Board of Directors
Mark W. Gura - Vice President
Mark W. Gura is the Vice President of the Atheist Alliance of America and co-presenter of the Richard Dawkins Award, which was recently given to Dr. Lawrence Krauss at “Reason Rally 2016” in Washington, DC. Mark is also the host of the “Blind Faith Vaccine” TV show, and the author of the book, "Atheist Meditation Atheist Spirituality." Throughout his life, Gura has lived in and explored more than 80 countries. He has over 20 years’ experience in practicing mindfulness meditation/Vipassana. He is also the Executive Director of the nonprofit Association of Mindfulness Meditation and Secular Buddhism (AMMSB).
John W. Loftus - Board of Directors
John W. Loftus earned MA, MDiv, and ThM degrees in philosophy of religion, the last of which was under William Lane Craig. John also studied in a PhD program at Marquette University. He is the “Debunking Christianity” blog owner and author of “Why I Became An Atheist,” “The Outsider Test for Faith,” “How to Defend the Christian Faith: Advice from an Atheist,” “Unapologetic,” and co-wrote “God or Godless” with Randal Rauser. He’s also the editor of “The Christian Delusion,” “The End of Christianity,” “Christianity is Not Great” and “Christianity in the Light of Science.”
Derek Colanduno - Board of Directors
Derek is one of the hosts of Skepticality; The official radio show and podcast of Skeptic Magazine and the Skeptics Society, a top-rated audio talk show dedicated to the promotion of critical thinking and science. He is currently one of the co-hosts of the Dragon-Pod podcast, The Official Podcast of Dragon*Con as well as the Director of Skeptrack, a programming track devoted to skepticism at Dragon Con (the world’s largest culture convention) which is held in Atlanta, Georgia every Labor Day weekend.
Dustin Kemper - Secretary
Dustin Kemper is a long standing board member for Atheist Alliance of America and current Secretary. He is the former President of the Myrtle Beach Humanists and Freethinkers group in South Carolina. Dustin is an avid science enthusiast and lecturer, photographer and animal conservation advocate. He is a lover of the beach and ocean and has been involved for many years in environmental conservation projects.
Justin Clark - Executive Director
Justin Clark is a public historian and atheist activist from Indiana. He has been an out atheist for over seven years, and in that time, has dedicated himself to a secular and rational world. For the last year, he has been an admin and contributor to the online community Philosophical Atheism, specifically developing his own podcast, An Army of Principles. Holding a B.S. in History/Political Science with a minor in Philosophy as well as completing a M.A. in Public History, Justin has spent his professional life studying the history and political philosophy of secularism and freethought. His master's thesis analyzes the contributions of orator and freethinker Robert Ingersoll on the Midwest.
He hopes to use his background in history and political science to educate the public on atheist and secularist issues, particularly in regards to religious influence in government and the public schools. In his free time, he loves spending time with his wife Kalie and their cat Bowie, reading, going to movies, and geeking out to hard rock and heavy metal. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @thedailyclark.
Tina Hamilton - Board of Directors
Tina Hamilton is an atheist and secular Buddhist - she has studied multiple religions throughout her lifetime - starting with various Christian denominations and then spanned outside of Christianity - some of the other religions she studied were Judaism, Paganism, Druidism, Shamanism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism. Throughout her time in studying these religions she realized that she was a skeptic of supernatural, gods, or gurus. Twelve years ago, she realized she was an atheist, but values some of the core aspects in Buddhism, and that being meditation and mindfulness.
Tina is currently awaiting admittance into graduate school for Masters in Clinical Counseling. She plans to provide secular counseling in the areas of stress management, grief counseling, and addictions. Currently, she is involved in several Atheist social media projects, including Atheist Alliance of America (Facebook), Association of Mindfulness Meditation and Secular Buddhism where she works closely with Mark W. Gura. She is also a team member in a support group project for new atheists that Anthony Magnabosco organized. Tina has great interest in learning and applying Street Epistemology, and is a strong advocate for critical thinking and science, as well as Separation of Church and State. Tina has a Bachelor degree in both Nursing, and Psychology.
Adam Tilford - Board of Directors
Adam has been an outspoken advocate for secularism for about 4 years, and he wrote the piece that Mark Gura read before giving Dr. Lawrence Krauss the prestigious Richard Dawkins award at Reason Rally 2016. Adam has spent most of his life in Kentucky; serves as an Admin on the AAoA Facebook page; and is a woodworker, carpenter, musician, and science junkie among other things.
