2018 Religious Freedom Annual Review
J. Stuart Adams – United States
District 22 Senator and Majority Whip, Utah State Legislature

Stuart Adams serves as Majority Whip in the Utah State Senate. He also served 4-1/2 years in the Utah House of Representatives. He is former Chairman of the Utah Transportation Commission. He is currently Chairman of the Military Installation Development Authority (MIDA). He served 9 years on the Layton City Council. During the 2015 legislative session, he was a sponsor and lead negotiator of the three religious liberties bills that created the Utah Compromise. He graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in business finance and is a partner in the Adams Company, a real estate, construction and development firm in Kaysville.

Pamela J. Atkinson – United States
Advocate; Philanthropist; Advisor to Utah State Governor on Policy, Planning, and Strategy

Pamela J. Atkinson received her basic education in England, a BSc from the University of California, and an MA from the University of Washington; she has held a variety of positions in health care and in education. Pamela works directly with homeless families and individuals, refugees, and low-income people and collaborates with a variety of nonprofit and governmental organizations as well as agencies who serve these populations. Pamela was instrumental in initiating the Lincoln Family Health Center, which operates in a low-income school, the Intermountain Neighborhood Clinic and the Rose Park Family Health Center, another clinic in a low-income school.  Her belief is that children who are ill experience difficulty in learning, and through collaboration with the community and schools, such clinics can provide preventive and primary health care. Pamela was appointed to the State Board of Regents for ten years. She has also served on the State Board of Education and the Utah College of Applied Technology Board. She now serves on the State Homeless Coordinating Committee, Envision Utah, Utah Coalition Against Pornography and the State Refugee Advisory Board.  Pamela also works with Governor Herbert as an advisor on policy, planning and strategy. Pamela believes that there must be private and public partnerships in order to prevent and solve many of societal problems. She has a strong belief that education is the way out of poverty and that mentoring children and their parents helps to prevent intergenerational poverty.

Haroon Azar – United States
Senior Fellow, Burkle Center for International Relations; Program Director, Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom, UCLA

Haroon Azar is a Senior Fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and Program Director for the UCLA Initiative on Security and Religious Freedom. His efforts focus on promoting multidisciplinary approaches for global security challenges while preserving civil rights and civil liberties. Mr. Azar is an internationally recognized national security expert with extensive experience working with government and nongovernmental stakeholders. He also teaches National Security and Civil Liberties at UCI School of Law. Prior to his current role, Mr. Azar was the Regional Director in Los Angeles for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Azar’s primary responsibility was strengthening the Department’s relationships with state and local law enforcement, local government officials, faith-based organizations, community-based groups, academic institutions, and private sector stakeholders. Previously, Mr. Azar was Deputy Director for the Middle East, Africa, & South Asia in the Office of International Affairs at DHS Headquarters in Washington DC. His portfolio included providing the Office of the Secretary with policy counsel and management of international affairs. Additionally, Mr. Azar was responsible for negotiating bilateral and multilateral security agreements with international partners focusing on improving immigration policy, visa security, aviation security, border security, supply chain management, and counterterrorism. Mr. Azar received a Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law where he focused on the intersection of national security and civil liberties.

Sahar F. Aziz – United States
Professor of Law and Chancellor's Social Justice Scholar, Center for Security, Race & Rights, Rutgers University Law School

Sahar Aziz is Professor of Law, Chancellor’s Social Justice Scholar, and Middle East and Legal Studies Scholar at Rutgers University Law School. She is the founding director of the interdisciplinary Rutgers Center for Security, Race, and Civil Rights. She is also a faculty affiliate of the Department of Political Science at Rutgers University-Newark. Her book, The Muslim Menace: The Racialization of Religion in the Post-9/11 Era, is forthcoming with Harvard University Press. In 2015, Professor Aziz was named an Emerging Scholar by Diverse Issues in Higher Education and recipient of the Derrick Bell Award from the American Association of Law Schools Minority Section. In 2017, she was selected as the recipient of the Research Making an Impact Award by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU). She is a frequent public speaker and has appeared on multiple media outlets as well as providing commentary in various national newspapers. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and the Race and the Law Profs blog. She also served on the board of the ACLU of Texas and as a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution – Doha. Prior to joining legal academia, Professor Aziz served as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She began her legal career as a litigation associate for WilmerHale after which she was an associate at Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll PLLP in Washington, D.C. Professor Aziz earned a JD and an MA in Middle East Studies from the University of Texas. Professor Aziz clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. 

Ossama Bahloul – United States
Resident Scholar, Islamic Center of Nashville; Founder, www.Islamin500.org

Dr. Ossama Bahloul, PhD, the Resident Scholar of the Islamic Center of Nashville and the founder of www.islamin500.org, is a graduate of the renowned Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his BA in Islamic Studies, as well as his Master’s degree and ultimately his PhD in Comparative Religions. His thesis titled Critique of Christian Issues within Will Durant’s “The Story of Civilization” is widely acclaimed. Dr. Bahloul’s passion in comparative religions has fueled over 16 years of experience in interfaith dialogue and numerous public corroborations with both Muslim organizations and religious leaders from other faiths. As an academic, he has worked on peer-reviewed research and has traveled extensively, lecturing at the university level about critical interfaith issues facing Muslims. As an Imam, Dr. Ossama has gained knowledge, experience, and insight in guiding community members to achieve their Islamic educational and spiritual goals. Dr. Bahloul’s unwavering commitment, enthusiasm and perseverance for the educational and spiritual growth and wellbeing of his community have culminated in his induction into the Fiqh Council of North America. Prior to his tenure at the Islamic Center of Nashville, Dr. Bahloul was the Imam at the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro where he led and supported the community through severe islamophobic attacks while building the only mosque in Murfreesboro, all of which was covered extensively by local and national media.

