Elder Paul V. Johnson

Elder Paul V. Johnson was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2005 and is currently serving as a member of the Europe Area Presidency.. At the time of his call, Johnson had been serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah North and Utah Salt Lake City Areas. He has served as commissioner of the Church Educational System, as a member of the Chile Area Presidency, and as the administrator of religious education and elementary and secondary education.

Johnson served an LDS Mission in Norway. He received a BS in zoology and an MS in counseling and guidance from Brigham Young University, as well as a PhD in instructional technology from Utah State University.

Johnson and his wife Jill are the parents of nine children.

Terryl L. Givens

Terryl L. Givens was born in upstate New York, raised in the American southwest, and did his graduate work in intellectual history (Cornell University) and comparative literature (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1988), working with Greek, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and English languages and literatures. As Professor of Literature and Religion, and the James A. Bostwick Professor of English at the University of Richmond, Givens teaches courses in Romanticism, nineteenth century cultural studies, and the Bible and literature. He has published in literary theory, British and European Romanticism, Mormon studies, and intellectual history.

Givens has authored and edited numerous books, including  the Oxford Handbook to Mormonism (with Phil Barlow); Wrestling the Angel: The Foundations of Mormon Thought; the Columbia Sourcebook of Mormonism in America (with Reid Neilson); Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism (with Matthew Grow); and When Souls had Wings: PreMortal Life in Western Thought. Current projects include volume two of the History of Mormon Thought and a history of the Pearl of Great Price. Givens has also published two books with his wife Fiona: the God Who Weeps and the Crucible of Doubt. They live in Virginia.

Elder Alan T. Phillips

Elder Alan T. Phillips was named a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2016. Phillips is responsible for Investor Relations at Valtegra LLP, a private equity fund focused on special situation businesses in Europe. Before joining Valtegra, he founded Bomont Capital, a placement firm raising funds for private equity. Prior to that he served as managing director of a boutique consulting firm operating in Europe, Americas, Australia, and Asia.

Phillips has experience leading the acquisition of distressed businesses, managing operational turnaround, disposal of corporate carve-outs, strategy, and raising capital. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the London School of Economics.

His church service includes being a missionary in the England Manchester Mission, elders quorum president, high councilor, counselor in a bishopric and stake presidency, and stake president. He and his wife Lindsey are the parents of three children. She is co-founder of gojanegive.org, a nonprofit that helps women create fund-raisers for global causes, including supporting refugees, girls’ education, and ending child trafficking.

Charlotte Steinfeld

Charlotte Steinfeld is a barrister with a broad commercial-chancery practice based in Temple, London, and a CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) accredited mediator. Steinfeld was called to the Bar of England and Wales by the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn in 2004 and has acted in both the High Court and County Court across a range of disputes, including commercial and consumer contracts, international and domestic sale of goods, insolvency and bankruptcy, mortgages and security, wills and probate, and commercial and residential landlord and tenant. She has also represented various commercial clients in mediation, including in multi-party action.

She studied law at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, attaining a distinction for her LLM in international commercial law at the University of Nottingham. Her dissertation on commercial insurance law, “Should the Insurance Law Warranty Survive Reform,” was requested by the Law Commission (England and Wales) to be used as part of their ongoing insurance contract law review. Steinfeld is the current chair of the United Kingdom and Ireland Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society.

Elder Clifford T. Herbertson

Elder Clifford T. Herbertson was named a member of the Third Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2012. Herbertson is a founding partner of venture capital company Paradigm Global Partners LLP, established in 2007. Previously, he was a board director of Exel Plc (2002–07), and a partner for two strategy consulting firms: Monitor Group and Kalchas Group (1989–2002). His career began while still in school as a research assistant and speech-writer for a member of parliament.

In 1988, he received a bachelor’s degree in economics with honors from the University College London and a corporate finance diploma from London Business School in 1990. Herbertson has served in numerous Church callings, including a full-time mission in the Georgia Atlanta Mission, stake and ward Young Men president, bishop, stake presidency, and stake president. A native of Glasgow, Scotland, he and his wife Julie Herbertson reside in Wickford, Essex, England and are the parents of three children.

