The Atheist Alliance International Board consists of 13 Directors elected by the AAI Affiliate Group Members for two-year staggered terms. No more than one nominee from any Affiliate/Associate Member may be a Director at any time and no more than three Directors may be from any one country.
The AAI Board has responsibility and full executive authority for the operations and activities of Atheist Alliance International, subject only to compliance at all times with the provisions of relevant laws, AAI's Bylaws and any policies passed at Board meetings.
All AAI Directors are volunteers.
President: Stuart Bechman (US, term: 2015) - president [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Stuart Bechman returns to the post of AAI President after a 3-year hiatus, having served as AAI's President from 2008 to 2010. Stuart has been active in the US freethought community for almost 20 years. His "day job" is working as a Business Analyst, and he holds graduate degrees in Accounting, Management Information Systems and Sociology. He is also a graduate of The Humanist Institute (Class 17, 2013). Stuart has served on the boards of the Secular Coalition for America, Americans United for Separation of Church & State and his local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as serving as treasurer for a number of not-for-profit organizations over the course of his career.
Languages: English, Spanish
Vice President: Carlos Diaz (Argentina, term: 2015) - vicepresident [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Carlos Diaz has been the Regional Coordinator for the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area chapter of the Argentine Atheist Association (Asociación Civil de Ateos en Argentina, better known as ArgAtea) since early 2009. He co-hosted the first Argentine Atheist radio talk show (Nuevos Ayres Críticos), in a Country where the State still maintains an official religion, during 2009. As Regional Coordinator he spoke at the Second Argentine Atheist Congress in April 2010. He spoke about the Catholic Church and the Argentine State at the AAI North American Atheist Convention in Montreal in October 2010. Carlos joined the AAI Board in June 2011 and served as its President from 2012-2013.
Languages: Spanish, English, French, German and Portuguese
Treasurer: Neil Ross (UK, term: 2015) - treasurer [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Neil was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and currently resides in New Jersey, USA, with his family. Neil works for a property management company. Through his youth and early adulthood he developed a keen interest in politics and particularly in issues concerning the developing world. Through NGO volunteer work, a year at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London) and extensive travels throughout Latin America, India and Africa, he experienced first-hand the power that religions had over people who were often in very dire positions, and who he felt were being exploited by their religious leaders or by outsiders. He was particularly struck by the power of evangelical groups on missions from North America. This experience helped him to develop a solid position as an Atheist and left him with the urgent desire to help reduce and eradicate the negative influence that religion was having on people all over the world. Neil also recently discovered a strong Atheist tradition in his own family history which has compelled him even more urgently to promote atheism and challenge its stigma in society. Neil was appointed to the AAI Board in July 2013 to complete the term of a vacated Board seat and was thereafter elected to serve as AAI's treasurer for the coming year.
Languages: English, Klingon (just kidding...)
Secretary: Christine Shellska (Canada, term: 2014) - secretary [at] atheistalliance [dot] org
Christine is currently a PhD candidate (ABD) at the University of Calgary, Department of Communication and Culture, Faculty of Arts. Her research involves studying the rhetorical means by which the intelligent design movement translates religious claims into a form that convinces many to believe it is scientific discourse. She is active in several secular organizations, and in 2011, she prepared a successful application to represent the university’s students, staff and faculty who identify as non-religious, bringing together local, national and international secular groups to endorse the establishment of a Secular Humanist Liaison position at the University of Calgary’s Faith and Spirituality Centre (formerly Multi-Faith Chaplaincy). She also runs a small business, offering a repertoire of specialized graphic design services, and extensive experience in marketing, advertising, corporate communications, and public relations. Christine sees atheism as a site of political engagement; she believes that many of the threats to environmental sustainability, global peace, and social justice stem from irrationalism and superstition, and that reason and compassion are the requisite tools to promote a reality-based understanding of our world, and to counter ignorance, fear and hatred. Christine joined the AAI Board in May 2012 and served as the Secular World Board Liaison from 2012-2013.