Thomas C. Berg – United States
James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Thomas Berg is the James L. Oberstar Professor of Law and Public Policy at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota), where he teaches religious liberty, constitutional law, intellectual property, and the religious liberty appellate clinic. He is the author of The State and Religion in a Nutshell (West), and co-author of Religion and the Constitution (Wolters Kluwer, with McConnell and Lund) and a forthcoming co-edited book on biotechnology patents, Patents on Life (Cambridge University Press). He has also written more than 100 scholarly and popular articles, and approximately 50 briefs in the Supreme Court and other courts on freedom of religion and expression. He is currently at work on a book provisionally titled Protecting Religious Liberty in a Polarized Age. He co-directed St. Thomas’s Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy; and he contributes to Mirror of Justice, SCOTUS Blog, and other weblogs. He has degrees from the University of Chicago (law, religious studies), Oxford University (Rhodes Scholar), and Northwestern University (journalism). He practiced law in Chicago and was a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Chelsea Langston Bombino – United States
Director of Strategic Engagement for the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance

Chelsea Langston Bombino serves as Director for Sacred Sector, an initiative of the Center for Public Justice. In this role, Chelsea empowers faith-based organizations and future faith-based leaders to fully embody their sacred missions in every area of their organizational lives, including their public policy engagement, organizational practices, and public positioning. Chelsea also serves as Director for the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance (IRFA), a division of the Center for Public Justice. Before joining CPJ, Chelsea served as Director of Education for the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations where she was responsible for collaborating with staff, members, and key community stakeholders to facilitate educational and capacity building opportunities across diverse nonprofits. Chelsea has also served as Manager of Education and Development for the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) in Washington, D.C., and as the Legal Services Manager Common Ground in Michigan. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine's DC campus teaching Nonprofit Management and is also the Early Childhood Ministry Coordinator for her church, Potomac Valley Assembly. Chelsea serves on the boards of Misako Ballet Company and First Amendment Voice. Chelsea holds a BA and a JD from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and is a member of the State of Michigan Bar Association. She is married to Josh and lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland.

Tim Brown – United States
Mayor, San Clemente, California

Tim Brown is a 15-year resident of San Clemente, California and has been on City Council since 2010 – serving as Mayor in 2014 and for 2018. Born and raised in Arizona with 10 brothers and sisters, Tim graduated from Arizona State University with a dual degree in Political Science and English in 1998. He moved to San Clemente after he married Heather Ballard in 2002. Together, they have four daughters, Skylar, Kennedy, Phoenix, and Deveraux. Tim is a proud graduate of the Leadership San Clemente course, and served on the General Plan Advisory Committee for San Clemente. Since his election he has represented the City council liaison for the Safety/Quiet Zone Initiative, representative for the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG); board member for Orange County Fire Authority; liaison to the Marine Corps/Camp Pendleton; vice chair of the Community Engagement Panel for SONGS; and chairman of the Infrastructure and Technology Committee for ACCOC. Tim received an award for ACCOC Policy Maker of the year in 2014 and as the ACCOC Collaborative Public Policy Maker in 2015. Tim is the Senior Vice President of International Development for Lease Advisors, a telecommunications firm that acquires cellular towers and leases in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia.

Joel Campbell – United States
Associate Professor, Journalism, Brigham Young University

Joel Campbell is an associate teaching professor in journalism in Brigham Young University’s School of Communications. He holds a master’s degree from Ohio State University. He was among the first cohort of students to complete the Newseum Institute’s Religious Freedom Center religious freedom curriculum in 2017. He is developing online short courses to help journalists better cover religious freedom issues for the Center. He was the lead instructor of a Mormons-Muslims religious freedom conference in Nauvoo, Illinois in August 2017. Campbell worked 20 years as a reporter and editor for newspapers in Salt Lake City. He teaches media writing, journalism principles, media and religion, and research courses. He has published commentary in the popular press and academic journals about media coverage of Mormons in both the 19th Century and today. He is currently completing a chapter about the posthumous baptism controversy for a forthcoming book about Jewish-Mormon relations.

Angela Carmella – United States
Professor of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law

Angela Carmella, Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, focuses on the intersection of law and religion, specifically the First Amendment’s Religion Clauses, religious land use, and Catholic social thought. Her writing engages a wide range of issues, including litigation positions taken by religious institutions, religious exemptions, the exercise of religion by for-profit entities, the special concerns of religious non-profits, zoning impacts on religious groups, and the Second Vatican Council’s teaching on religious freedom. She organized the first conference of legal scholars to address the complex issues raised when religious institutions file for bankruptcy, co-edited (with Michael McConnell and Robert Cochran) Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought (Yale University Press), and contributed to the Emory University Center for the Study of Law and Religion’s Project on The Teachings of Modern Christianity: On Law, Politics, and Human Nature (Columbia University Press). She shares her expertise on the Religion Clauses with the Law School’s Seton Center for Religiously-Affiliated Nonprofits and serves on the editorial council of Journal of Church and State. Following graduation from Harvard Law School and Divinity School and practice in Boston, Professor Carmella came to Seton Hall in 1988.

Tom Christofferson – United States

Tom Christofferson, author of That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon's Perspective on Faith and Family, published by Deseret Book, has pursued a career in investment management and asset servicing at leading global investment banks.  He served as a Managing Director at J.P. Morgan responsible for global sales and marketing in its Investor Services division for eighteen years.  Prior to his time at J.P. Morgan, Tom was a Managing Director at Barclays Global Investors, managing its European business based in London, prior to overseeing client management and sales for some of the world's largest pension funds based in San Francisco.  Earlier in his career, he was the Managing Director of Morgan Stanley Bank Luxembourg in Europe and a principal with Morgan Stanley Trust Company in New York. Tom has served on corporate and non-profit boards and on the finance committees of candidates at the state and national level.  He is an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serves as a Gospel Doctrine teacher in his Salt Lake City ward.

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

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.

L. Whitney Clayton – United States
General Authority Seventy and Senior President, Quorums of the Seventy, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder L. Whitney Clayton was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2001. He has served as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since 2008 and was named Senior President of the Quorums of the Seventy on October 6, 2015. He assists Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in supervising the México Area and Elder Jeffrey R. Holland in supervising the Middle East/Africa North Area. Elder Clayton served as a counselor in the South America South Area Presidency in 2002 to 2003 and as president from 2003 to 2006, while living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Previously he served as an Area Seventy for the North America West Area for six years. He has served in a number of Church callings, including a full-time missionary in Peru, as a regional representative, mission president’s counselor, stake high councilor, bishop, stake mission president and gospel doctrine teacher. Elder Clayton earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at the University of Utah and a law degree at the University of the Pacific. He was an attorney in California, USA, from 1978 to 2001. Elder Clayton was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 24, 1950. He married Kathy Ann Kipp on August 9, 1973. They are parents of seven children.

