Atheist Alliance International

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Atheist Alliance International
Motto"For a Secular World"[citation needed]
PurposeAdvocacy of atheism and secularism
HeadquartersWashington, D.C.,
United States
Region served
Official language
English, Spanish
Howard Burman
AffiliationsSpecial consultative status at United Nations

Council of Europe Participatory Status

Affiliated local organisations on all continents other than Antarctica.
Generic atheist symbol, the result of a 2007 AAI contest, created by Diane Reed.[1][2]

Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a non-profit advocacy organization committed to raising awareness and educating the public about atheism. It does this by supporting atheist and freethought organizations around the world through promoting local campaigns, raising awareness of related issues, sponsoring secular education projects and facilitating interaction among secular groups and individuals.


AAI was founded in 1991 as Atheist Alliance, an alliance of four U.S.-based local atheist groups. Over time Atheist Alliance expanded, adding both local/regional U.S. groups and international groups as members. The organization changed its name to Atheist Alliance International in 2001. In 2010 and 2011 members approved the separation of the U.S. and international segments of AAI into separate organizations in order to accommodate the different strategic interests of each group. The U.S. group of AAI was renamed Atheist Alliance of America. The launch of the newly restructured AAI occurred at the World Atheist Convention in Dublin, Ireland on 3 June 2011.[3] In 2016, AAoA achieved autonomy from the decision-making Affiliate Council.[4]); the international group retained the original AAI name but adopted new bylaws and a new organizational structure.

In 2013, the AAI was granted special consultative status by the United Nations. In this role, the AAI will be able to better serve atheists facing persecution from their governments.[5][6][7]

In February 2020, Michael Sherlock was hired as Executive Director of Atheist Alliance International.[8]

Organization structure[edit]

In the spring 2017, the Board voted to re-organize AAI. The focus changed to a stronger emphasis on supporting atheist and freethought groups around the world in their efforts to normalize atheism. To be more responsive to groups and their campaigns, certain bylaws needed to be updated. At the Annual General Meeting held in May 2018, a new structure was voted in.

AAI's Board still consists of between 4 and 13 Directors elected for two-year staggered terms. Affiliates or individual members can nominate candidates for the Board at any time. The current leadership team is Howard Burman, President & UN Representative (USA), Bill Flavell, Vice President (United Kingdom), Brendan Liveris Regional Director Australasia, Andy Phillips Regional Director Europe, Larry Tela Regional Director Africa, Jason Frye-Kolarik Regional Director for North America (USA), John Richards, Publications Director (United Kingdom), Tina Hamilton, Outreach Director, Fotis Frangopoulos Secretary/Treasurer (Greece), Fauzia Ilyas Regional Director for Asia (Netherlands) and Manoj John, Director (India) Rosi Guastella Social Media Director.[9]

AAI has two types of memberships: affiliates and individuals. Affiliates are the atheist and freethought groups around the world which have their own individual members and operate in a democratic manner. Individual members are people who wish to support the work of AAI from outside.

AAI's vision is a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence, and where individuals who lack religious beliefs enjoy free speech, freedom of association and freedom to participate in public life. AAI's mission is to support atheist and freethought organizations around the world by assisting them with local campaigns, outreach, secular education projects, coaching and promoting interactions among these groups.


In recent years AAI has been involved with projects around the world. These range from billboard campaigns telling people it is all right if they do not believe in any gods, to confronting religious leaders, to taking legal action against government officials who use public funds for religious purposes.

AAI continues to assist the Kasese School in Western Uganda. This is a humanist school that provides secular education in a remote area of the country. AAI's education policy supports the right to secular education, and asserts the need for education in critical thinking and the distinction between faith and reason as a guide to knowledge beliefs along with the spirit of free inquiry and the teaching of science free from religious interference and the respect for evidence. AAI is opposed to indoctrination (and dogma), religious or otherwise.

The organization has a flagship publication called Secular World which is published quarterly. Members also receive AAI Insider, a fortnightly newsletter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Diane Reed response on Think Atheist website to a question regarding copyright status of the symbol".
  2. ^ "PDF of the Secular Nation article "A Conventioneer's Delight! Pt 5 of 5"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-21.
  3. ^ "New Atheist Alliance International Launched in Dublin, Ireland 3 June 2011". Atheist Alliance International. June 3, 2011. Archived from the original on 2013-05-18. Retrieved November 15, 2012.
  4. ^ "Atheist Alliance of America Evolves". Atheist Alliance of America. Atheist Alliance of America. Archived from the original on 12 March 2018. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Atheist Alliance International obtains UN Special consultative status" (Press release). AAI. 18 August 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  6. ^ "Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations Recommends Special Status" (Press release). United Nations Committee on NGOs. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 5 September 2013.
  7. ^ The World's Newest Major Religion: No Religion, National Geographic
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Board of Directors". Atheist Alliance International. 13 November 2019.

External links[edit]