guinea
Deputy Solicitor General (State Defense) and Attorney General, Department of Justice

Tauvasa Tanuvasa Chou-Lee graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) with a Bachelor of Laws degree with Honors in early 2005 and was admitted to the Papua New Guinea Bar at the end of that same year after completing training at the PNG Legal Training Institute. In early 2006, he joined the Office of the Solicitor General, in Papua New Guinea’s Department of Justice and Attorney General. In 2011, he was awarded an Australian Development Scholarship (ADS) to pursue a master’s degree in law specializing in government and commercial law. After completing that degree, he returned to Papua New Guinea to re-commence his work as Deputy Solicitor General (State Defense) in the Office of the Solicitor General. Tauvasa is dedicated to his work in Papua New Guinea, even though the rest of his family lives in Samoa. A citizen of PNG, he is one of a growing number of young Pacific Islanders whose familial connections span the Pacific Ocean. His mother is from Central Province (with family from Baluan Island, Manus Province) and his father is of chiefly Samoan (Tanuvasa from Manono) and Chinese ancestry. Tauvasa knows that this mix of culture, tradition and identity can be confronting for some, but for him it is about recognition of family and, as one Samoan saying goes, “People have more roots than trees.”

Guillermo García-Montúfar – Peru
Professor of Law, University of Lima

Guillermo García-Montúfar has a law degree from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru, and he was admitted to Bar of Lima in 1982. He holds a master's degree in Civil and Commercial Law from the Universidad San Martín de Porres and an LLM in the U.S. Legal System from the University of Wisconsin School of Law. He received training in negotiation, mediation, and conciliation from Harvard Law School. A professor at the University of Lima, he is a specialist in property rights, contracts, and guarantees. He has developed specialized legal consulting programs for the formalization of property in Peru and other countries such as El Salvador, Haiti, and Egypt. He is also an arbitrator of the Lima Chamber of Commerce and American Chamber of Commerce of Peru (AmCham) and the conciliatory court. He has advised the Ministry of Justice on issues of reconciliation and mediation. He provides expert legal advice in administrative law and civil law, among others, the World Bank and the Instituto Libertad y Democracia (ILD).

Eduardo Ernesto Vega Luna – Peru
Director, Institute of Ethics and Development, Ruiz de Montoya University

Eduardo Vega Luna is an attorney and former ombudsman.  He is the current Director of the Institute of Ethics and Development of the Ruiz de Montoya University. He has a master's degree in peace and development studies. He occupies the UNESCO Chair of Philosophy for Peace of the Jaume I University of Spain. He obtained his law degree from the Greater National University of San Marcos. He specializes in human rights, public management, and the fight against corruption. Previous positions include member of the Justice System Reform Commission (2018); President of the Presidential Integrity Commission (2016); Ombudsman of Peru (2011-2016); Deputy Ombudsman for Human Rights and Persons with Disabilities (2007-2009); official of the Ombudsman's Office (1997-2006); lawyer of the Legal Defense Institute (1994-1996); and member of the legal team of the Episcopal Commission for Social Action of the Catholic Church (1990-1993).

Anacleto Rei Lacanilao III – Philippines
Professorial Lecturer, De La Salle University College of Law

Anacleto Rei A Lacanilao III – “Jojo” teaches public international law at the De La Salle University College of Law in the Philippines. He also practices law and is actively involved in public interest issues. He was a 20-year veteran of the Philippine Foreign Service serving in various capacities in the Philippines posts in Greece, Poland, Saudi Arabia, and the United Nations in New York. After leaving the diplomatic profession ten years ago, he worked as a public relations practitioner and then as head and top executive of humanitarian NGOs on anti-human trafficking and poverty reduction.