David Hooson

David Hooson is head of operations in the Artist Management Department at HarrisonParrott, where he has represented some of the world’s leading classical musicians since 2008. Working regularly with contracts from around the world led Hooson to study law, receiving a postgraduate diploma in law from BPP University in London, where he will begin studying for an LLM in February 2017.

He received an MA in music from the University of Oxford as a member of Hertford College, scoring music for orchestration, studying aesthetics and musical philosophy, analytical techniques, and the development of music and other art forms in Paris between 1910 and 1930. While at Oxford, Hooson received a scholarship for accomplishments in choral and orchestral conducting and was an active member of the Oxford Union debating society. A native of Yorkshire, he served in the West Indies Mission, speaking French, and has served as bishop of the Hyde Park 1st ward in London since 2013. Hooson and his wife Gemma Parnell-Smith are the parents of two children.

Elizabeta Kitanović

Elizabeta Kitanović is executive secretary for Human Rights of the Conference of European Churches in Brussels and editor of the Human Rights Training Manual for European Churches. In 2009–10, Kitanović was a member of the advisory panel of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency. She completed her studies in theology and post-graduate studies in international affairs at the Political Science Faculty in Belgrade, graduated from the Diplomatic Academy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Serbian government, and is completing a PhD.

Francesco Di Lillo

Francesco Di Lillo opened the European Union Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brussels, Belgium, in 2013. In 2015 and 2016, he served on the Board of Coordinators of the European Platform against Religious Intolerance and Discrimination (EPRID). Prior to these assignments, Di Lillo worked at the Europe Area office of the Church as assistant area director of public affairs. He also was president of the Italy Utah Cooperation Center, a non-profit he co-founded to promote cultural, academic, and commercial partnerships between organizations in Italy and Utah. 

He gained international experience in public affairs and public information in Cyprus with the Italian Embassy, the United Nations Development Program, and finally with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). With UNHCR he monitored evacuation operations of civilians through the Port of Larnaca, Cyprus, during the Israeli-Lebanese conflict of 2006. Back in Italy, he worked on a project assignment with a marketing and communications consultancy firm based in Rome for the organization of conferences and events at the national level. 

Di Lillo received a master’s degree in theory of communications from the University Roma Tre, graduating cum laude, and a master’s in international relations and human rights protection from the Societa’ Italiana per l’Organizzazione Internazionale. 

He and his wife are the parents of four wonderful children.

Heidi A. Ringheim

Heidi A. Ringheim is a psychosexual therapist and couples counselor with specialization in sex/porn addiction with a private practice north of Copenhagen in Denmark. Ringheim was co-founder(2000) and since 2008 chairman of Porn & Society (P&S), a Danish-based organization that fights porn in the public square. As leader of P&S, she speaks up officially when needed; heeds when media and others call for info, advice, opinions; aids and educates students as well as employees and parents in school settings; works with national politicians, as well as religious groups and others to initiate awareness and campaigns about the growing impact and consequences of porn, both nationally and globally in order to influence policy and legislation.

Ringheim with three colleagues and a developmental company are in the process of establishing a center broadly based on family- and couple-friendly values with a three-fold mission 1) to Initiate and support research on the effects of porn, 2) to broadly educate, inform, and train various groups in society about the effects of porn and how to handle and treat the effects and problems associated with porn and also develop prevention strategies, and 3) to develop and build up an efficient and healthy treatment program and facility center for sex- and porn-addiction.

She and husband Thomas are the parents of seven sons and two daughters. For many years, Ringheim served her family as a stay-at-home mom before re-educating herself in the field of sexology and therapy.

Lola Ogunbote

Lola Ogunbote was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and raised in London, England. Ogunbote was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2011 and is a non-practising barrister. Her previous experience has involved working in chambers under the supervision of Queens Counsel in the following courts: Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Court of Appeal High Court, Tax Chamber (First Tier Tribunal), and the Immigration and Asylum Centre Chamber (Upper Tribunal), County Court. Ogunbote also worked for the Crown Prosecution Service (the main prosecuting authority in England and Wales) and more recently as a financial crime analyst for Goldman Sachs.

