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Board of Directors


The SSA is governed by a Board of Directors which is elected by the SSA's members. [ Become a member ]

Board members are elected for two-year terms by the members of the SSA.

Currently they are:

Nancy Martin, Chair (board member since 2013)
Palo Alto, CA
nancy DOT martin AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Nancy Martin

Nancy Martin is currently an independent consultant and volunteer, having retired gracefully at age 65.  She is a member of the BOD for the Evolution Institute and the advisory board for the Red Butte Gardens. She was a Partner with Warburg Pincus where she was responsible for technology due diligence prior to investment and periodic reviews and trouble shooting after investment. Nancy was a trustee with Prep for Prep, a New York based charity aiding gifted youths to meet their full potential.  She was Vice President for R&D for MCI Systemhouse; Executive Director for Advanced Technology for Melville Corporation; and a Partner with Coopers & Lybrand. She was CEO and Founder of SoftPert Systems. SoftPert was sold to Coopers & Lybrand.  Nancy was founding professor of Software Engineering at Wang Institute of Graduate Studies as well as holding tenured positions at other universities. She was founder of the New Mexico Network for Women in Science and Engineering (still going strong after over 25 years) that mentors young women.  Nancy has two daughters and four grandchildren.

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Evan Clark, Vice Chair (board member since 2011)
Thousand Oaks, CA 
evan DOT clark AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Evan Clark

Evan Clark was a founder of the Secular Student Alliance at California Lutheran University. This was the first SSA affiliate officially recognized by a parochial university in the country, and he served as their President for three years. During that time, his group grew to be one of the most recognizable clubs on campus, and in 2011 was featured in an article by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

In 2010, Evan successfully was elected by his peers as California Lutheran University's Student Body President, making him the first open atheist ever to hold the position. He simultaneously continued to serve as his club president, also making him the first SSA affiliate president to simultaneously serve as a student body president.

Evan currently manages The Humanist Community, a local secular group in Thousand Oaks, CA, and works full time as a marketing specialist for LYC Mortgage, LLC.


Brendan Murphy, Treasurer (board member since 2011)
Minneapolis, MN
brendan DOT murphy AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Brendan MurphyBrendan Murphy was a graduate in mathematical biology, class of 2011, from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and currently continues academic research in nonlinear dynamics, deep brain stimulation, and epilepsy. His first step into the freethought and secular movement was through serving as the Finance Director for Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists - CASH from 2009 to 2011, continuing some of the annual funding legacies laid down by Joe Foley, and assisting in large event organization including debates, panels, and presentations with PZ Myers, Michael Shermer, Greta Christina, and others.

Brendan is also a photographer and musician, having played both drums and piano in numerous orchestras and jazz combos in the past, and hosts a weekly two-hour radio program dedicated to instrumental music.

He plans to attend graduate school at Boston University, pursuing a PhD in computational neuroscience in the fall of 2012.

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Ashley Carter, Secretary (board member since 2012)
St Louis, MO
ashley DOT carter AT secularstudents DOT org ] 

Ashley Carter

Ashley Carter is a 2012 graduate of the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. During law school, she founded and led the Secular Legal Society, one of only a few SSA law school affiliates. During law school, she also led an active chapter of the American Constitution Society and spent one summer interning at the Federal Communications Commission. In 2009, she graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Political Science and Philosophy. She served as President of the Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers (now the Illini Secular Student Aliance) in 2008-09. During the summer of 2008, she served as an intern for the Secular Student Alliance. In that position, she contributed to an update of the Group Running Guide and made a service trip activity packet. In 2008, she was Outreach Chair for AA&F and planned an unprecedented week-long service trip to New Orleans for her group accompanying a campus religious group, a project which earned an SSA Best Award.

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Seráh Blain (board member since 2013)
Flagstaff, AZ
Seráh BlainSeráh Blain is a full-time mom and activist, working on community development in the nontheistic movement and spearheading advocacy initiatives around issues including: solutions to homelessness; veterans support; workers' rights; LGBTQ equality; and reproductive justice.

Seráh has been a Humanist and active member of the Arizona nontheistic community since moving to the state in 2009. She co-founded the Prescott Freethinkers that year, the Flagstaff Freethinkers in 2011, and the Sedona Verde Valley Secular Freethinkers in 2012. Seráh also began volunteering for hospice in 2010 and provided training around supporting nontheists throughout their end-of-life care. Seráh served on the Board of Directors at the Prescott Pride Center from 2010 to 2012; founded the Secular Student Alliance at Prescott College in 2011 where she studied Social Ethics; and was elected to the Board of Directors at the Arizona Interfaith Movement in 2013.

Seráh served from 2010 to 2013 as a board member and Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for Arizona where she lobbied for Arizona’s atheists, agnostics, Humanists, and other freethinkers at the State Capitol. She has done a great deal of public speaking throughout the country building coalitions and promoting secular government as a vehicle to social justice. Her efforts have garnered extensive positive local and national media.

