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.
Interim President & United Nations: Howard Burman (USA)
Howard Burman is a writer with a Ph.D. in Dramatic Literature and Theatre History. He is a Fulbright Scholar and has taught in Africa, Europe, Asia and the USA.
In grade school he was a believer; in high school, a doubter; in college, a committed atheist. He is the founder of Santa Cruz Atheists and passionate about promoting reason and science.
Vice President: Bill Flavell (United Kingdom)
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 organizational 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.
Regional Director, North America: Tina Hamilton (USA)
Tina Hamilton has been an out atheist for a little over a decade. She has studied multiple religions throughout her lifetime, starting with various Christian denominations and then spanned outside of Christianity to Judaism, Paganism, Druidism, Shamanism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Daoism amongst others. Through her time studying these religions, she became a skeptic of supernatural, gods and gurus. In 2007, she realized she was an atheist but valued Buddhism as a philosophy and continues to practices secular meditation and mindfulness.
Tina is currently working on her Masters in Clinical Counseling. She plans to fill the niche for meeting atheists’ needs in counseling particularly “coming out“ atheists and grief without belief. She plans to specialize in working with cult survivors and individuals experiencing religious trauma as well as intimate violence survivors, LGBTQ individuals, and stress management.
Tina is involved in several atheist social media projects, such as being a team member in a support group for new atheists organized by Anthony Magnabosco. Tina has a 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 Nursing and Psychology.
Regional Director, Asia: Fauzia Ilyas (Netherlands)
Fauzia Ilyas is the president and co-founder of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan. Fauzia fled from Pakistan after receiving threats to her life and faced potential legal charges for blasphemy in Pakistan. Ilyas received asylum in the Netherlands, where she is now a critic of Islam and campaigner for feminism, secularism, and atheist rights in Pakistan.
Fauzia presented her story to the European Parliament with the International Humanist and Ethical Union. She is also a recipient of the International Atheist of the Year award. Ilyas criticised Facebook for taking down almost all Pakistan-based secular and Islam-critical pages in response to mass flagging campaigns by Islamists. She argued that Facebook should be a platform for freedom of expression, and stop facilitating the Islamist crackdown against so-called “blasphemers”.
Fauzia is a committed activist and we are proud to have her on our board.
Publications Director: John Richards (United Kingdom)
John is a former science teacher and experienced campaigner for critical thinking. He was a local politician for ten years, specializing in Health Service issues, and ended up as Leader of the Opposition of a Sussex Council. Now retired, he writes books, makes videos, gives presentations and conducts debates on the interface between belief and science.
In his native UK, he has chaired a Skeptics in the Pub Chapter since 2013. His duties for AAI include editing both the quarterly journal, Secular World, and the member’s monthly newsletter. He also conducts and produces video interviews with celebrities.
Outreach Director: Elisabeth Mathes (Austria)
Languages: German, English
Elisabeth was born in Austria, where she was educated and studied psychology and communication science/public relations at the University of Vienna.
In 2013 she moved to Canada with her husband and three children. The couple run a logging company introducing European logging technology to British Columbia.
Elisabeth is an outspoken atheist, anti-theist, and secular humanist. Her main interests are science (especially astrophysics and evolutionary theory), the history of Christianity, the Bible, logic and critical thinking. She lists her hobbies as reading, reading, and reading.
Elisabeth strongly believes that the separation of church and state is crucial to any free and thriving society and that the teaching of the scientific method along with logical and critical thinking should be part of every public school curriculum.
Elisabeth is AAI’s Affiliates Director and is also responsible for book collection in Canada for the ‘Book Drive for the World’ project. She can be contacted on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/elimatez
Campaigns Director: Fotis Frangopoulos (Greece)
Languages: Greek, English
Fotis has a business administration background. He grew up paying little attention to religion as the majority in Greece does. He rejected Christianity in his late teens when he read about the way it was enforced by Roman emperors, how it destroyed the Hellenic civilization and established the Dark Ages. That marked a long period of unconcern during which he identified as non-religious and gradually found interest in secular issues.
By 2010 Fotis had gotten fed up of only words and theory but no action about state and church entanglement as well as the undeserved status and privileges that religions enjoy. He became a founding member of the Atheist Union of Greece (AUG) and served as president for 2013–2018.
He is the instigator and key operator of various AUG’s campaigns such as: the questionnaire and proposal to the political parties for the separation of Greek State and church, the conference for state-church relations, official complaints to authorities about the practice of illegally recording students’ religious views in public education and two litigations about the latter and the indoctrinating religious class taught in public schools.
In 2018, he edited, and the Union published, the “Dialogue about the Jerusalem Holy Light” about a Dark Ages scam that is nowadays indulged by the Greek government.
Fotis never gets tired of talking to people interested in atheism and secularism: Social media likes and shares are OK but they are just a start and a means of communication. Don’t get fooled: No religious authority ever got worried because of them.
If you want to really shake them get active, get involved in your local secular organizations (and/or AAI) and offer real contributions, be it volunteer time, financial aid, etc, whatever really helps! Action, not like buttons!