Kelsey Dallas – United States
Religion Reporter, Deseret News

Kelsey Dallas is a religion reporter for the Deseret News, serving on the publication’s InDepth team. She tracks faith-based social trends, legal action related to religious freedom law and developments at the intersection of faith and politics. She received several awards for her work, including recognition from Religion News Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Utah Idaho Spokane Associated Press Association. This spring, Kelsey received a Wilbur Award from the Religion Communicators Council for her coverage of Sikh soldiers in the U.S. Army. She also took part in a September 2016 fellowship program in Rome, which focused on covering the Roman Catholic Church. Kelsey received a Master of Arts in Religion degree in 2014 from Yale Divinity School. She also holds bachelor’s degrees in English, economics, and religious studies from the University of Iowa. 

Tyler Deaton – United States
President, Allegiance Strategies

Tyler Deaton is President of Allegiance Strategies, a D.C.-based public affairs consulting firm helping clients build a freer, safer, and stronger world. Tyler oversees center-right strategy on behalf of several non-profit organizations, and he serves as the Senior Advisor to several Allegiance clients including American Unity Fund, American Unity PAC, and Freedom to Believe. Tyler has worked on bipartisan issue advocacy campaigns in the areas of healthcare, immigration, criminal justice, transportation, and education. Tyler and his husband James split their time between Concord, N.H. and Washington, D.C.

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; G20 Interfaith Summit Executive Committee

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.

Paul Edwards – United States
Deputy Chief of Staff, Communications and Policy, Utah State Governor's Office

Paul Edwards is deputy chief of staff over policy and communications for Utah Governor Gary Herbert. Prior to working for Governor Herbert, Edwards served as the editor and publisher of the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, executive vice president and provost of Southern Virginia University, and president of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He has a PhD in Jurisprudence and Social Policy and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley where he was articles editor for the California Law Review. He and his wife Margo are the parents of four children. He lives in Salt Lake City.

William Eskridge – United States
John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School

William N. Eskridge Jr. has been the John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence at the Yale Law School since 1998.  He has published a field-establishing casebook on Legislation (with the late Phil Frickey), as well as several books and dozens of article on the theory, dynamics, and doctrine of statutory interpretation. As a professor at Georgetown, Eskridge represented a Washington D.C. gay couple suing for a marriage license (1991-95) and has subsequently written a casebook on Sexuality Gender and the Law (with Nan Hunter), several books on same-sex marriage, and many law review articles on religious freedom and LGBT rights. His current project, to be published by Yale University Press, is a history of the marriage equality debate, 1967-2017. 

Michael D. Frandsen – United States
Director, Public Affairs, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Michael D. Frandsen has worked in public affairs and corporate communications for more than 20 years.  He is currently a director in the Public Affairs Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with a particular focus on religious freedom. Michael began his career in journalism but early on served as Press Secretary for a U.S. Senator in Washington, DC, developing significant experience over the years in the legislative and public policy arenas.  He’s helped lead the public affairs and corporate communications efforts of several Fortune 500 companies, including CIGNA, Rio Tinto and eBay working in Salt Lake City, Chicago, Philadelphia and London. He holds a master’s degree in Comparative Politics from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in Journalism from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Japanese from Brigham Young University. Michael’s married and has four children.

Julie L. Franklin – United States
Director of Residence Life, Brigham Young University

For almost three decades, Julie Franklin has been involved in the residential life of Brigham Young University students.  She is passionate about the development process of young adults, and is keenly aware of the ups and downs associated with intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, and physical development. For two years, Julie has engaged with BYU students who identify as LGBTQ & SSA, to understand their experience during this time of tremendous growth.  Julie completed her undergraduate degree and MBA at BYU.  She and her husband are the parents of three daughters and a son.  

Clark Gilbert – United States
President, BYU-Pathway Worldwide

Clark G. Gilbert became the 1st president of BYU-Pathway Worldwide on May 1, 2017.  Started as a pilot of BYU-Idaho in 2009, BYU-Pathway was built to bring education to those who might otherwise not have access to a traditional university. It now serves nearly 40,000 students in 500 locations around the world. Prior to his new assignment, President Gilbert served as the 16th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho. As president of BYU-Idaho, he focused on increased access and student mentoring and pioneered the growth of the university’s online programs. President Gilbert previously served as CEO of Deseret News Publishing Company and Deseret Digital Media, where he was recognized as the Innovator of the Year by multiple media associations. Early in his career, President Gilbert was a professor of entrepreneurial management at the Harvard Business School where he taught and studied in the field of organizational innovation. President Gilbert received a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from Stanford University, and a doctorate degree from the Harvard Business School. President Gilbert was born in California and raised in Arizona. After serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan, he married his wife, Christine. They are the parents of eight children. 

Fiona Givens – United States

Fiona Givens was born in Nairobi, Kenya, educated in British convent schools, and converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Frankfurt, Germany. She earned degrees in French, German, and her graduate degree in European History while co-raising six children. Fiona has worked as a lobbyist, a translator, and as chair of a French language program. She is a frequent speaker on podcasts and at conferences and is a regular presenter at Deseret’s Time out for Women. She now works as an independent scholar, having published in Exponent II, Dialogue, LDS Living and with Kofford Books. She is the co-author with her husband of The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life; The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith; and, most recently, The Christ Who Heals: How God Restored the Truth that Saves Us.  Her current project is a full-length study of collaboration as a central mode of Restoration thought and process. When she is not on the road giving firesides or talks, she makes her home with Terryl in the rural town of Montpelier, Virginia.

Terryl Givens – United States
Jabez A. Bostwick Chair of English; Professor of Literature and Religion, University of Richmond

Terryl Givens did graduate work in intellectual history at Cornell and in comparative literature at UNC Chapel Hill, where he received his Ph.D. He holds the Jabez A. Bostwick Chair of English and is Professor of Literature and Religion at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in nineteenth-century studies and the Bible’s influence on Western literature. He has published on literary theory, European Romanticism, and intellectual history. His principal focus, however, has been the theology, culture, and history of Mormonism. Some of his many books include By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion; People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture; Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism (with Matthew Grow) and, most recently, a two-volume history of Mormon thought: Wrestling the Angel and Feeding the Flock (Oxford 2014, 2017). His writing has been praised by the New York Times as “provocative reading,” and as a commentator on Mormon topics he has appeared on CNN, NPR, and PBS. Current projects include a biography of Eugene England and a history of the Pearl of Great Price.

