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.
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.
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.
Secretary & Treasurer
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!
Atheist Support Network Director
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.
Manoj John (India)
Languages: English & four Indian languages
Manoj John is a journalist, writer and activist. He is at the forefront of creating scientific temper and eradicating superstitions in India. He is a staunch campaigner for the rights of atheists and non-believers.
Manoj heads We The Sapiens, a non-profit organisation that fights for issues ranging from environmentalism, human rights and LGBT rights. Debunking pseudoscience and exposing godmen are his calling. He helped found Mumbai Rationalist Association and served as its Convenor for several years. He anchored a number of high-profile events and successful campaigns to further the causes of secularism and humanism.
Manoj worked for several leading English national newspapers such as The Financial Express and Business Standard, which had editorial syndication tie-ups with international media houses. His roles have included journalist and head of newsroom. He now writes for various magazines.
Manoj was born into an Oriental Orthodox Christian family in Southern India. He rejected Christianity in his teens, and faced extreme discrimination and exclusion as an apostate. He stood with true grit in turbulent times and established himself as a public figure and leading activist. He also had a stint with left-wing politics before becoming actively involved in building the freethought movement.
Manoj holds post-graduate degrees in social science and journalism. His specific interests and researches are in the fields of film theory, social anthropology and early Christianity. Manoj is a film buff, with Jean-Luc Godard and Orson Welles making a deep influence on his aesthetic perspective. He is also a keen enthusiast of cuisines of various cultures and experiments with food. He writes on the finest gourmets of the world.
Manoj observes world affairs from his perch in the City of Mumbai.
Director (AAI Blogging)
Jason Sylvester (Global citizen)
Jason Sylvester has been the blog manager for AAI since 2020 and was elected to the board in July 2021. He is a frequent co-host on the AAI podcast,
Jason is an armchair historian and writer, with one published book on the history of Judeo-Christian doctrines and is working on a new book charting the advancement of secular ideas that led to the modern world.
Regional Director, Africa
Ebuka Ikeorah (Nigeria)
Languages: Igbo, English
Ebuka Ikeorah is a legal practitioner and holds an LL.B from the University of London. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association.
He is a passionate advocate of human, disability and environmental rights. His focus has been the abolition of blasphemy laws, single-use plastics and the inclusion of people living with disabilities in public policy decisions.
He is a Managing Partner in Castor Partners, a law firm based in Abuja, Nigeria.
Regional Director, Asia
Tonoy Emroz Alam (Bangladesh/Germany)
Languages: Bengali, English, Hindi, German
Tonoy is a contributor to the Mukto-Mona blog, a freethought movement, founded by murdered author Avijit Roy. Several other writers of the website were murdered by the Islamist terrorists.
He also wrote columns at major news outlets, where he has taken on controversial issues, championed equality and free inquiry, and aimed a critical eye at extremist religious beliefs and political ideologies. But as has become sadly predictable in the Islamic world, this has made him a target.
Being an Ex-Muslim atheist, he has closely seen how an overwhelming exaltation of ignorance in the Islamic world had led to an arrogant form of Islam, spreading across the landscape like a chronic disease. He believes that secularists are, therefore, burdened with a harrowing task: stopping the spread of ignorance while coping with the terrifying reality of violence and retaliation from extremists.
This sense of responsibility was the primary motive for him to join the Atheist Support Network – an Atheist Alliance International Program. In July 2021 he was elected to the AAI board.
Regional Director, Australasia
Stella Thomas (Australia)
Stella is a board member of the Rationalist Society of Australia, she also has regular contact with the leadership of Humanists Australia and is the South Australian contact for the national grassroots group Fairness in Religion in Schools. Over the years she has lobbied and provided submissions against religious privilege in a range of areas, such as; making public schools secular, marriage equality, voluntary assisted dying (euthanasia), removing prayer from public office and so on. She also takes an interest in human rights, social justice and environmental sustainability.
After a long and successful career in business management and accounts, in 2020, Stella commenced a Bachelor of Environmental Policy & Management (with a minor in politics), she has enjoyed settling into this new direction.
Stella’s position is one of secularism and preventing religious privilege from dominating shared public spaces (laws, government, schools and institutions). Her approach is to listen to others and work towards common ground backed by evidence and reason. She says she doesn’t mind what supernatural beliefs others hold, as long as they do not cause harm, especially by way of undermining public policy and education.
Stella was born in Australia to Italian Catholic parents, for them religion was more of a cultural connection. At a very young age there was occasional church and, in preparation for her Communion, a few Sunday school lessons. Stella’s questions were frowned upon, but she continued to ask them and although she was not able to articulate it at the time, looking back she says it was clear in her mind that the pressure of having blind faith was a path that she would not take.
Regional Director, Central & South America
Shirley Rivera (Puerto Rico)
Languages: Spanish, English
Shirley Rivera is President and Founder of Atheists of Puerto Rico and, for five years, was Director of American Atheists in Puerto Rico.
Shirley studied Psychology at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She has excelled as a reporter, writer and commentator in various Spanish-language media. She has worked for such networks as the Oklahoma National Newspaper, Telemundo Oklahoma City, Tulsa Univision, and The X 100.7 FM.
She founded Atheists of Puerto Rico in 2014 with her partner Elisaul Rodriguez. “Ateístas” educate, provide free legal representation, and defend atheists of the island. Atheists of Puerto Rico has filed several lawsuits against the Puerto Rican government for violations of church and state separation. Since 2008, Shirley has been a very popular atheists video blogger in Spanish on YouTube.
She has appeared on many television programs and has spoken at conferences in Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Oklahoma City and Florida about secular education, a primary focus of her activism. In 2015, she organized a massive protest in the San Juan Capitol against the government of Puerto Rico for removing education with a gender perspective from schools.
Shirley lives in Missouri where she works for the U.S. Government.