Jerome Secillano – Philippines
Executive Secretary, Permanent Committee on Public Affairs, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)

Fr. Jerome Secillano is the current executive secretary of the Permanent Committee on Public Affairs of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). He is also a pastor at the Nstra. Sra. Del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in Sampaloc, Manila, and the Vicar Forane of the Vicariate of Our Lady of Loreto in Sampaloc and Santa Mesa, Manila. He is a canon lawyer and the spokesperson for the CBCP. He anchors a radio program called VERITASAN and writes an opinion column for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines CBCP News and Monitor, the official social media and newspaper outlets respectively of the Philippine Catholic Church

Héctor Albertorio-Blondet – Puerto Rico
Advisor and Executive Director, Third Sector Office and Faith Base, La Fortaleza, Government of Puerto Rico

Héctor Ángel Albertorio-Blondet obtained his Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in political science from the University of South Florida in the city of Tampa in 2005. That same year he interned at the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators in Washington DC. In 2006, he joined the law faculty of the Pontifical Catholic University of Ponce where he obtained a Juris Doctor degree. Héctor began his legal career as an investigative and legal officer in the Office of Legal Affairs of the Autonomous Municipality of Guayama, and in the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation as a legal advisor in the Office of Chaplaincy. In 2013, he became the principal assistant to the president of the Puerto Rico Industrial Commission. In January 2017, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Hon. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, appointed him Advisor to the Governor in the Third Sector and Executive Director of the Third Sector Office and Faith Base in La Fortaleza.

Stanislav Panin – Russia
PhD Candidate, Department of Religion, Rice University; Former Associate Professor, Faculty of Humanities, Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia

Stanislav Panin received a PhD degree from Moscow State University in 2015. He has worked at several Russian universities teaching philosophy and religious studies, and performing public lectures Recently, he was an associate professor, Faculty of Humanities, Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia. His primary area of specialization is a study of new religious movements and modern Western esoteric currents. In addition to research and teaching, he collaborates with media, providing commentaries and opinion pieces on issues related to religious freedom. He is currently pursuing a PhD in the Department of Religion at Rice University. 

Isa Hassan – Singapore
Vice President, Muslim Missionary Society Singapore (Jamiyah Singapore)

Dr. Isa Hassan is the Vice-President of the Muslim Missionary Society Singapore (Jamiyah Singapore). He has over 25 years of work experience both in community work and as an academic. He was awarded the Public Service Medal by the Singapore Government in 2012. Dr. Isa holds appointments as Trustee for the Islamic Development Bank Scholarship (Singapore) and The Prophet Muhammad Scholarship Memorial Fund (LBKM). He is also a resource member to the People’s Association Board of Management. His academic work includes that of Doctoral Supervisor and Examiner for the University of South Australia and University of Southern Cross. He is also the Adjunct Head for the School of Management, University of Bradford. Dr. Isa had written articles in the areas of adult education, knowledge management and capacity and capability building. 

Ján Figeľ – Slovakia
Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief Outside the European Union, European Commission

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. Formerly 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. He joined the Christian Democratic Movement party in 1990 and was elected in 1992 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 was appointed State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was also the representative of the Slovak government in the European Convention which drafted the European Constitution. From 2004 to 2009 he served as European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism, with a brief stint as Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society. In 2009 he was elected leader of the Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia. He stepped down from his Commission post in 2009 following his election as leader of the Christian Democratic Movement in Slovakia.

Tshimangadzo Edward Mafadza – South Africa
Chief Executive Officer, Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities

Mr. Mafadza was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer since April 2016. He has worked extensively for the Commission as head of the Public Education and Engagement Unit.

Selby Mfanelo Mbenenge – South Africa
Judge President of the High Court, Eastern Cape Division of the High Court

Judge President Selby Mbenenge started practicing as an advocate in 1993, in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. He practiced for a total of 22 years, the first 11 being a junior advocate and the last 11 being silk. He ascended to the Bench on 01 July 2015 and was later appointed Acting Deputy Judge President in Mthatha High Court from May 2017 to November 2017, where after on 07 November 2017 he assumed his position as Judge President. Judge President Mbenenge’s legal career has been made up of hard work, focus, diligence and a love for law.

Thoko Nonhle Jeannette Mkhwanazi-Xavula – South Africa
Chairperson, Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities

Thoko studied at the University of Fort Hare and the University of Zululand. She holds a degree, a post graduate degree, and a post graduate diploma from the two institutions. She was a teacher and a student counsellor in her earlier career life. She later worked as a researcher in Early Childhood Development. She was also responsible for setting up the first Office on the Rights of the Child in the Presidency as the head of that office. She then moved to being a consultant on the rights of women and children with a special focus on the impact of culture and religion on the realization of those rights. She then moved to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) as a Director for Public Education. She then also became the Chairperson of the Arts, Culture and National Heritage Distributing Agency of the National Lotteries Board. She is passionate about building the capacity of Non Profit Organizations in order for them to play an even bigger role in development. She is a mother, a child rights and gender equity activist. She is currently the Chairperson of the CRL Rights Commission.

