Committee on Professional Conduct


The AAR Committee on Professional Conduct is responsible for promoting ethical conduct by scholars in the study of religion at the highest professional level through development and sponsorship of educational activities for AAR members and investigation of formal complaints concerning the ethical conduct of members of the AAR (as described in the Professional Conduct Policy and Professional Conduct Procedures). The Committee on Professional Conduct supervises the work of the Ombudspersons, receives and reviews the Ombudspersons’ annual reports, adjudicates formal complaints under this policy, and reviews and makes recommendations to the AAR Board of Directors about modifications of the Professional Conduct Procedures.

Committee Members

Term of Service: Ex officio in the case of elected Board of Director members; three years for non-board Members (appointed by AAR President)

Full NameTerm StartTerm EndPosition
Joseph Blankholm1/1/202012/31/2022Committee Member
Katherine Downey1/1/202011/22/2020Committee Member
Marla Frederick1/1/202011/22/2020Committee Member
Zayn Kassam1/1/202011/21/2021Committee Member
Herbert R. Marbury1/1/202012/31/2020Committee Member
Aarti Patel1/1/202011/21/2021Committee Member
Thelathia Young1/1/202012/31/2021Committee Member

AAR Ombudspersons

The AAR Ombudspersons work with the AAR’s Committee on Professional Conduct. The Ombudspersons are elected AAR members who are charged with representing the interests of the AAR membership by addressing complaints of a violation of AAR policies as specified by the Professional Conduct Procedures.

The AAR Ombudspersons are responsible for receiving reports of professional misconduct and facilitating the investigation, adjudication and informal resolution processes under the Professional Conduct Policy. The Ombudspersons, serve in staggered three-year terms and are elected by the AAR membership.

Ombudspersons Nominations and Elections Process

  • Open call for ombudsperson nominations
  • Nominations submitted are reviewed and candidates selected by the AAR’s Governance and Leadership Development Committee
  • Election held concurrent with annual Board of Directors elections
  • Candidates provide a brief personal statement and CV for the electronic ballot

Current Ombudspersons

Term of Service: Three years for Ombudspersons (elected by AAR Membership)

Full NamePosition
Laurie Louise PattonOmbudsperson