CFI Speakers Bureau


The Center for Inquiry (CFI) Speakers Bureau is a tool for campus groups, community groups, and conference organizers to find quality speakers on topics related to CFI’s mission of fostering a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

If you would like to book a speaker, you may email them at the address provided on their profile. Unless indicated otherwise, CFI does not typically act as an intermediary between speakers and groups.

“CFI Speakers” are staff, board members, and volunteer representatives.

If you have questions about the CFI Speakers Bureau, please contact the CFI Outreach Department at outreach@centerforinquiry.net.

Viewpoints and information presented by speakers do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of, nor should they be attributed to, CFI or its affiliates, or any of their directors or officers.


Found 37 Result(s)

Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar


Faisal is an Iraqi-born award-winning human rights activist, satirist, speaker and writer. He is an advocate for Universal Human Rights, secularism and the free market of ideas, and is enthusiastic about the intersection of technology and advocacy. He is also the founder of multiple online platforms that together have more than 400,000 subscribers and millions of …

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Ronald Aronson

Wayne State University · Detroit, Michigan
Topics: History, Media, Politics
Subtopics: Coming out atheist, Journalism, Lobbying

Ronald Aronson grew up in Detroit and was educated at Wayne State University, U.C.L.A., the University of Michigan, and Brandeis University, where he earned a Ph.D. in the History of Ideas. He studied with William Barrett, Page Smith, and Herbert Marcuse. Swept up in the political activism of the 1960s, he became a community organizer …

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Julian Baggini


Julian Baggini is the author, co-author or editor of over 20 books including How The World Thinks, A Short History of Truth, The Edge of Reason, The Virtues of the Table, The Ego Trick, and Freedom Regained. He has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, as well as for the think tanks The Institute of Public Policy …

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Joe E. Barnhart


Joe E. Barnhart, Ph.D., recently retired to write his novels, became Professor of Philosophy and Religion Studies at the University of North Texas in 1974. He became a contributing member of the American Academy of Religion, the Association for the Scientific Study of Religion, the Society for Biblical Literature, the Southern Society for Philosophy and …

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Elizabeth Barre


Elizabeth Barre is a comparative ethicist who works on questions that lie at the intersection of moral philosophy and the history of religion, with a specific focus on Muslim, Christian, and secular political ethics. She has written about the ways recent Muslim debates about liberalism, democracy, and the separation of religion and politics are similar …

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Ryan Bell


After nearly 20 years in congregational pastoral ministry Ryan left his church in 2013 and shortly thereafter began an exploration of atheism and humanism and wrote about his experience at the Year Without God blog. His experience and writing became an international phenomenon and was covered by CNN, BBC, NPR, Los Angeles Times, and dozens …

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Ophelia Benson


Ophelia Benson is the joint-author (with Jeremy Stangroom) of The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense, Why Truth Matters, and Does God Hate Women? She blogs at Butterflies and Wheels and is a columnist for Free Inquiry and The Freethinker.   0 SharesShareTweet

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August Berkshire


August Berkshire is the president of Minnesota Atheists (MNA) and is a past vice president of Atheist Alliance International (AAI). He serves on the boards of directors of Camp Quest of Minnesota (CQMN) and Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), and is on the speaker’s bureau for the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) and the Center for …

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Marwa Berro


Marwa Berro is a writer and professional translator from Beirut. An apostate from Islam, she grew up between an international expatriate community in Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah guerrilla warfare culture in Lebanon. She runs the popular blog Between a Veil and a Dark Place, where she explores womanhood and politics post-Islam, with a recurring focus on …

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Rob Boston


Rob Boston is director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State and also serves as assistant editor of AU’s monthly magazine Church & State. Boston is the author of four books: Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You The Right To Tell Other People What To Do (Prometheus Books, 2014), Why the Religious …

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Ed Brayton


After spending several years touring the country as a stand up comedian, Ed Brayton tired of explaining his jokes to small groups of dazed illiterates and turned to writing as the most common outlet for the voices in his head. He is now the owner of the popular blog, Dispatches from the Culture Wars. He has appeared …

