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: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pronouns: she/her or they/them
Growing up a Jehovah's Witness, Bridget's early life was isolated and controlled. It wasn't until she went to college that her education led her to doubt her faith. When she realized she no longer believed, Bridget knew she had to leave the Witnesses behind. Sadly, this led to her family disowning her at the age of 22.
Rather than let this bring her down, Bridget used her experiences to fuel her activism. She has poured herself into secular rights, LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights and more. Bridget is committed to creating a world where no one has to experience being disowned by their family simply because they hold differing worldviews. Her accomplishments in activism have certainly brought her closer to this goal.
She proudly served as the Executive Director of the Florida Humanist Association, where she tripled their memberships, significantly increased their number of affiliates and organized their most successful conference to date. As a result of her work at FHA, Bridget quickly learned how to uplift affiliates, making it worth their while to partner with the organization. All of this enabled FHA to push humanist initiatives more effectively in a deeply religious state.
Bridget also wore many hats at Foundation Beyond Belief, including Membership Intern and Director of Marketing and Development. She served as their first Development Director - a role that directly resulted in Foundation Beyond Belief raising $250,000 within a single quarter.
Bridget is the co-founder of Secular Woman, the first national organization focused on empowering nonbelieving women. She also volunteered with American Atheist as the first black and second female State Director.
Bridget's many accomplishments are largely a result of her relentless passion, but they can also be attributed to her degree in Public Administration with a concentration on Nonprofit Management. Classes in nonprofit management made up the majority of her post-secondary education. She has wasted no time using this education to help dozens of nonprofits to start-up, revitalize, raise millions of dollars, rebrand, and, most importantly, provide a safe community and essential initiatives for those who have struggled leaving religion behind.
Bridget has also travelled all over the world, from Australia to Africa and back again. Her travels introduced her to new cultures, ideas and people. Her deep appreciation for these cultural differences will help her lead an International organization. Her drive for making a global difference materialized when mobs murdered several secular bloggers in Bangladesh, where her best friend, also a secular activist, lived at the time.
Bridget is a black, American, genderqueer, married mother of boy/girl twins. Secular education is a massive part of her children's upbringing, something she believes very strongly all youth the world over should have access to.
Bridget's fervour for secular activism is a deep, unchanging part of who she is. International Association of Atheists is not just lucky to have her at the helm; this organization stands to facilitate immeasurable change because of it.
Get in touch with Bridget: email@example.com
Cathy Todhunter was a career teacher, most often leading 6th-grade classes in Richmond, BC, Canada. After 30 years of innovation in the classroom, she retired to travel, focus on her grandkids and make use of her green thumb wherever and whenever possible. A bonafide math nerd, Cathy majored in mathematics at the University of British Columbia and is a legitimate whizz when it comes to keeping track of dollars and cents. There is no better fit to serve as treasurer for International Association of Atheists.
Contact our treasurer here: firstname.lastname@example.org
board member at large
Andrew Hobson was never a political animal or an activist virtually all of his adult life. A lifelong atheist, he never saw religion as anything other than a minor annoyance or inconvenience especially when he had to attend church parades during his time in the British Army. Then he met Courtney Heard and was introduced to Mubarak Bala's situation back in 2014, and life was never the same again. He became active in online atheist activism and a vocal supporter of human rights.
Andrew lives in Yorkshire, UK with his two dogs, Charlie and Veronica and spends his time playing with them, long walks (when lockdowns allow) and doing his bit to help victims of human rights abuse around the world.
He is also active in support of homeless charities and food banks, both of whom were there for him when he needed help, so he feels it only right to pay it forward.
You can reach Andy here: email@example.com
board member at large
Deana is an archaeologist by profession and a lifelong atheist with three grown-up children. She is also a pro-active blogger and activist in a world that needs more humanism.
Contact Deana here: firstname.lastname@example.org
director of Sun
Nancy prefers to remain anonymous and we respect that, as this is part of why our organization exists. Many atheists feel it necessary to keep their lack of belief a secret from those around them. What we can say about Nancy is that she is an investigator by profession and we could not imagine trying to run SUN without her.
Contact Nancy here: email@example.com