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The Leavitt Institute is very fortunate to work with some of the brightest international relations specialists and legal minds throughout North America and abroad. Below is a a brief biography of each member of our team:


Chelom Leavitt

Member of the Board

Chelom graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Economics in 1988. She then attended the J. Reuben Clark Law School and earned a J.D. in 1992. During her 20 years of private practice, Chelom focused on mediation and alternative dispute resolution. In 2004 Chelom and David took their family to Ukraine to help the ABA with the CEELI program. Their relationships and experiences in Ukraine prompted the creation of TLI in 2005. Chelom began the duties of president of TLI in 2006. In 2010-2011, she was invited to be a Ukrainian Fulbright Fellow and taught as a Fulbright visiting professor in the Psychology Department at Shevchenko National University in Kyiv, Ukraine. Following her fellowship, she received a master's degree in Marriage, Family, and Human Development from Brigham Young University in 2011. As President and Executive Director of TLI, Chelom oversees all the activities of the Leavitt Institute. She lectures on ethics, civic virtue, sexual harassment and women in the law. She also sits on the International Board of Advisors for McGeorge School of Law. She frequently travels to areas where TLI has current projects and administers the work of TLI employees throughout the world. Chelom and her husband, David, have seven children and reside in Provo, Utah.

Edward G. Marks

Board President

Edward Marks focuses his practice in estate planning, trust administration, probate work,real estate, and personal planning. His work includes advising numerous small and mid-sized businesses. He also works closely with non-profit organizations around the area with a focus on organizational issues and building strong relationships both between their professional staffs and volunteer leaders, and in their legal relationships with the general community. Although Mr. Marks focuses much of his time on the disputeavoidance aspects of an attorney's role, he also has a long history of experience in dispute resolution. Mr. Marks has been active in the community, serving now on the boards of Cincinnati Arts Association (Secretary), Greater Cincinnati Arts and Education Center (Secretary), Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Jewish Cemeteries of Greater Cincinnati (President), and other non-profit organizations. He has served on the governing boards of the Ohio State Bar Association and the Cincinnati Bar Association, and numerous law-related committees. He formerly was president of Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister City Project (and its successor, Cincinnati-Ukraine Partnership), and has served on the boards of his synagogue (K.K. Bene Israel) and of the Union for Reform Judaism, Midwest Council. Mr. Marks has lectured widely in continuing legal education courses, and in 2008, taught about the jury system in Kiev, Ukraine, on behalf of the Leavitt Institute for International Understanding. He is continuing his activities with the Leavitt Institute, working to expand its programs to law schools throughout Ukraine. A former radio personality and broadcast journalist, he has taught Broadcast Law to electronic media majors at the University of Cincinnati, and for almost 10 years, hosted a weekly television show on the local ABC affiliate, Ask Your Lawyer. He has contributed heavily to the Ohio Bar's 250+-page general law text, The Law and You.

John Lunt

Member of the Board

John is the founder and President of Lunt Capital Management, Inc., a money management firm with expertise in specialty diversification, tactical management strategies, and exchange traded funds. Mr. Lunt first visited the former Soviet Union in 1990 as an exchange student. He then  lived in Ukraine from 1991-1993 as a church missionary. While studying at Brigham Young University, he minored in Russian and wrote an honors thesis on Ukraine's transition to a market economy. John has been a featured speaker at conferences across the country, and has written extensively about financial markets. He graduated with honors from Brigham Young University with a degree in Economics, and later received an MBA in Finance and International Business from New York University. Since 2001, he has served on the board of Utah Retirement Systems, a multi-billion dollar pension fund. From 2004 to 2007 he was elected by his peers as board president. Institutional Investor’s 7th Annual Hedge Fund Industry Awards in June of 2009 recognized Utah Retirement Systems as the Public Pension Fund of the Year. He has also completed the Program for Advanced Trustee Studies at Harvard Law School. John completed a number of courses at the New York Institute of Finance on trading and portfolio management and formerly worked on the Washington, D.C. staff of U.S. Senator Robert Bennett.

David O. Leavitt

Member of the Board

David Leavitt was admitted to the Utah Bar in 1991, and moved with his wife, Chelom Leavitt, and children to Fillmore, Utah where he served as the city attorney and maintained a private law practice. He worked there until 1995, when he was appointed Juab County Attorney. After serving eight years as county attorney, in 2003, he again resumed his private practice and entered the field of business. When Mr. Leavitt returned to private practice, he chose to focusing on government relations and federal criminal defense. In 2004, the American Bar Association asked Leavitt to spend a year in Kiev in the Ukraine assisting the Ukrainian government in converting its criminal justice system from a Soviet-style system to one that more closely approximates the American criminal justice system. He accepted the invitation and moved with Chelom and six children to Ukraine. Following his one year stint in the Ukraine, David and his wife, Chelom, started the Leavitt Institute For International Development to continue the work they started in 2004. David currently works as the TLI Director of Development. He spends the majority of his time building relationships in developing nations where TLI may be able to expand its program. David, Chelom, and their seven children reside in Provo, Utah.