Kristi Dale - Board of Directors
Kristi Dale is a writer and editor, with a Masters in Comparative World Religions. She's interested in how and why religions have impacted human history -- and why they continue to do so, despite significant advances in scientific knowledge. Follow her on Twitter: @KristDale
Kelli Cooke - Board of Directors
Kelli Cooke is the director of the 2010 documentary, Godless. She is credited for shooting the official videos for several atheist/freethought conventions. Based near Atlanta, Kelli is a leader in her local humanist community. She is in a prime location for the newly developing film industry in the region, and has connected with key professionals to help on this project—laying the groundwork for projects to come Cooke has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and a Masters of Science in Futures. She has been in the music and film production business for twelve years and has worked on many commercials from Titlest at the Shell Open to Prilosec at the Super Bowl. Her knowledge and skill includes directing, scriptwriting, editing, storyboard ideas, direct camera shots, and video editing. Cooke is a well-trained actor and has had the lead role and supporting actress in many projects, including voice-overs. Godless is her directorial début. She has won multiple film awards at Houston Worldfest and International Freethought Film Festival. She currently resides as President of the IFFF and Director of Development for Freethought Film Labs. Based near Atlanta, Kelli is a leader in her local humanist community. She and her team is credited for shooting the official video for the atheist/freethought conventions.
CW Brown - Board of Directors / Director of Social Media and Philosophical Atheism
CW Brown is the CEO and Founder of the Philosophical Atheism online community. He resides in Vermont and has been an atheist, humanist, and freethinking activist for almost four years. Previously, he was a Christian for 17 years and, from his many valuable personal experiences, he brings about these episodes with others in a manner that is helpful in their journey towards reason. He holds an A.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Liberty University. He very strongly believes in putting human rights above those of age old mythologies. He enjoys playing music (piano and guitar), reading and writing (music and articles), and building a consistently reformed mind by conforming to the phrase “Question Before You Believe.” You can contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter and Pinterest @patheism.
Dr. Christopher W. DiCarlo - Board Adviser
Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He is an internationally-recognized expert on Critical Thinking and Ethical Reasoning. He teaches in the Faculties of Human Biology and Philosophy at the
University of Toronto. He is also a lifetime member of Humanist Canada and an Expert Advisor for the Centre for Inquiry Canada.
He has been invited to speak at numerous national and international conferences and written many scholarly papers ranging from bioethics to cognitive evolution. His latest book entitled: How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Asking the Right Questions was released world-wide by Prometheus Books in August, 2011 and is currently in its fifth printing and is an international best-seller.
He is a past Visiting Research Scholar at Harvard University in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences: Department of Anthropology and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. His latest book: Six Steps to Better Thinking: How to Disagree and Get Along will be on the shelves in May, 2017 with a Canadian, U.S., and European tour to follow.
- In April, 2008 he was awarded TV Ontario’s Big Ideas Best Lecturer in Ontario Award.
- In August, 2008, he was honoured with the Canadian Humanist of the Year Award from the Humanist Association of Canada.
- In September, 2008, he was awarded the UOIT Complementary Faculty Teaching Award.
Dr. DiCarlo is the Principal of Critical Thinking Solutions, an educational consulting business for individuals, corporations, and not-for- profits in both the private and public sectors. He is also the developer of the first Pilot Project in Canada to introduce Universal Critical Thinking skills into the Ontario Public High School curriculum which has begun in the Upper Grand District School Board.
Andy Thomson - Board Adviser
- Anderson Thomson, Jr., M.D.(Andy) is a psychiatrist in private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia.
He is also a staff psychiatrist at Counseling and Psychological Services at the University of Virginia Student Health Services, as well as the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy. Since 1992 Marilyn Minrath, Ph.D., M.S.N. and Dr. Thomson have conducted a private forensic practice. Their cases have encompassed the full range of legal issues including child custody, capital murder, competence, and mental state at the time of the offense.
Andy received his B.A. from Duke University (1970), his M.D. from the University of Virginia (1974) and did his adult psychiatry training at University of Virginia (1974-77). His private practice is oriented toward individual psychotherapy, forensic psychiatry, and medication consultation.
He served as the Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of Mind and Human Interaction at the University of Virginia, which involved interdisciplinary intervention and research in large group ethnic and political conflict.
Dr. Thomson has publications on narcissistic personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, the psychology of racism, religion, psychobiographical essays on Robert E. Lee and Lee Harvey Oswald, depression, bipolar disorder, the function of serotonin, antidepressants, and forensic psychiatry. His current research interest is in the area of evolutionary psychology and using its principles to understand depression, resilience, suicide, suicide terrorism, and religious belief.