Emma Green – United States
Staff Writer, The Atlantic

Emma Green is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers politics, policy, and religion. She previously served as the managing editor of the magazine's website. In 2017, she won the Religion News Association's award for excellence in religion-news analysis, along with recognitions for feature writing, enterprise reporting, and religion-beat reporting. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, she is currently based in Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem.

Kristi S. Hamrick – United States
President, KSH Media, Inc.

Kristi Stone Hamrick heads her own firm, founded in 1997. Specializing in earned media, Mrs. Hamrick combines years of journalistic experience with years of issue advocacy, working to advance the storylines of organizations and individuals who create effective policy and messages that enhance the cultural debate. Her clients include and have included many of the leading non-profit, values oriented policy organizations including Focus on the Family and Family Research Council among others. In media campaigns, she has also worked in numerous coalitions representing leaders in domestic public policy to achieve public policy changes. Mrs. Hamrick regularly speaks and writes on pro-family issues with columns appearing regularly in national publications such as USA Today and Fox News, and she ghost writes in partnership with leading social policy voices. Media work includes strategizing and implementing media campaigns and messages through both paid and earned media, and managing media events as needed. For seven years beginning in 1991, Mrs. Hamrick served as the Director of Communications for the Family Research Council. In addition to developing tools, messaging and campaigns for FRC, Mrs. Hamrick also developed, produced and hosted FRC’s weekly television show on the former NET cable network. Mrs. Hamrick first arrived in Washington D.C. as a television producer and later on-air reporter for the CBN News network, and in her capacity as spokeswoman for clients, she has appeared numerous times on broadcast media, on shows such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, and PBS’ Newshour, as well as many others on networks from Fox, to CNN to MSNBC. Prior to becoming a media advocate, Mrs. Hamrick worked in direct politics at the campaign level and briefly in the offices of the late Senator John Heinz (R-PA) and the former Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA). Mrs. Hamrick also worked in print media, covering crime, legal issues and general reporting, for papers in the Pulliam newspaper chain, after winning a coveted Pulliam Fellowship and working at the Indianapolis Star. Mrs. Hamrick graduated cum laude and with honors in communication from Anderson University. She resides in Nashville, TN, with her husband and four children. 

Emily Hardman – United States
President, Amicus Communications

Emily Hardman is President of Amicus Communications. Described as “the legal communications expert,” Emily has helped define this emerging legal practice. With 15 years of legal experience including: Special Assistant to the 75th US Attorney General, legal externship at Oxford University, a District Attorney’s office, an international firm in London, Senate Judiciary Committee, and most recently as legal communications director at Becket, Emily has a unique understanding of winning in the court of law and the court of public opinion. Her work has appeared on Good Morning America, NYT, CNN, MSNBC, National Law Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Associated Press, Huffington Post, and the Daily Show. Emily handled communications and public relations for four (victorious) landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases, and over 40 state and federal cases. She has presented across the country, including Stanford and Princeton, on religious freedom issues. Emily graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University, and obtained her law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School. Emily is a member of the United States Supreme Court bar and is a legal communications fellow Becket. Emily is an adjunct law professor teaching the groundbreaking course, Litigating in the Court of Public Opinion.

Holly Hollman – United States
General Counsel and Associate Executive Director, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

Holly Hollman is the general counsel and associate executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty in Washington, D.C., an organization dedicated to the historic Baptist heritage of defending religious liberty for all people and preserving the institutional separation of church and state. Hollman provides legal analysis and insight on church-state issues that arise before Congress, the courts, and administrative agencies. She leads the Baptist Joint Committee’s involvement in legal cases through friend-of-the-court briefs, and her tenure includes dozens of briefs filed by the BJC, including more than 20 at the U.S. Supreme Court. Hollman often discusses matters relating to church-state relations with members of the media, appearing in numerous publications and broadcasts. She writes a regular column for the BJC’s magazine, and her work has been published by both scholarly outlets and major newspapers. Hollman consults regularly with churches, individuals, and organizations about religious liberty. She serves as an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where she co-teaches the Church-State Law Seminar, and Hollman often speaks at research institutions, religious gatherings, and issue briefings. She is a member of the District of Columbia, U.S. Supreme Court, and state of Tennessee bars.

Scott Jaschik – United States
Editor and Co-founder, Inside Higher Ed

Scott Jaschik is editor and one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

Nathan Lewin – United States
Attorney, Lewin & Lewin, LLP

Nathan Lewin has engaged in trial and appellate litigation in federal courts for more than 55 years. He currently practices law in Washington, D.C., together with his daughter, Alyza D. Lewin, at Lewin & Lewin, LLP. After graduating from Harvard Law School, Lewin clerked for Supreme Court Justice John M. Harlan. During the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Lewin was an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the Department of Justice under Solicitors General Archibald Cox and Thurgood Marshall and argued 12 cases in the Supreme Court. He also served as a Deputy Administrator in the State Department and as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. He then joined Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin, one of the nation’s foremost litigation “boutiques.” In private practice he has argued 16 times before the Supreme Court, including several landmark cases construing and applying the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment. His individual clients have included former President Richard Nixon, then-incumbent Attorney General Edwin Meese, John Lennon, and Jodie Foster. Lewin currently teaches a seminar on Supreme Court litigation at Columbia Law School and has taught at Georgetown, Harvard, University of Chicago, and George Washington University Law Schools.

Shapri LoMaglio – United States
Vice President for Government Relations and Executive Programs, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Shapri D. LoMaglio leads the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ response to legislative, legal, and regulatory matters on behalf of its 180 institutions of Christ-centered higher education. She advocates on their behalf in Washington, D.C., and equips and encourages member institutions in their own advocacy efforts. She also leads the external relations team of the CCCU, making the case for Christian higher education by promoting its valuable contribution to society-at-large and the important role it plays in the academy. Shapri writes and speaks on issues of religious liberty, higher education, and the interplay between faith and culture. She is a graduate of CCCU member institution Gordon College (Wenham, Mass.) and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona (Tucson, Ariz.). She is licensed to practice law in the state of Arizona. Prior to the CCCU, she served as a Legal Fellow in the United States Senate. Shapri serves as a trustee on the Board of Trustees at Gordon College and previously served as the chair of the Board of Directors of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance and as a trustee for the Center for Public Justice. She also serves as a deaconess at Grace Meridian Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. 