Samaraweera Arachchige Nagananda – Sri Lanka
Coordinating Secretary to the Secretary of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs

Mr. S. A. Nagananda is the Coordinating Secretary to the Secretary, Ministry of Tourism Development & Christian Religious Affairs of Sri Lanka since November 2017. In his role, Mr. Nagananda supports the leading civil servant in the department and is involved in policy implementation and administration of laws and regulations in Sri Lanka. He joined the Sri Lanka Administrative Service in 1977 and retired in 2010 as an Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Nation Building and Infrastructure Development. From 2003-2010, he worked as Additional Project Director of a project aimed at poverty alleviation funded by the World Bank. He graduated from the University of Colombo in 1971 in the field of arts. He earned an MSc degree in agricultural economy from the University of Aberdeen, UK in 1990. Mr. Nagananda served in the Sri Lanka Embassy in South Korea as Minister. 

Sione Vuna Fa'otusia – Tonga
Minister of Justice and Minister for Prisons, Ministry of Justice

Hon. Fa’otusia holds a Bachelor in Laws (LLB) degree from the University of New South Wales, a master’s degree from London School of Economics and Political Science, University of London, and a postgraduate diploma in legal practice. He has extensive experience in the public and private sectors working for the Government of Tonga in various senior positions with the most senior being that of Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice from 1996 to 1998. He practiced law in the private sector for a number of years before running for Parliament in 2014. After being elected into Parliament, he was appointed by the Prime Minister and His Majesty as Minister of Justice in January 2015.

Ihor Kozlovskyi – Ukraine
Professor, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine

Ihor A. Kozlovskyi is Senior Researcher in the Religion Science Department of G.S. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, National Academy of Science (NAS) of Ukraine. Ihor has a PhD in history (in the field of religious science). He is President of the Center of Religious Science Research and International Spiritual Relations, and Head of Donetsk Regional Branch of Ukrainian specialists in Religious Science Association. He has been working at Donetsk Regional State Administration for more than 25 years in the position of Senior Specialist and Head of Religious Affairs Department. He is the author of more than 50 scientific books and 200 articles published in dictionaries, encyclopedias, and scientific periodicals. Ihor has a lot of national and international rewards and honors. He spent almost 2 years in prison as a prisoner of conscience in what was then known as DPR (Donetsk People`s Republic).

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

Dmytro Vovk, PhD in Law (2008), is an associate professor at the Yaroslav the Wise National Law University (Ukraine). He is an expert on human rights and religious freedom for the OSCE/ODIHR, the Council of Europe, and Freedom House. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal Philosophy of Law and General Theory of Law. He has provided translation from English for Ukrainian academic journals, including authors such as Ronald Dworkin, Norbert Horn, Martin Krieger, Kaarlo Tuori, and Carl Schmitt. He has written articles and books including Ethics versus Politics: Ukrainian Churches’ Doctrines on Family, Gender and Sexuality in the Context of the European Integration Policy (2017, forthcoming), Tolerance in Transitional Societies: philosophical, legal, political and social dimension (2016), Balancing Religious Freedom in the Context of Secularity: Analysis of Court Practice in Ukraine (2015), and Religious Freedom and Freedom of Expression after Charlie Hebdo (2015). He was a Kennan-Fulbright Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in the US (2017) and was a member of the inaugural International Center for Law and Religion Studies’ Certificate Program on Religion and the Rule of Law held at Oxford, UK in 2018. He is currently a visiting scholar at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, BYU Law School. 

