Brigham Young University President Kevin J. Worthen appointed J. Spender Fluhman as the new executive director for the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. He will be replacing M. Gerald Bradford, who became the executive director in 2008.
An associate professor of history at BYU, Fluhman teaches American religious history and serves as the editor of Mormon Studies Review. After graduating summa cum laude from BYU, Fluhman received his masters and doctorate in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
"Given Dr. Fluhman’s work in deepening the understanding of the faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and his ability to promote respect and goodwill among people of all faiths, he is well qualified to lead the Maxwell Institute," President Worthen told BYU News. "I express gratitude for the careful work of the search committee, which was comprised of a respected group of colleagues assembled from both inside and outside the university."
Fluhman's publications are many and varied, having appeared in the New York Times, Journal of Religion and Society, Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies Quarterly, and Mormon Historical Studies.
His recent book, A Peculiar People, won the Mormon History Association's Best First Book Award. He also won the T. Edgar Lyon Award for Best Article of the Year from the Mormon History Association in 2009 and the Mollie & Karl Butler Young Scholar Award in Western Studies in 2014.