For further information or copies of his work go to www.jandersonthomson.com
Bill Flavell - Board Adviser
Even as a small child, Bill preferred to ask questions before believing things people told him and, although raised a Christian, by the age of 13 he concluded there were no good reasons to believe in God. Bill pursued a career in IT, marketing and management consultancy and thought little about atheism until the 9/11 atrocity showed how religion could become lethal. This spurred him to engage in online debates with Christians and Muslims and to become active on Facebook; debating, creating memes and writing articles. His online presence resulted in speaking invitations from atheist groups in several countries including; India, The Philippines, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya and South Africa. This work has developed to the point where Bill acts as a mentor to emergent atheist groups by advising on everything from organisational matters to debating techniques, PR and media training. Bill teaches and promotes Street Epistemology as a way to help people to examine, and revise, their beliefs in a friendly and non-confrontational way. nildogma.blogspot.com/ instagram.com/bill_flavell/
Candace Gorham - Board Adviser
Candace received her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from North Carolina Central University. She received her Master’s degree in mental health counseling from Wake Forest University. Candace’s religious background is varied, including Jehovah's Witnesses and Methodist. At 18, she joined a very charismatic ministry during which time she was ordained as an evangelist, prophetess, and elderess. Becoming involved in and leading extremist activities such as casting out demons, fasting for weeks at a time and faith healing, Candace was a believer’s believer. She worked hard to be the minister, wife, and mother that she believed god had planned her to be. When real world problems were overwhelming her, she tried even harder to win god’s approval and blessing. Suffering with major depression to the point of being suicidal and facing severe financial hardships, Candace thought that she must have been doing something wrong. She dove into studying the Bible more than ever before. She became disillusioned with the contradictions and blatant errancy she found. Mounting questions regarding the similarities between Jesus and other god legends before him, the nature of god, and concepts of hell and evil were just a few of the issues that caused her to eventually decide that she could no longer believe in a deity. From a place of empathy and compassion, Candace decided to start the Ebony Exodus Project which aims to highlight the harmful effects of religion on all believers, but especially for black women. In addition to ongoing work as a counselor, Candace is a member of The Clergy Project and the Secular Therapist Project.
Micael Langer - Board Adviser
Micael Langer is a writer, producer, and director who’s been involved with advertising, television, and cinema for over a decade and half, working with Rede Globo, Brazil’s largest television network, for the last few years. His previous documentary, "Simonal - No One Knows How tough it Was," did well at international festivals, and he is currently working on, “Godless – The Truth Beyond Belief,” a documentary that “does not discuss the existence of God, but tries to understand the foul behaviors sometimes adopted in his name.”
Buck Bowen - Board Adviser
Buck Bowen is a freethinking MC with a lyrical appetite for skeptical inquiry and critical thinking. He believes in mental fitness through music and that if you think better, you live better.
His music has been described as a Sunday-School-in-reverse. Although it doesn’t glorify drugs, violence, or objectify women, it’s controversial because it challenges one’s most cherished beliefs. “Could the teachings of Jesus be improved?” “Are the Ten Commandments all they’ve been cracked up to be?” And, “What exactly is the soul?” are just a few of many questions his music addresses.
An entertainer at heart who aims to inform and inspire, Buck hits the stage equipped with catchy choruses, vibrant storytelling, and a splash of dry wit.
He has shared the stage with author and philosophy instructor Peter Boghossian as well as released the first ever rap song and music video for the Openly Secular Campaign.
David Hancock - Adviser
David Hancock has been practising Street Epistemology for the last three years. You can hear his audio recordings of interventions with street proselytizers at: https://www.spreaker.com/show/david-hancocks-tracks
David is an artist specializing in portraiture but also does graphic design and illustration. For information and requests, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
A passionate advocate for atheism, David's hope is that less people will rely on faith-based thinking as humanity progresses. He is proud to act as a Volunteer with the Atheist Alliance of America.
John Richards is a resident of the UK. A retired Science teacher who now writes books, he speaks against theism and organizes Skeptic events in between looking after his young daughters. He has guested on Premier Christian Radio and at The Conway Hall, London. Has also debated Christians in churches and Skeptics in the Pub in Southern England. He is the author of several books and of Keystages 3 and 4 teaching resource http://doubtersclub.webplus.net His second book is almost finished – it’s a response to Christian writer Andy Bannister’s The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist and is sprinkled with illustrations, some of them comical. Expect a promotional tour soon with Andy and John in gladiatorial dialogue.
Jeremy Casey - Secular Nation Podcast
Jeremy Kasey is currently working as a systems administrator and content developer as well as dabbling in graphic design and social media management. Having been raised in the church, he stepped away from faith around age fifteen. This was due in large part to time in high school debate and an increasing knowledge of science and math. In college, he majored in physics and minored in philosophy but has been on hiatus from finishing his degree. He hopes to end that hiatus soon.
For the most part, his activism has been limited to debates in the comment threads of social media posts. But faced with a world where 80% of evangelicals voted for Trump, he has decided his efforts may be better spent bringing attention to attacks on secularism. In his spare time he enjoys learning, programming, hiking, gaming, and playing music. You can contact him at email@example.com.
Zerin Firoz is an outspoken ex-Muslim atheist from Bangladesh who fights for women's rights, gay rights, and secular values. She is also a key contributor to Atheist Alliance of America. She has received numerous death threats for her work and is currently in the U.S. Please support her advocacy work.