Surender Singh Kandhari – United Arab Emirates
Director, Guru Nanak Darbar, Dubai

Mr. Kandhari was educated in India and graduated with honors from Loyola College Madras. In 1976, Mr. Kandhari came to Dubai and formed the Al Dobowi Group. The group today is the leading management services provider in the UAE. He is also the Chairman of the Guru Nanak Darbar, Sikh Temple, Dubai - the First Sikh Gurudwara in the UAE. As a delegate of the UAE government, he attended the G20 Interfaith Summit in Australia in 2014 and in Malaysia in 2015, and the second Athens International Conference on Religious and Cultural Pluralism and Peaceful Coexistence in 2017. Mr. Kandhari has received various awards for his service including an award at the 2012 World Sikh Awards for his contribution to society through means of Seva (selfless voluntary service) and for demonstrating leadership and vision by building the first official Gurudwara in the Middle East; the Sikh Jewel Award in 2014 from the British Sikh Association for his service, dedication, and commitment to the Sikh community; the Business Excellence Award 2016 by H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development Abu Dhabi, UAE; and the prestigious Punjabi Icon Award in 2016 for his achievement in Global Corporate Sector by the Punjabi Cultural Heritage Board (PCHB), among others. Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development Abu Dhabi, UAE, Mr. Kandhari as Chairman of the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara sponsored and hosted the First Annual World Interfaith Harmony Day in Dubai on Feb. 3, 2016. Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara also celebrated the UN International Day of Peace on Sept. 14, 2017 in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and supported by the Minister of State for Tolerance in the UAE.      

David M. Kirkham – United Kingdom
Director, BYU London Centre; Senior Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

David Kirkham is Academic Director and a professor at the Brigham Young University London Centre. He serves concurrently as Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy at the BYU Law School International Center for Law and Religion Studies. He came to BYU in July 2007 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. David has also been an associate professor of History, Director of International History, and Director of International Plans and Programs at the United States 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 lived seventeen years of his adult life in five European countries (Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium) and officially represented the United States and the UN in some fifty nations on six continents. David's writing and teaching address international human rights, constitutionalism, diplomacy, the United Nations, and the global challenges posed by ideological extremism. He is the editor of the book State Responses to Minority Religions (Ashgate, 2013) as well as co-editor of two recent books on Islam, law, and politics in Europe. He speaks French and German and holds a PhD from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from the J. Reuben Clark Law School.

Ewelina Ochab – United Kingdom
Legal Researcher; Author of Never Again: Legal Responses to a Broken Promise in the Middle East

Ewelina U. Ochab is a legal researcher and human rights advocate, and author of the book Never Again: Legal Responses to a Broken Promise in the Middle East. Ochab works on the topic of the persecution of minorities around the world, with main projects including Daesh genocide in Syria and Iraq, Boko Haram atrocities in West Africa, and the situation of religious minorities in South Asia. Ochab has written over 30 UN reports (including Universal Periodic Review reports) and has made oral and written submissions at the Human Rights Council sessions and the UN Forum on Minority Issues. She is currently working on her PhD in international law, human rights, and medical ethics at the University of Kent. She is a contributor to Forbes. She has also published in HuffPost, Providence Magazine, Oxford Human Rights Hub, UnHerd, and Washington Examiner

Samuel Brownback – United States
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State

Sam Brownback was sworn in as United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom on February 1, 2018. He served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018. Previously he served as a U.S. Senator (1996-2011) and a U.S. Representative in the House of Representatives (1995-1996) from Kansas. While a member of the Senate, he worked actively on the issue of religious freedom in multiple countries and was a key sponsor of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. He also served as Kansas Secretary of Agriculture (1986-1993) and was a White House Fellow in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (1990-1991). Prior to his public service, Ambassador Brownback was a private attorney in Kansas and taught agricultural law at Kansas State University, co-authoring two books on the subject. He earned a BS from Kansas State University, and a JD from the University of Kansas.

Neydy Janet Casillas Padron – United States
Senior Counsel, Organization of American States (OAS) and Latin America, Alliance Defending Freedom International

Neydy Casillas serves as senior counsel, Organization of American States (OAS) and Latin America, with ADF International. Since joining ADF International in 2011, Casillas has spearheaded advocacy efforts with the United Nations, where she defended the sanctity of life, marriage, and family. She currently advocates for these issues with the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C. Casillas’ expertise lies in fighting the misuse of international law to undermine sovereignty, national constitutions, and domestic legislation protecting life and family. A veteran champion of social issues, Casillas has served as a delegate for Mexico to the Commission on Population and Development and for the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations. Casillas earned her law degree in 2002 from Panamerican University of Guadalajara, Mexico, where she served as an adjunct professor teaching international law.