Kristen Looney – United States
Director, Religious Freedom Center, Freedom Forum Institute

Kristen Looney is Director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute (formerly Newseum Institute). Kristen works to fulfill the mission of the center and to oversee the day-to-day operations of the following three program areas: Educating Leaders, Promoting Civil Dialogue, and Engaging the Public.  From 2012 to 2016 Kristen was the head of programs and partnerships for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in the United States. Previously, Kristen served as chaplain at two Episcopal schools in Maryland and as clergy in several parishes. Kristen is an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Maryland and an awarded graduate of Yale Divinity School (MDiv).

Katherine Mangan – United States
Senior Writer, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Katherine Mangan is a senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education. She joined the Chronicle in 1986 and serves on the daily news team covering a variety of general-assignment topics. She has reported for many years on academic freedom, free speech, campus protests, religion, and other issues. She also covers community colleges and college-completion issues, as well as higher-education news in the Southwest. Katherine worked in Washington covering faculty issues for The Chronicle before moving to Austin, Texas, as a longtime regional correspondent. She has been a frequent presenter at national higher-education conferences and has been a guest on numerous radio programs. She was part of a reporting team honored with an Education Writers Association award for investigative reporting for “The Gates Effect.” Previously she wrote for The Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel and was a reporter and world-desk editor for the Associated Press. She grew up in Geneva, N.Y. and graduated from Williams College, where she majored in French, spending her junior year at the Sorbonne. She is a long-time mentor and education coach to disadvantaged teens.

Neill F. Marriott – United States
Former Second Counselor, Young Women General Presidency, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Neill F. Marriott was born and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana. She attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, where she earned a degree in English along with a teaching certificate. At the age of 22, she was converted and baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Cambridge, Massachusetts. One year later she married David C. Marriott in the Salt Lake Temple. They are the parents of 11 children and 26 grandchildren. At the time of her calling as second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, she was serving on the Church Writing Committee. She has worked in many stake and ward callings and also served for three years with her husband when he was president of the Brazil Sao Paulo Interlagos Mission. 

Terry Mattingly – United States
Syndicated Columnist; Senior Fellow in Media and Religion, The King's College, New York City

Terry Mattingly (tmatt.net) writes the nationally syndicated "On Religion" column for the Universal Uclick Syndicate and is Senior Fellow for Media and Religion at The King's College in New York City. He was the founder of the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, which in 2015 was rebooted at The King's College. Mattingly’s father was a pastor and his mother a language arts teacher. Thus, it’s no surprise that Mattingly is a journalist and teacher who focuses on religion and that he continues to study both writing and religion. He double-majored in journalism and history at Baylor University and then earned an M.A. at Baylor in Church-State Studies and an M.S. in communications at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. He has worked as a reporter and religion columnist at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and the Charlotte Observer and the Charlotte News. In 1991, Mattingly began teaching at Denver Seminary. While teaching, he has continued to write the weekly “On Religion” column for the features department of the Scripps Howard News Service in Washington, D.C., which is sent to about 350 newspapers in North America. He is the founder and editor of the GetReligion website that critiques the mainstream media’s coverage of religion news. In addition to his classroom duties, Mattingly has lectured at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass., the Torreys Honors Program at Biola University, the School of Journalism at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and in other settings across the nation. Mattingly is a prodigal Texan who has never met a mountain that he didn’t love. He is a music fanatic whose interests range from Celtic acoustic guitar to Russian chant. His wife, Debra Bridges Mattingly, is a public librarian and they have two grown children, Sarah Jeanne Wagner, and Frye Lewis Mattingly. The Mattinglys are members of St. Anne's Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tenn. 

Carrie Moore – United States
Adjunct Faculty, School of Communications, Brigham Young University; Founder, The Bradley Center for Grieving Children and Families

Carrie Moore spent 25 years as a journalist and editor at The Deseret News in Salt Lake City. She spearheaded, edited, and wrote for the paper’s award-winning religion and ethics section, and covered health care and general assignment topics, winning national, regional, state and local reporting awards from a variety of media organizations. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in communications from the University of Utah.  She trained as a board-certified chaplain and pastoral counselor with the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy, and recently spent five years working in Salt Lake area hospitals and hospice in pastoral patient care. She currently serves as convener for the Salt Lake Avenues Chapter of Chaplains. She has been an adjunct faculty at Brigham Young University since 2005, teaching media writing, research methods, and advanced reporting, and manages BYU’s Daily Universe newsroom. She is also the founder and executive director of The Bradley Center for Grieving Children and Families, a non-profit, interfaith grief support program that assists children, teens, and families with emotional and spiritual challenges after the death of a loved one. She enjoys spending time with her three children and five grandchildren.

Erik Owens – United States
Director of the International Studies Program; Associate Professor in Theology and International Studies, Boston College

Erik Owens was recently appointed Director of the International Studies Program at Boston College where he is also an associate professor of the practice in theology and international studies at Boston College. His research explores a variety of intersections between religion and public life, with particular attention to the challenge of fostering the common good of a religiously diverse society. Prior to his current appointment, he served for 12 years as associate director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life. He received his PhD in religious ethics from the University of Chicago, an MTS from Harvard Divinity School, and a BA from Duke University. Prof. Owens is the author of numerous scholarly articles and co-editor of three books: Gambling: Mapping the American Moral Landscape; Religion and the Death Penalty: A Call for Reckoning; and The Sacred and the Sovereign: Religion and International Politics. He chairs the American Academy of Religion’s Committee on the Public Understanding of Religion and sits on the national advisory boards of the Newseum Institute's Religious Freedom Center and the new InterReligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary. In addition to his work at Boston College, he has held positions or fellowships at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the Chicago Board of Ethics, the University of Virginia’s Center on Religion and Democracy, and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. 

