BYU Academic Vice President Shane Reese appointed Dr. Reid L. Neilson as the assistant academic vice president for religious scholarly publications. This newly created position at the university will oversee three organizations on campus: the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, the Religious Studies Center, and BYU Studies.
"We are thrilled to welcome back Dr. Reid Neilson to BYU in this critical role," Reese said. "His vast experience in administrative matters, strong scholarly record and wonderful relationships with faculty across campus will be a blessing to the BYU community."
Neilson currently serves as president of the Washington DC North Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and will begin his tenure at BYU on August 1.
Prior to his mission presidency, Neilson was appointed assistant Church historian and recorder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2015. He also worked as the managing director of the Church History Department from 2010 to 2019. There he oversaw all department operations and facilities, including the Church History Library, the Church History Museum and the Granite Mountain Records Vault. During these years he served on the editorial boards of the Deseret Book Company, the Joseph Smith Papers and the Church Historian’s Press.
In 2006, Neilson began his academic career as an assistant professor of Church history and doctrine in Religious Education at BYU, where he received the university’s Young Scholar Award. He is the author and award-winning editor of more than thirty books, including "Restless Pilgrim: Andrew Jenson’s Quest for Latter-day Saint History" (with Scott D. Marianno in 2022).
A native of Orange County, California, Neilson received a bachelor’s degree (international relations) and two master’s degrees (business management and American history) from BYU and holds a doctorate in religious studies (American religions) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He later completed the Harvard Business School’s General Management Program.
He and his wife, Shelly, have five children and will return to live in Bountiful, Utah.