Ligia Castaldi – United States
Professor, Ava Maria Law School

Before joining Ave Maria School of Law faculty, Professor Castaldi worked for several international and governmental human rights agencies, including UNICEF’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She was also a legal advisor to the National Congress of Honduras on human life and family issues. Professor Castaldi is a board member of the International Solidarity and Human Rights Institute (ISHRI) and an academic advisor to peer reviewed law journal Prudentia Iuris of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina. Courses taught by Professor Castaldi include international law, international human rights law, and family law. She is faculty advisor to the International Law Journal. Her scholarship focuses on the right to life in international human rights law, particularly, in Latin America and the Caribbean. She earned an LLM from Harvard Law School, an LLM in International Law and the Law of International Organizations from the University of Groningen, and Lic. en C. J. y Soc. from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras.

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

Elizabeth A. Clark is Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University.  Professor Clark has written and edited numerous books and articles on comparative and U.S. law and religion issues. In her work with the Center, she has taken part in drafting commentaries and legal analyses of pending legislation affecting religious freedom around the world and has written amicus briefs on religious freedom issues for the U.S. Supreme Court. Professor Clark has taught Professional Responsibility and co-taught classes on Comparative Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, International Human Rights, and European Union law at the J. Reuben Clark School of Law at Brigham Young University. Professor Clark has also testified before the U.S. Congress on religious freedom issues. Prior to joining the BYU Law School, 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.  She graduated summa cum laude from BYU’s law school, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the BYU Law Review.

Simona Cruciani – United States
Political Affairs Officer, United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect

Simona Cruciani works on information management, early warning, and risk assessment in the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. She joined the Office in July 2008, after having served in United Nations field operations in Burundi and Sudan. In Burundi, Cruciani served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (ONUB) as an Electoral and Civil Affairs Officer. In Sudan, she worked as Civil Affairs Officer for UNMIS. Cruciani’s focus has primarily been on supporting human security, democratization and human rights in conflict and post-conflict situations. She has master’s degrees in Contemporary History, International Affairs, and Public Health.

Ganoune Diop – United States
Secretary General, International Religious Liberty Association; Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty, Seventh-day Adventist Church

Dr. Ganoune Diop is Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. Before his election in July 2015, he served as the church’s liaison to the United Nations, and as its representative within the international community of civic and political leaders. Dr. Diop has a Masters in Exégèses and Theology from Collonges, France, a Master’s degree in Philology from the University of Paris, and a PhD in Old Testament Studies from Andrews University. He is currently a PhD candidate in New Testament Studies. Recently, he was honored with a Doctorate Honoris Causa for his contributions to developing a global culture of human rights and respect for human dignity. Dr. Diop is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist minister, and has served as a local church pastor. His other positions include conference departmental director, and professor of Biblical Languages, Exegesis, and Theology at Saleve Adventist University in France, and later at Southern Adventist University and Oakwood University in the United States. Before joining the General Conference PARL department in 2011 as an associate director, Dr. Diop was Director of the five Global Mission Study Centers of Adventist Mission. He is a concert flute soloist.

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

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.

W. Cole Durham, Jr. – United States
Founding Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies; Susa Young Gates Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

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.

Scott E. Isaacson – United States
Senior Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J.Reuben Clark Law School, BYU

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.

Kirsten Lavery – United States
International Legal Specialist, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Kirsten Lavery is International Legal Specialist at the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) in Washington, D.C. She previously worked as a program manager at Public International Law and Policy Group (PILPG) in Washington, D.C. and prior to that, as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP in New York City.  She has a JD, summa cum laude, in International and Comparative Law from Tulane University Law School. 

Denise Posse Lindberg – United States
Senior Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University; Judge, 3rd Judicial District, State of Utah (retired)

Denise Posse Lindberg is Senior Judge, Third District Court, State of Utah. She was appointed to the court by Governor Michael Leavitt in 1998. She earned master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Utah and a JD degree from Brigham Young University. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she served as a law clerk for Judge Monroe G. McKay of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and for Justice Sandra Day O'Connor of the United States Supreme Court, and practiced appellate and healthcare law in Washington, D.C., and in Salt Lake City. In Utah, she served as Master of the Bench with the American Inns of Court and was on the executive committee of two Utah Bar sections. For 14 years she chaired the court and lawyer committee that drafts the criminal Model Jury Instructions used by the Utah State courts for criminal trials. She was elected a member of the American Law Institute in 2000, where she served as an advisor to an ALI project.  

