Meet the AHA Staff: Rachael Berman & Cindy Le

We’re pleased to welcome two new staffers to the American Humanist Association’s headquarters in Washington DC! Rachael Berman is the Grassroots and Celebrant Coordinator, working to provide AHA Chapters, Affiliates, and Humanist Celebrants the benefits of joining the AHA. Cindy Le is the Member Services Assistant, providing administrative services to the AHA’s membership program.

Rachael Berman, Grassroots and Celebrant Program CoordinatorRachael Berman
Grassroots and Humanist Society Coordinator

HNN: What is your educational and work background? 

Berman: I graduated from Elon University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. I majored in Political Science and minored in both Spanish and Public Health. From August 2011 until August 2012, I worked for Americorps and taught English to Spanish speaking adults in North Carolina. It was one of the best experiences of my life! After graduation, I worked as an Executive Coordinator to the Executive Director for the Krieger Fund, Fund for Change and Bancroft Foundation in Baltimore. I was responsible for the grant management of the three foundations and was the main contact person at the Fund to over 100 different non-profit organizations.

HNN: How did you first learn about humanism? 

Berman: I first learned about humanism as a philosophy and way of life during my non-violence studies class in my sophomore year of college. I had heard of humanism before but this was the first time that I really studied all aspects of humanism. Through that class, I realized how I am a humanist through and through.

HNN: Did you grow up in religion? If so, what?

Berman: I was raised as a secular Jew. I celebrated the Jewish high holy days but in a familial sense, not a religious sense. My mom was raised Catholic and my dad was raised Jewish so I celebrated Christmas as well. My family and I see Christmas as a time to be together and celebrate each other. I am grateful for the fact that I grew up in such a religiously tolerant home.

HNN: What interested you most about working/interning for the AHA?

Berman: The opportunity to join the AHA and work as the Grassroots and Celebrant Program Coordinator appealed to me because it was a way to become directly involved with individuals and groups all over the country that supported humanism.  I was excited for the opportunity to be a part of the creation of new AHA Chapters and Affiliates and help sustain already established groups.

HNN: Have you read any good books lately? What’s your favorite book?

Berman: I am in the middle of a book right now: Banished: Surviving My Years in the Westboro Baptist Church. The book was written by Lauren Drain, who spent her teenage and early adult years in the Westboro Baptist Church. She began to challenge WBC’s practices and beliefs and was eventually cast out of the church and cut off from her family. This novel is all about her journey and I highly recommend it. My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.

HNN: If you could have dinner with any three people (living or dead), who would they be and why?

Berman: This is such a difficult question. I would have to say: Rosa Parks, Jon Stewart and Abraham Lincoln.


Cindy Le, Member Services AssistantCindy Le
Member Services Assistant

HNN: What is your educational and work background?

Le: I graduated from West Virginia University with a BA in International Relations. My focus was on Africa and the Middle East and International Security/Diplomacy. I also minored in French. Prior to this I interned at a microfinance company that gave out small business loans to women in rural Uganda.

HNN: How did you first learn about humanism?

Le: I actually first learned about humanism online when reading about the AHA.

HNN: What interested you most about working for the AHA?

Le: When reading about humanism I realized that the idea of being  “Good without a God” was what I had always believed in but could never put a name to. I wanted to work for the AHA because I wanted to be working in an environment where people were actually fighting for my voice to heard in government and where I could go home proud of where I work every day.

HNN: Do you have a favorite humanist/atheist?

Le: It’s a tie. My desktop background at work is actually Carl Sagan riding a dinosaur through space; I’m a huge Carl Sagan fan. Meanwhile I grew up obsessed with Bill Nye and he was the reason I was so in love with science growing up.

HNN: Have you read any good books lately? What’s your favorite book?

Le: I recently read The Triple Mole by Joby Warrick. It’s about the Al-Qaeda mole who infiltrated the CIA and it was phenomenal. My studies in school were very heavily intelligence and security focused and I enjoy reading books on those topics.

HNN: If you could have dinner with any three people, living or dead, who would they be and why?

Le: Nelson Mandela, The  14th Dalai Lama, and Freddy Mercury. Nelson Mandela is one of my personal heroes; his lack of bitterness over his harsh treatment during Apartheid is something that has always impressed me. I studied abroad in South Africa and was able to visit Nelson Mandela’s cell in Robben Islands it was one of the most moving things I’ve done in my life. I am a fan of The Dalai Lama for the same reason Nelson Mandela is one of my heroes, because of his strength when faced with adversity to fight for a cause he believes in and what he knows is right. I love that despite being forced out of his country he still maintains a peaceful man, one who advocates inter-faith dialogue, feminism, human rights and has a deep love of science. I think he is a fascinating religious figure and I love to read his quotes on non-violence. And Freddy Mercury because I am a huge Queen fan and any dinner party that Freddy Mercury would be at would be the most fun dinner party of all.