Daniel Peterson – United States
Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic, Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages, Brigham Young University

Daniel C. Peterson (PhD, University of California at Los Angeles) is a professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University and is the founder of the University’s Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, for which he served as editor-in-chief until mid-August 2013. He has published and spoken extensively on both Islamic and Mormon subjects. Hi is formerly chairman of the board of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) and an officer, editor, and author for its successor organization, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. His professional work as an Arabist focuses on the Qur’an and on Islamic philosophical theology. He is the author, among other things, of a biography entitled Muhammad: Prophet of God (Eerdmans, 2007).

Molly Redden – United States
Senior Politics Reporter, Huffington Post

Molly Redden is a New York-based journalist who has spent the last decade covering gender issues such as sexual harassment and abuse, reproductive health, the transgender rights movement, and workplace inequality. She recently became a senior political reporter for HuffPost, where she focuses on work conditions in politics and the nonprofit world. Her recent stories have covered the Me Too movement in progressive circles. Before joining HuffPost, she was a senior reporter covering gender issues for the Guardian US, where she wrote about reproductive health issues, transgender rights, and the intersection of faith and medicine. Her work for the Guardian included investigations into self-abortion in the US; how religious guidelines impact patients in Catholic hospitals; and how parental leave policy in the US drives inequality. Redden has also been a staff writer for Mother Jones and the New Republic, where she covered the spread of abortion restrictions and the environment. She is a Chicago native living in Brooklyn.

Jacqueline C. Rivers – United States
Executive Director and Senior Fellow for Social Science and Policy of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies; Lecturer, Harvard University

Jacqueline C. Rivers is currently a lecturer at Harvard University. She is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow for Social Science and Policy of the Seymour Institute for Black Church and Policy Studies. She has presented at Princeton University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Pennsylvania, the American Enterprise Institute, the Vatican, the United Nations and in several other venues. Her latest publication appears in the volume Not Just Good but Beautiful. She has also published a chapter, written with Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson and published by Harvard University Press, in The Cultural Matrix. Jacqueline Rivers holds a PhD from Harvard University where she was a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy of the J. F. Kennedy School of Government and a graduate research fellow of the National Science Foundation. She graduated from Harvard Radcliffe College (BA summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and MA, both in Psychology). She has also been an Elder in the Azusa Christian Community Church in Boston for over twenty years.

Eugene F. Rivers, III – United States
Reverend, Activist, and Political Analyst; Co-founder, The Boston TenPoint Coalition

The Reverend Eugene F. Rivers, III is a former member of the Somersville street gang in Philadelphia. An activist for over 35 years, Rivers is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most effective crusaders against gang violence. He is the founder and director of the Ella J. Baker House that has provided intensive mentoring, educational programming, and job readiness training for thousands of high risk youth over the last 20 years. He is the co-founder of the Boston TenPoint Coalition which was a key player in the dramatic reduction in violence that Boston experienced in the early 1990’s. Reverend Rivers is the author of the TenPoint Plan to Combat Black-on-Black Violence that was the guiding document of the Coalition. Rivers also founded the National TenPoint Leadership Foundation. The TenPoint Coalition’s approach to faith-community/law-enforcement partnerships is the model for antiviolence programs currently being used successfully in several US cities. Rivers was educated at Harvard and has served as a consultant to the governments of Chile, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, and England on issues of faith-community/law-enforcement partnerships to combat violent crime. He appeared as a key note speaker for the World Council of Churches in Harare, Zimbabwe on the same issue. He advised both the Clinton and Bush administrations on their faith-based initiatives and was identified by the New York Times as the Bush administration’s point man on that topic. Rivers serves as a political analyst for MSNBC and as a highly sought-after speaker, he has provided commentary for many media outlets including ABC, NBC, CBS, BET, CNN, and the BBC. He has been featured in or provided commentary for many publications and periodicals such as the Economist, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others. He has lectured at several universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Calvin College and the London School of Economics. He has also authored or co-authored numerous essays. Rivers lives in Dorchester, Massachusetts with his wife.

Neville Rochow – Australia
Senior Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Neville Rochow SC is a Senior Fellow with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and works with Professor Paul Babie on the Law and Religion Project of the Research Unit for the Study of Society, Ethics and Law, The University of Adelaide. He holds adjunct professorships at the law schools of Notre Dame Australia and the University of Adelaide. His research interests include jurisprudence, human rights, and freedom of religion or belief. In his practice as a Silk from Howard Zelling Chambers, he had a national practice in corporate, commercial, competition, and constitutional law. He has appeared in the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court, the Supreme Court of various States and other federal, territorial, and state jurisdictions. From 2015 to 2017, he and his wife, Penny, served as Government Relations Representative at the European Union Office LDS Church in Brussels, Belgium, acting as advisers and advocates in the EU and the UK on freedoms of religion, belief, conscience, and expression. They worked closely with other NGOs in Brussels on policy and reform in relation to issues arising under the European Covenant on Human Rights and in the dialogue under Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty. During his time in Europe, he spoke in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the Law Commission in London, the House of Lords at Westminster, and the EU Parliament in Brussels. At the Center, with his background as a barrister in Australia, and his work with Penny in the EU and UK, Neville’s work is focused on freedom of religion or belief issues in the Pacific, Asia, and Western Europe. He is currently completing a PhD by publication at Adelaide Law School, the dissertation for which will collate and provide a narrative on works he has published in recent years on freedom of religion or belief in Australia and the desirability of the domestic incorporation of international human rights norms.

Bobby Ross Jr. – United States
Chief Correspondent and former Managing Editor, The Christian Chronicle

Bobby Ross Jr. is a veteran religion writer who has reported from all 50 states and 12 countries. Ross is the chief correspondent and former managing editor for The Christian Chronicle, an Oklahoma City-based international newspaper with 135,000 print subscribers and thousands of readers online. He also serves as a media columnist for GetReligion.org and a freelance reporter for Religion News Service, Christianity Today and the Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @bobbyross. Before joining the Chronicle in 2005, Ross covered religion and politics for The Associated Press (2002-2005), based in Nashville and later Dallas. He spent nine years with The Oklahoman (1993-2002), including two as religion editor. Ross, a graduate of Oklahoma Christian University, has received numerous writing awards from the Associated Church Press, the Religion News Association and the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife, Tamie, are the proud parents of three adult children, a daughter-in-law and a soon-to-arrive first grandson. Bobby serves as a deacon for communications and helps teach the kindergarten class at the Edmond (Okla.) Church of Christ. The Rosses love cheering for the Texas Rangers and taking adorable pictures of their pet rabbits, Pancake and Fritter. 