Erlend Peterson – United States
Senior Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School

Erlend "Pete" Peterson recently retired from Brigham Young University as Associate International Vice President and fifty years of full-time employment at BYU. For thirty-five years, Pete served in several professional positions in Admissions and Records, with twenty-seven years as Assistant Dean, Associate Dean, and Dean of Admissions and Records. For the past fifteen years he was Associate International Vice President, which included many international roles and hosting. Pete became involved in Brigham Young University’s international efforts in 1973 when he was named assistant dean of the Division of Admissions and Records and given responsibility for Brigham Young University’s special international scholarship programs.  In 1985, he was appointed an "associate" to the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. In 1996, Pete began the BYU Ambassador Lecture Series and he has invited and hosted over 260 foreign ambassadors from 104 countries. In 1985, Pete was instrumental in establishing the BYU Jordanian Undergraduate Scholarship Program, and in 2006, he established the BYU Jordanian Judges Scholarship Program. Pete managed both scholarship programs until retirement, which included thirty trips to the country of Jordan. Pete’s love for the Middle East began when he lived with his parents in Tehran, Iran from 1951-1954. In 1997, King Harald of Norway recognized Pete for his lifelong service to Norway by knighting him Knight First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Norway’s highest commendation to a non-Norwegian citizen. Pete began his full-time employment at Brigham Young University in 1966 and holds three degrees from Brigham Young University: a bachelor’s degree in business; a master’s degree in Sociology; and a doctor’s degree in Educational Administration.

Brett G. Scharffs – United States
Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Rex E. Lee Chair and Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Brett G. Scharffs is Rex E. Lee Chair and 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.

Christopher Tollefsen – United States
College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor and Department Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of South Carolina

Christopher O. Tollefsen is College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Department Chair at the University of South Carolina. His areas of specialization include moral philosophy and practical ethics. Currently, he is doing work in natural law ethics, liberal perfectionism, medical ethics, the ethics and politics of inquiry, philosophical embryology, the nature of human action, end of life issues, and ethics and education. He has published extensively in academic journals on topics of bioethics, meta-ethics, and the New Natural Law Theory. A graduate of Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, he holds a doctorate in philosophy from Emory University.

Asma Uddin – United States
Senior Scholar & Faculty, Freedom Forum Institute and Fellow, Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom, UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations

Asma T. Uddin is the Director of Strategy for the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom (CIRF), a Washington, DC-based non-profit engaging in research, media, education, and advocacy at the intersection of Islam and religious freedom in both the West and Muslim-majority countries. She is also the founder and editor-in-chief of altmuslimah.com and a research fellow at Georgetown University's Berkley Center. Prior to joining CIRF, Uddin served as counsel with Becket Law, a non-profit law firm specializing in religious freedom cases in the United States and abroad. Her scholarly work has been published by numerous law reviews and prominent university presses. She also serves on the OSCE/ODIHR Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the advisory council for the Institute for Global Engagement's Center for Women, Faith & Leadership. Uddin is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a staff editor at the University of Chicago Law Review.

J. Clifford Wallace – United States
Chief Judge Emeritus, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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.

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

Jane Wise is an associate director at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School. 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 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 in 2000, and continues to the present. Wise has edited all print publications at BYU Law School for the past fifteen years, and has been editor of the Clark Memorandum, BYU Law School's alumni magazine published bi-annually, since 2001. She is currently a commentor on Public Radio International and National Public Radio, a featured columnist for Salt Lake Tribune and Utah Valley Magazine, and an essayist for the "Music and the Spoken Word", the Sunday morning radio and television broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Wise holds BA/BFA and JD degrees from the University of Utah. Prior to entering academia, she clerked for the Utah Supreme Court and maintained a general practice of law. 