She enjoys playing football (soccer) and is training to become a coach with the Arsenal Football Club. Ogunbote envisions using her experience to teach young women soccer in addition to vital life skills, such as the significance of gaining a formal education, as well as inspiring young women on how to become agents of change within their own lives and in their communities.

Medlir Mema

Medlir Mema is a country coordinator for the Seminaries and Institute program covering Albania, Kosovo, and Macedonia, and a visiting research fellow at the Institute for European Studies in Brussels, Belgium. Mema’s doctoral dissertation explores the role of civil society in the drafting of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and is currently working on an examination of the role of the international community in the creation of the Kosovo hybrid court, as well as the political and legal implications of doing so. As a member of a working group on LDS perspectives on war and peace, Mema applies insights from international relations theory to the Book of Mormon narratives on warfare and conflict. He received a PhD in political science from George Washington University.

Neville Rochow

Four circumstances have left indelible marks on the psyche of Neville Rochow SC. First has been his pursuit of the living Christ, which led him to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his late teens. The second was his decision to study and practice law. Third was his experience serving a mission in Germany. The fourth, and the one that places all else into perspective, was marrying his wife and best friend Penny soon after she returned from her mission in Italy. The Christian religion is the guide to his worldview and the measure of value in all that he encounters. He is shot through with all things German and is one of the few true Teutonophiles of whom he is aware. Deep reverence for legal doctrine, parliamentary institutions, constitutionalism, and the Anglo-Australian common law, informs his political philosophy; he loves the thought and writings of Burke, Wilberforce, John Adams, Popper, Hayek, Kant, Kirk, Wittgenstein, and Scruton. And with Penny, his life journey has been shared, immeasurably enhanced, and mediated through the lens of relationship. Serving with Penny in Brussels, Belgium, as government relations representatives for the European Union office of the Church has been one of the crowning experiences in their life together. They enjoy art, music, theatre, and architecture—and still love to read together.

From 1988, his practice as a commercial barrister was wide-ranging and national. He took silk in 2008. Rochow received honorary professorships from the University of Notre Dame (Sydney, Australia) and the University of Adelaide (Australia) and is an international fellow of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the BYU Law School. He graduated with honors in law and received a master’s degree in law with a thesis in forensics in constitutional law from Adelaide University, and he received a second master’s degree in competition law and policy from Deakin University.

Having published widely in areas of competition law, trade practices, and related areas of substantive and adjectival law over many years, his more recent publications include: Freedom of Religion under Bills of Rights, a book that he co-edited (with Paul Babie) and wrote in 2012, and Paying for Human Rights Before the Bill Comes: Towards a More Comprehensive Domestic Implementation of International Human Rights Norms in Australia.

He and Penny are currently working on policy questions relating to the proposed (draft) EU directive on equal treatment and proposed UK legislation on out-of-school of religious bodies and counter-terrorism. They have both served in numerous ward, stake and national leadership positions in the Church. They love being parents and cherish being grandparents.

Teppo Felin

Teppo Felin is a professor of strategy and academic area head at University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. Felin’s research focuses on organization theory, strategy, complex systems, innovation and the origins of heterogeneity. He is also interested in anything interdisciplinary. His research has been published in journals such as Organization Science, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Institutional Economics and Research Policy. He has published interdisciplinary research in Erkenntnis, Arizona State Law Journal, and PLOS ONE. Prior to joining Oxford, Felin was on the faculty at BYU’s Marriott School and Goizueta Business School at Emory University. Before joining academia, he worked in the venture capital industry in Amman, Jordan, and Munich, Germany. Born and raised in Helsinki, Finland, Felin has four daughters and lives in Summertown, Oxford.

Ugo Perego

Ugo Perego is the director of the Rome LDS Institute of Religion and a coordinator for the Seminary and Institute program in central Italy and Malta. Perego also is a visiting scientist at the Universities of Pavia and Perugia, both in Italy. Perego has contributed numerous lectures and publications on DNA and its applications to population genetics, genealogy, ancestry, forensics, and history, including LDS history. A sample of his academic contributions is available at www.JosephSmithDNA.com. He received a BS and an MS in health sciences from Brigham Young University and a PhD in genetics and biomolecular sciences from the University of Pavia in Italy.