David Nuffer

Member of the Board

Judge David Nuffer was appointed as a United States District Judge in the District of Utah on March 23, 2012 and became Chief Judge on September 1, 2014. From 1995 - 2003, he was a part time United States Magistrate Judge, part time lawyer and was appointed as a full time magistrate judge January 17, 2003.  He serves on the Federal Judicial Center Executive Education Advisory Committee and for fifteen years taught at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School.  After graduating from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University he practiced law 25 years in St. George Utah.   While in private practice, he was a managing partner with a law firm that grew from 2 lawyers to 25 and taught law office management at the law school.



Steven Montgomery

Member of the Board

In 2006, Judge Steve Montgomery was appointed as a Kansas State District Court Judge in the Sixth Judicial District.  He was retained in the 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections.  Judge Montgomery currently presides primarily over civil, domestic relations and juvenile offender actions. A graduate of Southern Methodist University and the Washburn University School of Law, Judge Montgomery was a co-founder of the law firm of Alderson, Alderson & Montgomery in Topeka, Kansas.  He later relocated his law practice and was a solo practitioner until his appointment to the bench.  As a practicing attorney for over 25 years, Judge Montgomery was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court for the state of Kansas and the Kansas state courts.  Besides his participation in The Leavitt Institute, he is passionate about his involvement in the Kansas City Earl E. O’Connor Inn of Court.  Judge Montgomery  has been a board member with the Inn for four years and currently serves as Treasurer.  As a founding board member and Past President of the Miami County Arts Coalition, he also enjoys the promotion of local artists and the arts in his community.


Sviatoslav Tkachuk

Country Director

Sviatoslav Tkachuk graduated from Chernivtsy National University named after Yurii Fedkovych, where he received his Bachelor degree in Trial Advocacy in 2009 and his Master’s degree in Financial Law in 2010. After graduation from the University Sviatoslav won a Leavitt Institute scholarship to study at the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, where he was awarded LL.M degree in Experiential Law Teaching in May 2011. Upon returning to Ukraine, Sviatoslav joined the Leavitt Institute team and is working as the BUILD Program coordinator in Western Ukraine, covering the cities of Lviv and Chernivtsi. Ever since he has been involved with TLI in different ways, helping the TLI Program implement its objectives. He is excited to be working for such an important Project so critical for building democracy in his country.




Country Director (Moldova) 

Mihai Gutu is a law student at the State University of Moldova. He's been participating at the Leavitt program starting 2013. He reached the finals of the mock trial national competition in 2014, and later in 2015 he won the competition. Mihai was an intern at the Leavitt summer internship program in United States during the summer of 2015. He spent 3 weeks shadowing the work of Mr. Montgomery - a district court judge from Paola City, Kansas.

After the 2015 national competition, Mihai received an opportunity to be involved as a program coordinator in the activity of the Leavitt Institute, he accepted this great opportunity in order to contribute to both growth of the Institute and the improvement of the judicial and legal system of Republic of Moldova. Also in the summer of 2015 he worked closely with the experts form United States, worked which was done as part of a recently signed agreement between the National Institute of Justice of Republic of Moldova and the Leavitt Institute.


Marina Bzovîi

Program Coordinator

Marina Bzovîi is a third year law student at the State University of Moldova and she was participating at the Leavitt Institute program since her first year of studies. She reached the finals of the mock trial national competition in 2014, and later in 2015 she won the competition.
Marina was also selected as one of the Interns in US during the summer of 2015. During 3 weeks she had a unique chance to see the legal system of US in Utah, by seeing closely how US experts (lawyers, judges, prosecutors, law clerks, law teachers) work and how devoted they are. After the 2015 internship, Marina joined the Leavitt Institute team and is working as the Program coordinator. She is enthusiastic to be working for such an important Institute, as it helps to improve the way of thinking of the students and in this way the judicial system of Moldova and the future of her country have a perspective of improving too.


Martin Vlada

Country Director (Poland) 

Martin Vlada is a law student at the State University of Moldova. She's been participating at the Leavitt program starting 2013. She got to the semi-finals of the mock trial national competition in 2014 and 2015. She was selected as an intern at the Leavitt summer internship program in Utah,United States, during the summer of 2015. She spent 3 weeks in Utah, visiting State and Federal Courts,meeting the chief of the Supreme Court of Justice, participating at the Basic Prosecutors Courses and visiting Law Firm in Salt Lake City.This experience totally changed her point of view regarding legal system and taught critical thinking. After the 2015 internship, Vlada received an opportunity and offer to be involved as a program coordinator in the activity of the Leavitt Institute. She accepted this great opportunity in order to improve growth of the Institute and the judicial system from Republic of Moldova and to develope herself taking example from Leavitt professionals.