Steven M. Sandberg – United States
Deputy General Counsel, Brigham Young University

Steve Sandberg joined the Office of the General Counsel of Brigham Young University in 2006. Steve received a BA in English summa cum laude from Brigham Young University in 1999 and a JD from Columbia Law School in 2003, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a senior editor of the Columbia Law Review. Prior to working for BYU, he clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge Andrew J. Kleinfeld in Fairbanks, Alaska and was an associate at Morrison & Foerster, LLP in Irvine, California. Steve is licensed to practice in California, Hawaii, and Utah.

Gene Schaerr – United States
Partner, Schaerr

Gene Schaerr began practice in 1987 following clerkships on the U.S. Supreme Court (for Chief Justice Warren Burger and Justice Antonin Scalia) and on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (for then-Judge Kenneth Starr). He graduated in 1985 from the Yale Law School, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal on Regulation and Senior Editor of the Yale Law Journal. From 1991 to 1993, he served in the White House as Associate Counsel to the President, where he had responsibility for a wide range of constitutional and administrative-law issues, including those involving higher education, separation of powers, economic regulation, federalism and religious freedom. He is currently teaching a Supreme Court litigation seminar at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.

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.

Ben Schilaty – United States
Adjunct Faculty, Spanish and Portuguese, Brigham Young University

Dr. Ben Schilaty works as an adjunct faculty member in the department of Spanish and Portuguese at Brigham Young University and as an intern at Wasatch Mental Health. In these roles he teaches and designs advanced Spanish courses and while also working at a youth crisis center. Schilaty earned a BA in Latin American Studies from BYU (2008), an MA in Hispanic Linguistics from BYU (2011), and a PhD in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona (2017). He has spent a decade as a Spanish teacher working at the middle school, high school, and college levels. He speaks both Spanish and Portuguese from his time living abroad in Mexico, Bolivia, Peru, and Portugal. Schilaty began a Master's in Social Work at BYU in 2017 and hopes to work with LGBTQ Mormons and their families. He writes a blog about his experiences as a gay Mormon and started a support community for LGBTQ Mormons in Tucson, AZ while he was living there. Schilaty is a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served as a missionary in Chihuahua, Mexico from 2003-2005. He currently serves as a teacher in his local congregation. 

Jordan Sgro – United States
Chief Program Officer, Encircle: an LGBTQ+ Family & Youth Resource Center

Jordan Sgro graduated from Brigham Young University with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Italian. She has managed multiple research labs as well as published a variety of manuscripts, many regarding relationship satisfaction, genetics, and health behaviors. Before working at Encircle: an LGBTQ+ Family & Youth Resource Center, she worked as a Study Coordinator at the University of Utah in the Psychiatry Department where she oversaw clinical drug studies and worked with patients diagnosed with depression, substance abuse disorders, and chronic pain conditions. Jordan is now the Chief Program Officer at Encircle where her responsibilities include program development, implementation, and evaluation. She also works to produce and locate a variety of resources for parents, local church leaders, and the LGBTQ community itself.

Kelly Shackelford – United States
President and CEO, First Liberty Institute

Kelly Shackelford, Esq., has been President and CEO of First Liberty Institute since 1997. He is a constitutional scholar who has argued before the United States Supreme Court, testified before the U.S. House and Senate on constitutional issues, and has won three state landmark First Amendment and religious liberty cases in the past few years alone. He was recently named one of the 25 greatest Texas lawyers of the past quarter century by Texas Lawyer, and is the recipient of the prestigious William Bentley Ball Award for Life and Religious Freedom Defense for his leadership and pioneering work protecting religious freedom. Mr. Shackelford is a highly sought after speaker and frequent guest on national TV news and talk show programs including The O’Reilly Factor, Fox and Friends, Hannity, Good Morning America, NBC’s Today Show, CNN, and MSNBC. He also has been featured in the National Law Journal, Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Times, The Washington Post, and The L.A. Times, among many others. Mr. Shackelford is on the Board of Trustees of the United States Supreme Court Historical Society and is a cum laude graduate of Baylor University.

Blythe Shupe – United States
Communications Specialist, International Center for Law and Religion Studies

Blythe Shupe joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in September 2015 as a communications specialist. She spent the previous ten years as an account manager in the world of pre-employment screening working for Sterling Infosystems and LexisNexis. In this position, she worked closely with Human Resources, Compliance Departments, and Security Departments of large companies setting up and monitoring background screening programs for new hires to ensure the client was hiring the best possible candidate while operating within federal, state, and local laws. She specialized in the complicated screening practices surrounding healthcare, financial firms, and aviation. Prior to that, she spent nine years in various roles at WordPerfect Corporation. Blythe earned her bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University.

Hannah Clayson Smith – United States
Senior Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University

Hannah Clayson Smith joined the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) as a Senior Fellow in 2018, following two clerkships at the US Supreme Court, for Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and a distinguished decade of service as Senior Counsel at Becket Law. Hannah was a member of the legal teams that secured victories in key U.S. Supreme Court religious liberty cases, including Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, Holt v. Hobbs, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, and Zubik v. Burwell (the "Little Sisters of the Poor" case). During her time at Becket, she contributed to 25 Supreme Court briefs and represented more than 13 major faith groups including Anglicans, Assemblies of God, Baptists, Catholics, Hindus, Hutterites, Jews, Lutherans, Mormons, Muslims, Russian Orthodox, Santeros, and Sikhs. Hannah has briefed policymakers at the White House, U.S. Capitol, State Department, the American Bar Association, the National Constitution Center, the Newseum, the Heritage Foundation, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies. Her television, newspaper, and radio appearances include CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-Span, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, AP, Forbes, NPR, and BBC. Her opinion-editorials appear in US News & World Report, NY Daily News, Daily Signal, Fox News, NRO, SCOTUSblog, and Deseret News. She has addressed audiences at Harvard Law, Princeton University, Stanford Law, Columbia Law, Penn Law, Georgetown Law, BYU Law, and Central European University. Hannah received her BA from Princeton University, concentrating in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. At BYU Law School, she was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as Executive Editor of the BYU Law Review and as one of the founding-era research assistants for the ICLRS. BYU awarded her its Alumni Achievement Award in 2013, and the J. Reuben Clark Law Society presented her with its Women-in-Law Leadership Award in 2016. In 2017, she delivered the G. Homer Durham Lecture, speaking on the topic "Religious Liberty: The Promise of American Religious Pluralism." She is a member of the Deseret News Editorial Advisory Board. 

