Leaders of the Utah 3Rs Project

Executive Director, Utah 3Rs Project

Secretary of the Board

Eleesha Tucker, M.A.

Eleesha Tucker is the executive director of the Utah 3Rs Project and the secretary of its governing board. She is an American history and civics educator specializing in the ideals of liberty articulated by the American Revolution and the inherent freedoms protected by the religion clauses of the First Amendment. She formerly headed the education programs of Washington, D.C. based educational nonprofits the Constitutional Sources Project and the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati. She also currently supports educational programming for Hardwired Global, an international NGO that facilitates trainings on the freedom of conscience within the framework of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She has supported training for teachers in Erbil, Iraq, for government and business leaders in Juba, South Sudan, and for ministers of education in Essaouira, Morocco. Ms. Tucker holds a Master of Arts degree in American Studies from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History Teaching from Brigham Young University. She lives in South Jordan, Utah with her family.

President of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project

Director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley University

Dr. Brian D. Birch

Dr. Brian D. Birch served on the Utah 3Rs Project advisory board in its first iteration and now serves as the president of the governing board in its revival. He is professor of philosophy and director of the Center for the Study of Ethics at Utah Valley University. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Philosophy from the University of Utah (1990, 1992) and completed a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate University in 1998. His areas of focus include the intersection of ethics, religion, and public life. He is the founding editor of Teaching Ethics: The Journal of the Society for Ethics Across the Curriculum and among his current book projects is a volume entitled Radical Pluralism.

Treasurer of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project

Managing Director, The Foundation for Religious Literacy

Dr. Nathan C. Walker

Dr. Nathan C. Walker serves as treasurer on the governing board of the Utah 3Rs Project. He is a First Amendment and human rights educator and the executive director of 1791 Delegates, a legal education firm named after the year the Bill of Rights was ratified. In this role he manages The Foundation for Religious Literacy. He previously served as the executive director for the Religious Freedom Center and currently teaches First Amendment and human rights law at Rutgers Honors College. He has published five books including, The First Amendment and State Bans on Teachers’ Religious Garb and The Oxford Handbook of Religion and American Education. Dr. Walker served as a resident fellow in law and religion at Harvard University and received his doctorate in First Amendment law from Columbia University, where he received his Masters of Arts and Masters of Education degrees. He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary and is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, currently serving as the community minister for religion and public life at the Church of the Larger Fellowship.

Trustee and Legal Counsel to the Board, Utah 3Rs Project

Founding Partner, Adebiyi Law

Seun Adebiyi, Esq

Seun Adebiyi serves as legal counsel for the Utah 3Rs Project through his law firm, Adebiyi Law. Mr. Adebiyi is a licensed attorney, entrepreneur and graduate of Yale Law School who has worked for several well-known Fortune 500 companies in both business and legal roles. His professional background spans a wide spectrum of industries from financial services and management consulting to non-profit and entrepreneurship. His passion lies in helping small businesses and start-ups to realize their vision and grow their enterprise.

Trustee of the Board, Utah 3Rs Project

Founder and President for the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy

Dr. Charles Randall Paul

Charles Randall Paul (Ph.D., University of Chicago, Committee on Social Thought, 2000; M.B.A., Harvard University, 1972) is board chair, founder, and president of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy. He has lectured widely and written numerous articles on healthy methods for engaging differences in religions and ideologies. He is on the board of editors for the International Journal of Decision Ethics. Dr. Paul served on the governing board of the Utah 3Rs Project in its first iteration and now serves on the board in its revival. He has been married to his wife Jann for more than forty years, and they have five children.

We Honor the Legacy of the First Generation Utah 3Rs Project

Martha Hales Ball was one of the first teachers in Utah to attend Dr. Charles Haynes’ training on religion in public schools. She taught Social Studies for 26 years in the public schools of Utah and California ages 12 to adult. Ms. Ball recognized the need for greater understanding about religious diversity and respect for religious faith and none in Utah. Ms. Ball led the Utah 3Rs Project as the director from 1999–2009. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science in History and a Master’s degree in Educational Studies. She is listed in Who’s Who Among American Teachers. In 2000 she was chosen the outstanding teacher of United States History in the nation by the Daughters of the American Revolution. She received a Hays Fulbright Award to study in India and two awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, one to study in Greece and the other at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina.

Dr. Charles C. Haynes is best known for his work on First Amendment issues in public schools. Over the past two decades, he has been the principal organizer and drafter of consensus guidelines on religious liberty in schools, endorsed by a broad range of religious and educational organizations. In January 2000, three of the guides were distributed by the U.S. Department of Education to every public school in the nation. Dr. Haynes was invited to Utah in 1990 to provide training to educators about religion in public schools. His efforts, captured in the landmark book co-authored with Oliver Thomas, Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion in Public Schools, sparked a movement to create “3Rs” projects in various states, including Utah. Dr. Haynes is the author or co-author of six books, including First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America, and Religion in American Public Life: Living With Our Deepest Differences. Dr. Haynes holds a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate from Emory University.

Oliver “Buzz” Thomas (M.Div., J.D.) is the Knox County Schools interim superintendent and president of the Great Schools Partnership. He is a minister, attorney, author, and teacher who has practiced at every level of state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the architect of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, spearheading a coalition of religious leaders in his role as the head of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and coordinating with members of Congress to pass the legislation. He has trained teachers and administrators in more than 500 school districts, including many school districts in Utah. His work, captured in the landmark book written with co-author Dr. Charles Haynes, Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion in Public Schools, sparked a movement to create “3Rs” projects in various states, including Utah.