General Board members:
Richard Morris (US, term: 2014)
Richard W. Morris, a lawyer licensed in two U.S. states (Arizona, active, and California, inactive) and the United Kingdom of England and Wales (non-practicing), is a member of Mensa, a former teacher and adjunct professor in economics. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in economics, Juris Doctor and Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration. During his half-century in aviation (airline transport pilot, flight and ground instructor licenses), he flew as pilot-in-command (captain) in some 40 countries on four continents. Richard's legal career began as a prosecutor and then criminal defense counsel before he limited his practice to civil matters. His published credits include articles in the San Diego Realtor magazine, San Diego Mensan, American Ostrich, The Arizona Journal, American Atheist, Sun Life Magazine, Playboy, Truth Seeker, Art World News, and Secular World. He was also a columnist for the Page (Arizona) newspaper, "Page USA, and wrote an article for the Arizona Republic, Travel Section." Richard coauthored The Art Fraud Virus with Richard W. Stevens. His latest book is God on Trial, and he is now working on his next novel If Abe Had Been Honest. Richard joined the AAI Board in May 2012.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Victor Franco (Australia, term: 2015)
Victor Franco has always been an atheist and committed to promoting secularism and stemming the influence of religion on public policy. He had a resolutely atheistic and irreligious upbringing thanks to the influence of his father, who came to Australia as a refugee having fled his native Spain in the 1940s to avoid further imprisonment for his libertarian and secular activism. Victor joined AAI and the Atheist Foundation of Australia in 2010 shortly after attending the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne. Victor has held executive and general management positions in the Australian public sector and has been chief of staff and senior adviser to various elected representatives. Victor has also worked in academia and held various positions on boards in the not-for-profit sector. He has an MBA and degrees in History and Philosophy of Science and Economics. He is currently a stay-at-home dad caring for his two-year old twin boys. Victor joined the AAI Board in June 2011 and served as Membership Director from 2011-2012 and AAI Vice-President from 2012-2013.
Languages: English, Spanish
Rene Hartmann (Germany, IBKA, term: 2014)
René Hartmann has been serving different positions within IBKA since 1997. He has been the AAI representative of IBKA since 2002. Currently, he is the first chairman of IBKA, with areas of responsibility including press work, website maintenance and social media. He is also editor of IBKA’s newsletter. René joined the AAI Board in June 2011.
Languages: German, English
Richard Honess (UK, Atheism UK, term: 2015)
Richard Honess is an avid convention attendee, regularly attending atheist conventions in both Europe and North America, and has been a supporter/individual member of AAI since 2009 . Richard believed that the work of AAI was so important that he was the driving force to have his home group, Atheism UK, affiliate with AAI immediately after the formation of Atheism UK. He became a director to help AAI grow and develop further and to help it do more on the international stage. Richard was elected to the AAI Board in July 2013.
Languages: English, French
Elida Radig (Australia, Progressive Atheists, term: 2015)
Elia Radig is a Feminist and an Atheist in Victoria, Australia. She
has 20 years’ experience Broadcasting at 3RPP Radio on the “Free Waves”
Feminist program and 5 years on the “Atheist Age” program. Elida
worked for 30 years as CEO at the women’s shelter “Jill House”, and as a
Liaison Officer with the Police Force and Family Court. She is currently a Branch Officer of Progressive Atheists Inc. Her
study at the moment is on the loss of revenue from the community due to
the financial benefits received by the religious institutions in
Australia. Elida was appointed to the AAI Board in July 2013 to fill the remaining term of a vacant Board seat.
Languages: English, Spanish
Karl Karnadi (Indonesia, Indonesian Atheists, term: 2014)
Karl Karnadi first became active in atheism in 2008 when he founded an Indonesian Facebook group, Indonesian Atheists (IA). While the group attracted members, he worked with various atheist, freethinker, and humanist organizations in the South-East Asian region to form a collaborative association, www.SEA-Atheist.org. But they were frustrated at the feeling of disconnect and alienation that they felt between their communities and the international atheist community. In 2011, Karl was contacted by AAI to have IA become a new group member. This gave him a new window of communication to the international atheist community; and in 2012, when one of his group's members was arrested for posting "There is No God" on his personal Facebook page, Karl worked with AAI first to provide legal support and then, with his conviction, to provide support for his family and create a scholarship for the victim upon his release from prison. The campaign elevated the visibility of Indonesian Atheists worldwide and brought to international attention the religious oppression and bigotry still condoned and practiced in Indonesia. Because of that experience, Karl wanted to participate in AAI's efforts to support, nourish, and help other atheist groups just as his group was helped, and have them know that they are not alone. Karl was appointed to the AAI Board in July 2013 to fill the remaining term of a vacant Board seat.
Languages: Indonesian, English, German
Melita is a freelance writer holding Master's degrees in creative writing, publishing and editing; applied communications and research journalism; and arts criticism.
Languages: English, Hindi, German