David Niose

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David Niose
American Humanist Association President David Niose.jpg
David Niose speaking at the 2012 American Humanist Association conference.
Born (1962-08-20) August 20, 1962 (age 52)
Concord, MA
Occupation Attorney, Author, former President of the American Humanist Association and Secular Coalition for America

David Niose is an attorney, author, and activist who has served as president of two Washington-based national secular organizations, the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America. The American Humanist Association promotes humanism and defends the rights of humanists and other non-theistic Americans, and the Secular Coalition for America is a lobbying and advocacy group for non-theistic Americans[1][2][3][4]


Niose was born August 20, 1962 in Concord, Massachusetts. He graduated from Boston University in 1984 and cum laude from Suffolk University Law School in 1990.[5]

Niose advocates for an identity-oriented approach to secular activism to raise awareness of the secular demographic in American society. Critical of the Religious Right, Niose argues that progressive policy goals will be difficult or impossible to attain in America without the secular demographic visibly asserting itself in politics and policymaking.[6][7][8]

When Niose joined the American Humanist Association board of directors in 2005, he helped initiate and launch a national advertising campaign promoting humanism. The campaign included a series of full-page ads in several national magazines. Niose has overseen several more major advertising campaigns since that time which have included national television, radio, billboards, and public transit. These efforts have since been replicated by other secular groups.[9][10]

As an attorney, Niose also developed and implemented a legal strategy that emphasizes the concept of equal rights and nondiscrimination rather than the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause in cases protecting religious minorities.[11][12] In January 2014 he left the presidency of the Secular Coalition for America to become legal director of the American Humanist Association.[13]

Niose has appeared on national and local media outlets speaking on secularism, humanism, law, and public policy.[14] His television appearances include MSNBC,[15] Fox News, and The Daily Buzz. National radio programs guest appearances include The Thom Hartmann Show,[16] the BBC, the The Alan Colmes Show,[17] The David Boze Show with Michael Medved[18] and The Jeff Farias Show.[19] Niose has also appeared on numerous local media outlets all across the United States and has been interviewed by the Associated Press,[20] Christian Science Monitor,[21][22] and National Journal.[23] Niose has written for numerous media outlets, including Newsday,[24] The Huffington Post,[25] Lawyer’s Weekly publications,[26] Humanist magazine,[27] AlterNet,[28] and Progressive Populist.[29] He has interviewed figures such as Gore Vidal,[30] Noam Chomsky,[31] and Howard Zinn.[32]

Niose is the author of Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans ISBN 978-0230338951, published by Palgrave Macmillan in July 2012.[33][34] His next book, Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason, is scheduled for release in December 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan[35] Since 2011, Niose has written on humanist and secular issues for Psychology Today.[36]


  1. ^ American Humanist Association biography page
  2. ^ American Humanist Association "About the AHA" page
  3. ^ "Humanists in Massachusetts Superior Court argue against reciting pledge", Raw Story,[1]
  4. ^ "Pledge of Allegiance wording causes controversy in Acton", WHDH TV,[2]
  5. ^ Law practice biography page
  6. ^ American Humanist Association biography page
  7. ^ Freeline Media, "The American Humanist Association is working on improving its public image, its president says"
  8. ^ "Humanism and the gay community" Humanist magazine
  9. ^ [3] Appearance on The Alan Colmes Show]
  10. ^ [4] Freeline Media, "The American Humanist Association is working on improving its public image, its president says"]
  11. ^ The New Humanism "Humanism 2.0"
  12. ^ "Humanists in Massachusetts Superior Court argue against reciting pledge", Raw Story,[5]
  13. ^ [6]
  14. ^ [7]
  15. ^ Appearance on The Cycle
  16. ^ Appearance on The Thom Hartmann Show
  17. ^ Appearance on The Alan Colmes Show
  18. ^ Appearance on the "David Boze Show, November 24, 2009
  19. ^ Appearance on The Jeff Farias Show
  20. ^ [8]
  21. ^ [9]
  22. ^ Washington Times, "As organization turns 100, Boy Scouts say they're still essential," December 20, 2009]
  23. ^ National Journal magazine, "Betting Against the Rapture, Godless Gather in D.C. to Lobby Against Religion," May 18, 2011
  24. ^ Newsday, "Niose: Atheists making political inroads," July 20, 2012
  25. ^ The Huffington Post, "9 Great Nonbelievers In U.S. History," July 17, 2012
  26. ^ Lawyers Weekly, "Is Establishment Clause a distraction?," Nov. 2010
  27. ^ Humanist magazine, "The Post-Theological Umbrella," Feb. 2008
  28. ^ [10]
  29. ^ Progressive Populist, "Are We More Secular than the Conservatives Would Have Us Believe?," March 15, 2009
  30. ^ [11]
  31. ^ [12]
  32. ^ [13]
  33. ^ [14] "Palgrave Macmillan release schedule"
  34. ^ http://books.google.com/books/about/Nonbeliever_Nation.html?id=C48BywAACAAJ "Google Books listing"
  35. ^ [15]
  36. ^ http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally "Our Humanity, Naturally column"

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