Seráh lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with her two children and rescued dog.
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Alex DiBranco 
(board member since 2013)
Medford, MA
[ alex DOT dibranco AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Alex DiBrancoAlex DiBranco has written about gender and sexuality, atheist and interfaith issues, immigration, education, and the Christian Right for outlets including The Nation, Alternet, and Campus Progress. She is currently a Sociology PhD student at Yale.

During her tenure as a Change.org editor and later senior organizer, Alex helped the company grow from six people to more than a hundred employees globally. She provided support for a variety of issue areas, with a focus on campaigns related to women's rights, especially sexual assault, and immigrant rights. She has also served as COO for a technology start-up, and researched human intelligence networks and incidents of torture in Iraq and Afghanistan for the book None of Us Were Like This Before.

While a student at Dartmouth, Alex served as editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth Free Press, a progressive counterpoint to the infamous right-wing Dartmouth Review; was deeply involved with campus activism; and graduated with a degree in English/Creative Writing. Alex will be starting a PhD in Sociology at Yale in fall 2013.

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Nick Freeman (board member since 2014)
Raleigh, NC
nick DOT freeman AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Nick FreemanNick Freeman has served as President of the Secular Student Alliance at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC since 2012. During that time he has enjoyed creating a close-knit campus community for freethinkers and nontheists and has planned a wide variety of events that engage the campus community.

In 2012 Nick co-founded the Carolinas Secular Student Summit (CS3), a regional leadership training conference built specially for student leaders of secular groups in the Southeast. He continues to serve as co-director of the annual Summit and is an active member and volunteer of the Triangle Freethought Society.

Nick is an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University, double-majoring in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science. He has a special interest in science communication and the development of sustainable urban environments and systems of mass transportation.

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Bridget Gaudette (board member since 2014)
Durham, NC
bridget DOT gaudette AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Bridget GaudetteBridget Gaudette became the Executive Director for the Florida Humanist Association in 2013. During her first year, Bridget was able to grow the membership by 50% and organize the most successful conference in the organization’s history.

In 2010, Bridget obtained her graduate degree in public administration but chose to focus on nonprofit management. Since then, Bridget has assisted several freethought organizations with their development and administration. She was one of the co-founders of Secular Woman and worked as the Director of Development for Foundation Beyond Belief where she was instrumental in acquiring the Foundation’s largest donation to date.

Bridget is the author of Grieving for the Living: Effects of Disownment in Adulthood and was a contributor to the books BlackNones: You Are Not Alone and The Gospel of Doubt: Challenging the Faith.

Bridget has spoken at Reasonfest, the Feminist Faces of Freethought Conference, Washburn University, the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and more. Her primary topics include her deconversion, what it’s like to be a black atheist and religion’s role in her transformation from sex-negative to sex-positive.

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Dr. Barry Markovsky (board member since 2014)
Columbia, SC
barry DOT markovsky AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Dr. Barry MarkovskyBarry Markovsky was the first, and is still the current, faculty advisor of the fabulous Secular Student Alliance at the University of South Carolina. In 2010 he was named the Student Group Advisor of the Year at his university, and the next year won the award for SSA's Best Advisor in the U.S. While at the University of Iowa in the 1990's he served on the state board of the American Civil Liberties Union.

His field of study is Sociology, and he devotes the majority of his work time to research in areas related to social psychology, and to advocating making sociology more scientifically rigorous. For this he was recently elected into the Sociological Research Association an exclusive (but non-elitist!) honor for the most active researchers in the field. He has served as a visiting Program Director for Sociology at the National Science Foundation. His teaching at SC includes a course especially popular among SSA student members: Sociology of the Paranormal. It emphasizes critical thinking and scientific research skills/tools that no good secularist should be without.

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Ashley F. Miller (board member since 2014)
Columbia, SC
ashley DOT f DOT miller AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Ashley F. MillerAshley F. Miller is a writer, activist, and communications scholar from South Carolina, who has worked for LGBT, secular, and women's rights for over a decade. She has been the Communications Officer for Provide, Inc, an organization dedicated to improving abortion access for women in low-access states, since 2013.

She is one of the leading young women in the secular movement, speaking regularly at schools and conferences across the country about feminism and communications. She has written for dozens of publications, including Salon, Freethought Blogs, and the academic journal CrossCurrents, and has run local communications campaigns for law firms, news websites, and secular organizations.

She is expected to finish her PhD in Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, where she has focused on women and minorities in the media. Before returning to school for her PhD, she worked in film and television in Los Angeles. She has a Masters in Film Production from FSU, and a Bachelor’s degree from Emory University in Film Studies.

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Harry Shaughnessy (board member since 2013)
Wake Forest, NC
harry DOT shaughnessy AT secularstudents DOT org ]

Harry ShaughnessyHarry Shaughnessy is the current President of Triangle Freethought Society in Raleigh, NC. Harry has shown his creativity and enthusiasm for doing whatever was necessary to help build the organization. Through his work in various roles with TFS, Harry has been able to bring in nationally known speakers, hold successful events, rally for important causes and build a net reserve of funds that makes planning future events much easier. In addition, Harry’s leadership has played a key role in growing the membership of TFS every year since its inception in 2009. During the day Harry also runs a successful software consulting practice.
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