Thomas B. Griffith

Judge Thomas B. Griffith was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in June 2005. Griffith is a lecturer at Stanford Law School and is involved in rule of law projects in the former communist countries of Eastern Europe and Eurasia. Previously, he served as assistant to the president and general counsel of Brigham Young University under Presidents Bateman and Samuelson.

Most of his professional career was spent in Washington, D. C., where he was a litigation partner at a law firm and for four years served as Senate legal counsel, the chief legal officer of the U. S. Senate. In that capacity, Griffith advised the Senate’s leadership and committees on a variety of legal matters and participated in the impeachment trial of President Clinton.

Before embarking on a legal career, he worked in the Church Educational System as the director of Seminaries and Institutes for the Baltimore, Maryland area. Griffith received a BA from Brigham Young University and a JD from the University of Virginia’s School of Law. He and his wife Susan are the parents of six children and have eight grandchildren.

Kristian Heal

Kristian Heal is the director of the Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University. Heal’s research focuses on the pre-Islamic literature of Syriac speaking Christians in the Middle East, including the reception of the Bible, homiletics, the history of Syriac literature in Late Antiquity, codicology, and intellectual history. He received a BA in Jewish history and Hebrew from University College in London, an MS in Syriac studies from the University of Oxford, and a PhD in theology from the University of Birmingham. Heal joined the staff of the center in 2000 and became the director in 2004. A native of Suffolk, England, he and his wife Vicki-Bronwen live in Provo with their five children.

Fiona Givens

Fiona Givens was born in Nairobi, educated in convent boarding schools, and joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Frankfurt. Givens is a retired modern language teacher with a graduate degree in European History. She is now an independent scholar who has published in several journals and reviews in Mormon studies, including the Journal of Mormon History, Exponent II, LDS Living, and Dialogue. Along with her husband Terryl, she is the author of the God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life and the Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith.

James R. Rasband

James R. Rasband is Hugh W. Colton Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. Rasband joined the Law School faculty in 1995 and served as dean of the Law School from June 2009 until May 2016. Prior to his time as dean, he served as the associate academic vice president for faculty in the BYU’s administration. Before coming to BYU, Rasband served as a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and practiced law at Perkins Coie in Seattle, Washington, where his practice focused on Indian treaty litigation.

His research and teaching has centered on public land and natural resources law and policy, teaching courses in water law, wildlife law, public lands and natural resources law, torts, and international environmental law. He has published many articles and book chapters on these subjects and is coauthor of Natural Resources Law and Policy, an important casebook in the field. In addition, he authored “Singular and Plural Address in the Scriptures” (BYU Studies 41, 2002) and “Faith to Forgive Grievous Harms:  Accepting the Atonement as Restitution” (BYU Speeches, 23 October 2012).

Rasband taught as a visiting professor at Murdoch University School of Law in Perth, Australia, as a visiting fellow in the T.C. Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and has been a frequent speaker at J. Reuben Clark Law Society conferences on legal education, law as a leadership degree, and on the role of religious faith in professional life.

He received a BA from Brigham Young University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Organizers

Christian Euvrard

Christian Euvrard is regional director for the Europe Southeast Region (seventeen countries from Italy to Cyprus, Hungary to Albania, etc.) in the Seminary and Institute Program. Euvrard  is a former director of the Paris LDS Institute of Religion for twenty-two years. He received a BA and an MA in philosophy (University of Paris), an MS in theology of religions (Catholic University of Paris), and a PhD in religious studies from the Sorbonne University (Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes). Currently, Euvrard is involved in post-doctoral studies in religions at the Groupe Sociétés, Religions et Laïcités (GSRL), a research laboratory in the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France.

His interests are in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, the relationships between states and churches, interfaith dialogue, and the status of minority religions. He is the author of a book on Louis Bertrand, one of the first converts to Mormonism in France in 1850, and has a two-volume book on the history of the Church in France in preparation. Euvrard has participated in numerous conferences on religion throughout Europe and has organized a few himself.

He and his wife Marie-Françoise are the parents of two boys.

