Executive Board & Staff
Gail has been involved in the atheist movement for over 10 years. From volunteer to President, Gail spent countless hours doing everything from helping non-believers in high risk countries to keeping track of the finances. Recently she was President of Atheist Alliance International and during her reign saw the organization go from near collapse to being strong and viable. But her passion is secular education and Gail felt she could focus on it more with the International Association of Atheists.
Gail grew up in Edmonton, Alberta in a Christian Reform family. Her father left the church early on but she continued to go with her mother and siblings. Some followers of the faith believed that only 144,000 people would go to heaven. By the time Gail was 18, she knew she was not going to be one of those going to heaven. This caused her a lot of anguish until later at university, she realized it was all nonsense.
For more than 15 years, Gail was a social worker. She worked mostly in the field of mental health and still cares passionately for those suffering from it’s afflictions.
Gail believes education is the answer to making the world a better place. Education that teaches science, math and critical thinking. She saw the harm religions can do under the guise of education during travels to Africa and Central America. Churches taking advantage of poor families by offering schooling only if they became believers. Gail was appalled by the different faiths who openly stated they needed to “capture young hearts” by enrolling children in their schools. But she also saw Humanist schools in Uganda where students could get a good secular education. Her goal is to increase the number of these schools in countries around the world.
Get in touch with Gail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtney Heard is best known for her work writing the Godless Mom blog at Patheos. She has had over two decades of experience working in marketing, specializing in digital marketing and nonprofits. For much of her career, Courtney planned events, raised funds, and heightened awareness for various nonprofits and their initiatives. While her creative side loves marketing for any organization, her heart and her passion lie with the fight for human rights. She blames this near-obsession on her extensive travels through much of the developing world. As a child, a teenager and a young adult, she witnessed extreme poverty and could not piece together why some people have so much, while others have so little. Whether they were living in their little bungalow in Adelaide, South Australia, the creaky, old cottage in Perth or their modest townhouse in Richmond, British Columbia, her father found a way to fight for the little guy. He worked with sex-workers, trafficked girls, men and women in recovery from addiction, post-release convicts and young offenders and people who just wanted to end it all. He started nonprofits, saved lives and would throw his arms around anyone who needed it. As she grew into adulthood, all she wanted was to follow in his footsteps. Her pet causes include prison reform, wrongful convictions, ending the death penalty and, of course, the fight for equal rights all over the world for atheists and apostates. Courtney has two children, a 17-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son who was born in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, when her family lived there for two years. Courtney now lives in a small rural town nestled in the hills of the southern interior of British Columbia Canada and can be seen around town proudly sporting her Innocence Project hoodie.
She has been an active member of the atheist community for nearing six years, and in that time, she's received countless messages, texts and emails from atheists in danger all over the world. Every last one of those messages left her feeling helpless. It's eaten away at her for all these years. That is what has driven her to start an organization with likeminded people. Brief stints in other atheists nonprofits left a bad taste in her mouth, and she found herself thinking of the adage, if you want something done properly, do it yourself. It is with this new organization that Courtney, along with her co-founder and colleagues, wants to provide true transparency and real results so that you feel proud to be a member of the International Association of Atheists.
Get in touch with Courtney: email@example.com