Robert Snyder – United States
Administrator, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Robert Snyder is an administrator at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Previous to his employment with the LDS Church, he was an associate attorney with the law firm of Kirton McConkie. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University and a Juris Doctor from the Boston University School of Law. He completed a Master of Laws in European Law at the Université Panthéon-Assas in Paris, France. Robert is actively engaged in the promotion and protection of religious freedom and serves as a member of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society’s Religious Freedom Subcommittee. He is a member of the American Society of International Law and a research advisor for the BYU Center for Law and Religious Studies.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the LDS International Society. He has authored several articles on the topics of human rights and religious freedom: Liberté Religieuse en Europe: Discussing the French Concealment Act; Is Religious Freedom Good for Business?: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis; and International Legal Regimes to Manage Indigenous Rights and Arctic Disputes from Climate Change.  He is married with three children.

Beck A. Taylor – United States
President, Whitworth University

Beck A. Taylor, Ph.D., became the 18th president of Whitworth University in July 2010. He came to Whitworth after serving as dean and professor of economics for the Brock School of Business at Samford University and as associate dean for research and faculty development for the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, where he was also the W.H. Smith Professor of Economics. In his first year as Whitworth’s president, Taylor led the development of Whitworth’s 10-year vision and strategic plan, Whitworth 2021: Courage at the Crossroads, which details plans to continue to elevate Whitworth among the leading Christian universities in the country. Taylor’s first eight years at Whitworth have been highlighted by a renewed emphasis on community involvement; efforts to enhance academic quality, including the creation of the College of Arts and Sciences and a new honors program; the building of new campus infrastructure to facilitate the university’s academic, athletic, and student life programs; the creation of newly endowed faculty positions and centers; spearheading Whitworth’s largest-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign; and an emphasis on overall institutional effectiveness. Taylor and his wife of 25 years, Julie, have three children: Zach (22) who attends Belmont University, Lauren (19) who attends Whitworth University, and Chloe (11).  

Donlu Thayer – United States
Publications Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University; Associate Editor, Oxford Journal of Law and Religion

Donlu Thayer, BA, MA, JD, is Publications Director at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the Brigham Young University Law School, with responsibility for overseeing print and electronic publications, including the International Law and Religion Headlines project and the case table of the Strasbourg Consortium. Before joining the Center in 2009 Donlu had a long career as a writer, editor, and University Lecturer in writing. She is a certified high-conflict mediator and a member of the Utah State Bar. Recent publications include the Brill Encyclopedia of Law and Religion (2016, associate editor with Cole Durham and Gerhard Robbers); Religion and the Secular State (2015, edited with Javier Martínez-Torrón and Cole Durham, General Reporters); Law, Religion, and Constitution (2013, edited with Cole Durham, Silvio Ferrari, and Cristiana Cianitto), and two volumes in the new Routledge ICLARS Series on Law on Law and Religion — Religion and Equality: Law in Conflict (2016) and Religion, Pluralism, and Reconciling Difference (forthcoming 2016), both edited with Cole Durham. She is an Associate Editor of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion. 

Michael Wear – United States
Founder, Public Square Strategies LLC

Michael Wear is the founder of Public Square Strategies LLC, and a leading expert and strategist at the intersection of faith, politics, and American public life. As one of President Obama's "ambassadors to America's believers" (Buzzfeed), Michael directed faith outreach for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Michael was also one of the youngest White House staffers in modern American history: he served in the White House faith-based initiative during President Obama’s first term, where he led evangelical outreach and helped manage The White House’s engagement on religious and values issues, including adoption and anti-human trafficking efforts. Today, Public Square Strategies LLC is a sought-after firm that helps religious organizations, political organizations, businesses and others effectively navigate the rapidly changing American religious and political landscape. Michael is the author of Reclaiming Hope: Lessons Learned in the Obama White House About the Future of Faith in America. He also writes for The Atlantic, Christianity Today, USA Today, Relevant Magazine and other publications on faith, politics, and culture. He serves on the national board of Bethany Christian Services, the nation's largest adoption agency, and holds an honorary position at the University of Birmingham’s Cadbury Center for the Public Understanding of Religion. He is also a senior fellow at The Trinity Forum. Michael and his wife, Melissa, are both proud natives of Buffalo, New York. They now reside in Washington, D.C.

Walter Weber – United States
Senior Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice

Walter Weber is senior counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Weber obtained his bachelor's degree in English from Princeton in 1981 and graduated from the Yale Law School in 1984. During law school he did summer internships with Americans United for Life and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. After law school Weber worked for four years as an attorney with the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, and then joined the legal staff at Free Speech Advocates. Weber came on board the ACLJ in 1993. Weber has overseen and written more than one hundred thirty Supreme Court briefs and participated in federal and state appellate work around the country. He specializes in constitutional law, especially free speech and religious liberty. He and his wife Angela have four children and reside in Virginia.

Linda K. Wertheimer – United States
Author and Journalist

Linda K. Wertheimer, a veteran journalist and former Boston Globe education editor, is the award-winning author of Faith Ed, Teaching About Religion In An Age of Intolerance.  During her nearly 30-year journalism career, she was a reporter at The Dallas Morning News and The Orlando Sentinel as well as for other publications. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, USA Today, Time, religionandpolitics.org, and many other publications.  Faith Ed in 2016 won second place in the Religion News Association nonfiction religion book contest. She has also won awards for her writing from the Education Writers Association and other organizations. She was a featured speaker on teaching about religion at the 2017 National Council of the Social Studies conference and has given numerous talks and workshops on the same topic for educators, religion scholars and community groups. She has spoken as an expert on national TV shows for CNN and CBS and appeared on several NPR radio shows, though she is quick to note that she’s not the Other Linda of NPR. A graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, she has taught journalism part-time at Boston University and teaches op-ed writing and other classes for Grub Street, a Boston writers’ organization.

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.