Hans Noot

Hans Noot, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, owns the consulting firm European Personnel Analysis & Consulting and runs the Gerard Noodt Foundation for Freedom of Religion or Belief. Noot’s upbringing and activities has taken him all over the world. His time is spent writing books and articles, teaching religion, advocating for religious freedoms and other human rights, consulting organizations, and supporting his wife and children and grandchildren. Noot received a BS and an MOB from Brigham Young University and is currently a PhD candidate in organizational anthropology at Tilburg University in the Netherlands.

David Kirkham

David Kirkham is academic director of the Brigham Young University London Centre, senior fellow for comparative law and international policy at BYU Law School’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and an associate professor of political science at BYU. Prior to joining BYU, Kirkham served as associate dean and professor of international politics and democratic studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

He also has served as an associate professor of history, director of international history, and director of international plans and programs at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and as a U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate in England and Washington, D.C.Kirkham has lived sixteen years of his adult life in five European countries (Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium) and officially represented the U.S. and the UN in nearly fifty nations on six continents, including as senior humanitarian affairs officer at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva (with duties primarily in Africa).

He received a PhD from George Washington University and a JD from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU. His writing and teaching address international human rights, global democratization, constitutionalism, revolution, diplomacy, and the global challenges posed by ideological extremism. He is the editor of the book State Responses to Minority Religions and co-editor of two recent books on Islam, law, and politics in Europe.

Frederick W. Axelgard

Frederick W. Axelgard is a senior fellow in international relations at the Wheatley Institution. Prior to joining Wheatley in 2013, Axelgard had an extensive career in international affairs, public policy, and international business centered in Washington D.C.

He worked for U.S. Senator E. Jake Garn of Utah (1980–81), and at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (1982–89), where he was a senior fellow in Middle East Studies and wrote extensively on Iraqi politics and U.S.–Iraq relations. From 1989–2002, Axelgard served with the U.S. Department of State in a variety of capacities. He worked for several years on the Arab-Israeli peace process as coordinator of a multilateral working group on arms control and regional security, after which he served as counselor for political-military affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia. Following the terror attacks of September 2001, Axelgard was seconded to the U.S. Central Command as State Department liaison during Operation Enduring Freedom, for which he received the Department’s Superior Merit Award. From 2002–12, he worked for General Dynamics, as director of international business development at corporate headquarters and later vice president of Middle East business development at Axsys Technologies.

Axelgard graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University (1977) and received an MA in law and diplomacy (1979) and a PhD in international studies (1988) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He and his wife Robyn have five children and thirteen grandchildren.

James Faulconer

James Faulconer, a professor of philosophy at Brigham Young University, teaches courses in the philosophy of religion and contemporary European philosophy. Faulconer was the first person in his immediate family to graduate from high school and one of the first, if not the first, in his extended family to graduate from college. He received a BA from Brigham Young University and an MA and a PhD from Pennsylvania State University.

He enjoys contemporary European philosophy and gets a thrill out of teaching advanced students. In those classes, his specialties—Heidegger and twenty-first century French thought, especially as the latter concerns religion—come into play. He says those may sound like arcane topics, but he asks for a chance to show you why they can be important to your intellectual life and may help improve your spiritual life.

Faulconer has held several positions in the university outside of his department, including dean of Undergraduate Studies. And for five years he was a Richard L. Evans Professor of Christian Understanding, with the remit to help Latter-day Saints and those of other religions understand one another better. Most recently, he spent two years in London working for BYU as the academic director of the BYU London Centre, where he worked to create cooperative relations with universities in the UK, primarily by sponsoring or cosponsoring academic lectures and workshops.

He and his wife Janice Faulconer have twelve grandchildren and four children.

Louise Paulsen

Louise Paulsen is originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, but is currently studying political science with minors in European studies and business management at Brigham Young University—Provo. Paulsen’s focus is on conflict resolution, peacebuilding, international politics, and European nationalism, ans she is a co-founder and president of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Society and a former president of Sigma Iota Rho, both at BYU. She is a Wheatley Student Scholar and a research assistant for Fred Axelgard at BYU. In her downtime, Paulsen enjoys traveling, reading, dancing, exploring, and connecting with other people. As one of the organizers of the LDS EuroSeminar, she is ecstatic to help build this new network among her peers in Europe.