Michael K. Young – United States
President, Texas A&M University; Former Chair, U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Michael K. Young became the 25th President of Texas A&M University on May 1, 2015. As president and tenured Professor of Law at the University of Washington from 2011 to 2015, he led the nation’s top public university in competing for federal research funding, and launched the Global Innovation Exchange, a partnership between the University of Washington, a major Chinese university, and European universities. Prior to that, he served as President and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Utah. Under President Young’s leadership, Utah raised its stature, including becoming the nation’s top university in the number of new companies generated from university research. Before assuming the presidency at Utah, he was Dean and Lobingier Professor of Comparative Law and Jurisprudence at the George Washington University Law School, and he was a professor at Columbia University for more than 20 years. He also has been a visiting professor and scholar at three universities in Japan. A graduate of Harvard Law School, President Young has broad experience across legal, public service, and diplomatic arenas. He served as a law clerk to the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court, and he has held a number of government positions, including Deputy Under Secretary for Economic and Agricultural Affairs, and Ambassador for Trade and Environmental Affairs in the Department of State during the administration of President George H.W. Bush. Among many other international agreements, President Young worked extensively on the treaties related to German unification, as well as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Uruguay Round negotiations leading to the World Trade Organization, and the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development. Subsequently, President Young served eight years on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which he chaired on two separate occasions. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Gabriel Gonzáles Merlano – Uruguay
Professor and Coordinator of the Humanities, Universidad Católica del Uruguay

Gabriel Gonzáles Merlano is a priest with a Bachelor of Theology from the Gregorian University of Rome, a Bachelor of Canon Law from the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, and a Doctor of Canon Law from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina. He is a judge and judicial vicar of the Ecclesiastical Court of Canelones. Since 1999, he is dedicated to teaching, and is currently a full professor at the Faculty of Law of Universidad Católica del Uruguay, and a researcher in the area of the state-law-religion relationship. Professor Merlano is a founding member of the Institute of Religious Law of the State (IDRE) and a member of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom (CLLR). He has participated in forums and conferences in Uruguay and abroad, and is also the author of books and articles in national and international publications, mainly in relation to the canonical subject, freedom of religion, and philosophy and history law.

Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou – Uruguay
Senator, Senate of Uruguay

Luis Lacalle Pou is a Uruguayan politician and a member of Partido Nacional. He was elected as a senator for the legislature for 2015 – 2020. He graduated from Universidad Católica with a law degree in 1998. Mr. Lacalle Pou started his political career working in the Canelones Department with the 400 electoral roll. He was then elected as a Deputy in 2000 and reelected for the next legislative period of 2005-2010 and 2010-2015. From 2011 to 2012, he presided over the Chamber of Deputies of Uruguay, where he worked to strengthen the link between people and the government. To achieve that, he implemented the audiovisual transmission of all live sessions through a free online channel, and he created official Facebook and Twitter accounts for the Chamber. During his presidency, he was highlighted for having saved almost 2.5 million US dollars (49 million Uruguayan pesos) funds. In 2013, he was a presidential pre-candidate from Partido Nacional, participating in the internal elections of his political party in 2014, where he obtained a result of 54.3% of votes. With that success he took part later in the national elections. In his position, he deals with national issues, such as public security, environmental protection, international subjects, and transportation concerns. Senator Lacalle Pou is a member of three parliamentary committees: International Issues, Transport, and National Defense.

Pham Thi Thanh – Viet Nam
Director General, Department of Internal Affairs

Mrs Thanh is the Director General of the Department of Internal Affairs of The Government Office, Master of Law. The Government Office is a ministerial-level agency of the Government, assisting activities of the Government and the Prime Minister. The Government Office has the function of providing general consultancy and coordination to the leadership, direction, and administration of the Government and the State administrative system from the central to grassroots level. The Internal Affairs Department assists the Minister-Director in performing the function of providing general counsel and coordination to assist the Government and the Prime Minister in directing and administering the fields of defense, security, social order, and safety. This includes crime prevention; border and work of the East Sea and Islands; search and rescue; administrative boundaries; religion; human rights, special amnesty; defense industry; the coordination of activities of the Government, the Prime Minister with the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuracy, as well as to monitor and sum up the working situation of the Ministry of Defense; Police; the Ministry of the Interior (the Government Committee for Religious Affairs), the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (for the border); and the Prime Minister.