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Members of the International Advisory Council (IAC) play critical roles in promoting the cause of religious freedom worldwide. Under the leadership of IAC Chair David Colton and the members of the IAC Executive Committee, the members of the IAC host international delegates at the Center's annual symposium in Provo, travel to many parts of the world to participate in important religious conferences, and otherwise generously share their time, talents, and other resources to move the work forward. 

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Left to right: Milt and Heidi Shipp, David and Mary Christensen, David and Julie Colton, Bill Benac, Linda and David Nearon.
Image for S. David Colton

Chair, International Advisory Council

Longtime Center supporter David Colton has assumed the role of Chair of the IAC Executive Committee beginning in April 2018. Dave and his wife, Julie, served LDS Charities asGovernment Relations specialists at the United Nations in New York City during 2015-2017. The Coltons spent 2009-2013 in Frankfurt, Germany, where Dave served as the Area Legal Counsel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Europe Area. Prior to accepting these position Dave was employed by Phelps Dodge Corporation for almost twenty years. Dave’s career with Phelps Dodge started in 1988 where he held various positions including general counsel, a position he... more

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Immediate Past Chair - International Advisory Council 

David Christensen is managing partner of Milestone Holdings, a privately held real estate investment company. Formerly, he was co-president of Nearon Enterprises, and previous to that he was the manager of acquisitions at Bechtel Investments Realty. He earned his bachelor's degree in financial planning from Brigham Young University in 1980 and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Yale School of Management in 1985. David has worked with the International Center for Law and Religion Studies of the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University since 2002, serving as Chair of its International Advisory Council between 2011 and 2018.

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Past Chair and Member of the Executive Committee - International Advisory Council

Formerly Chair of the International Advisory Council, Duane Madsen currently serves the IAC as Past Chair and member of the Executive Committee. Duane was Vice-President and Executive Director of Private Wealth Management at Goldman-Sachs. He was vice-chair of the ICLRS International Advisory Council, before assuming the chairmanship in 2009. He has also been a member of the Investment Advisory Council of the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University. Duane received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Brigham Young and later obtained his Master's of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Center Historian - International Advisory Council

Graduate of Brigham Young University, avid reader, pianist, violinist (who plays in the Mt. Timpamogos Symphony), ham radio operator, photographer, certified master gardener, Erlyn Madsen has for many years brought her considerable artistic and diplomatic skills to the service of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies. As Center Historian, IAC member, and Symposium Host, Erlyn has welcomed scores of delegates to Provo and has traveled widely for the Center. She has documented proceedings of many international conferences, and her booklets of photos, provided to hundreds of conference participants and always accompanied by handwritten personal notes, have been invaluable not only to participants but to Center personnel, in maintaining contact with many friends in all parts of the world. Erlyn and her husband, Duane, are the parents of ten and grandparents of thirty-three and counting.

Image for Ralph Hardy

Past Chair - International Advisory Council

Ralph Hardy received a B.S. (honors) at the University of Utah and a J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. He is admitted to the practice of law in California and the District of Columbia. He joined the law firm Dow Lohnes in Washington, D.C., in 1968 and became a Member in 1974. His principal areas of concentration are in structuring, negotiating and financing media, high technology, and energy-related and other complex transactions. Mr. Hardy is involved with Dow Lohnes Government Strategies LLC in its government relations activities with Congress and the Executive Departments of the Federal Government. He served as National Chairman of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society from 1987-1993.