AHA Board Election Results

In accordance with its bylaws, the American Humanist Association (AHA) has conducted an election for seven positions on the AHA Board of Directors. All AHA members in good standing received a ballot via e-mail through eBallot, a third-party voting site, and/or were notified through theHumanist.com. Voting opened on September 29th and closed on October 13th.

Elected to four year terms are: Kelly Damerow, Erik Gregory, John Hooper, Vanessa Gomez Brake, Candace Gorham, and Darin Stewart. Elected to a two-year term is: Jill Martinez.

John Hooper, Vanessa Gomez Brake and Candace Gorham are returning board members and their biographies can be found on the AHA’s Board of Directors webpage.

Kelly Damerow is a professional and passionate advocate with a lifetime commitment to children, volunteering, and leadership. She earned multiple degrees, including her Juris Doctorate, from the University of Florida. She has a long history with the humanist community, working as a legal fellow at the AHA and later in several positions at the Secular Coalition for America, as well as a board member of the Reason Rally. She now lives in Florida, where she recently opened her own law firm, providing a wide range of legal services related to family, adoption, dependency (child abuse or neglect), and domestic violence. In 2022 she will celebrate 14 years with her husband and her daughter Molly starting kindergarten.

Erik Gregory received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his clinical work at the Tavistock Clinic in London, where he treated refugee children suffering from trauma. His post-doctoral studies took place at Harvard Medical School, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He has served as a Fellow with the National Cancer Institute in Hawaii, a Spencer Fellow with the Spencer Foundation, and Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago and is a leading proponent of positive psychology. As part of his support for the LGBTQ community, he has advised the Human Rights Campaign, Fenway Health, and the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus. Dr. Gregory is a Humanist Minister.

Jill Martinez considers herself as living “outside the borders of ‘normal’.” She was born and lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder, chronic pain, and chronic illness that wasn’t diagnosed until she was in her 40s. She has delved deeply into as many world views as she could find, including religions and spiritual paths. In early adulthood, Martinez focused on her family including homeschooling her children until they both started college at thirteen years old. The next phase of her life was spent in higher education, obtaining multiple degrees and serving as a professor teaching primarily social sciences and environmental studies. She now works with the State of New Mexico’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Commission for the Blind. She is a Humanist Celebrant and integrates trauma-informed care and peer support work into her practices.

Darin Stewart is a research analyst, writer and lecturer studying online environments, knowledge sharing, and disinformation. He advises a wide range of public and private institutions on knowledge and information management. Throughout his career, Stewart has served in leadership roles for a variety of organizations ranging from internet startups to major universities. He holds a doctorate in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and has taught applied information management for the University of Oregon for many years. He is a Humanist Celebrant and serves humanists throughout the Pacific Northwest. Stewart is also the founder of Parents Defending Schools and Libraries, an advocacy group organizing parents and students to push back against book bans and educational gag orders. He lives with his family near Portland, Oregon.

The AHA thanks the members of the Nominating Committee—Kevin Bolling, Evan Clark, Jé Hooper, Sarah Levin, and Leika Lewis-Cornwell—for volunteering their time. The AHA wishes to recognize Jim Palmquist, who also stood for election.

Thank you to all who participated in this election, continuing the AHA’s tradition of being the largest democratic humanist organization in the United States.