Atheist Alliance International

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.

Atheist Alliance International
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]

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.


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] while 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 structureEdit

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 propose candidates for the Board, and the annual general meeting votes on them and elects directors.

The current leadership includes Howard Burman, President & UN Representative (USA); Bill Flavell, Vice President (UK); Fotis Frangopoulos, Secretary & Treasurer (Greece); Tina Hamilton, Atheist Support Network Director (USA); Manoj John,[9] Development Director (India); John Richards, Publications Director (United Kingdom); Rosi Guastella, Social Media Director (USA); Larry Tepa, Regional Director for Africa; Fauzia Ilyas, Regional Director for Asia; Brendan Liveris, Regional Director for Australasia; Andy Phillips, Regional Director for Europe; and Jason Frye-Kolarik, Regional Director for North America.[10]


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 assists 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 alsoEdit


  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. ^ "Manoj John elected to international rationalist federation (മനോജ് ജോൺ അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര യുക്തിവാദി ഫെഡറേഷനിൽ)". Mathrubhumi Newspaper. 29 July 2020. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Board of Directors". Atheist Alliance International. 13 November 2019.

External linksEdit