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Ed Buckner


Ed Buckner received his B.A. from Rice University in 1967 and his M. Ed. and Ph.D. from Georgia State University. He has edited Freethought Press books by Massimo Pigliucci, Keith Parsons, Carol Faulkenberry, and Edwin Kagin. With his wife Diane, he co-edited freethinker and retired FBI agent Oliver G. Halle’s Taking the Harder Right. With his …

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Margaret Downey


Margaret Downey has had a prolific career in secular activism. Downey is the founder of the Freethought Society, Anti-Discrimination Support Network, Mentor Connection, Tree of Knowledge, Helping Hands Committee, and the Thomas Paine Memorial Committee. She is a past board member of the American Humanist Association, Scouting For All, The Humanist Institute, and the Thomas …

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Paul Fidalgo


Paul Fidalgo has been communications director of the Center for Inquiry since 2012. He holds a master’s degree in political management from George Washington University, and has worked previously for FairVote: The Center for Voting and Democracy and the Secular Coalition for America. Paul is also an actor and musician whose work includes five years …

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Nick Fish

National Program Director at American Atheists · Cranford, New Jersey
Topics: Politics
Subtopics: LGBTQ issues, Lobbying, Separation of church and state

Nick is a civil rights and civil liberties activist who has spent his career in nonprofit advocacy, organizing, and fundraising. Since running an office that knocked on 25,000 doors and registered 5,000 voters in North Carolina during the 2008 election, Nick has worked with some of the nation’s most prominent political organizations and progressive nonprofits. …

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Tom Flynn


Tom Flynn is Executive Director of The Council for Secular Humanism, Editor of Free Inquiry magazine, and Director of the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum. A journalist, novelist, entertainer, and freethought historian, Flynn is the author of numerous articles and editorials for Free Inquiry magazine. He edited a massive reference work, The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief, in …

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Luke Galen


Luke Galen is currently a professor of psychology at Grand Valley State University. He received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Wayne State University. His main area of research and teaching focuses on the psychology of religion. He is currently researching the psychology of secularity and nonreligious individuals especially in regards to moral behavior. He …

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Marci A. Hamilton

University of Pennsylvania · Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Topics: Politics, Religion
Subtopics: Separation of church and state

Marci A. Hamilton is the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program Professor of Practice,  and Fox Family Pavilion Resident Senior Fellow in the Program for Research on Religion at the University of Pennsylvania.  She is also the founder, CEO, and Academic Director of CHILD USA, www.childusa.org, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit academic think tank at the University of …

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Jim Helton


After attending the 2012 Reason Rally, Jim G. Helton co-founded the Tri-State Freethinkers and was appointed American Atheists’ Kentucky State Director. Under his leadership, Tri-State Freethinkers adopted the highway in front of the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter and led a protest that received international attention. He played a key role in eliminating Gideon’s bible …

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Susan Jacoby


Susan Jacoby is an author, most recently of the New York Times best seller The Age of American Unreason, about American anti-intellectualism. She lives in New York City and is program director of the New York City branch of the Center for Inquiry. Jacoby, who began her career as a reporter for the Washington Post, has …

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Marty Klein


Dr. Marty Klein is a California psychotherapist, sex therapist, and international lecturer in sexuality and public policy. He has been an expert witness or invited plaintiff in many important state and federal obscenity and anti-censorship cases. His landmark book America’s War On Sex, with a foreword by the ACLU’s Nadine Strossen, was honored as Book of …

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Barry Kosmin


Dr. Barry A. Kosmin is Research Professor in Public Policy & Law and Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture (ISSSC) at Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut. He is a joint editor of the on-line international journal Secularism & Nonreligion. Dr. Kosmin has been a principal investigator of the American Religious …

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Ronald A. Lindsay


Ronald A. Lindsay, J.D., Ph.D. is by training and experience both a lawyer and a philosopher. An honors graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, he practiced for twenty-six years with the national law firm of Seyfarth Shaw LLP prior to joining the Center for Inquiry, where he served as president & CEO …

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Nick Little


Nick Little is the Vice President and General Counsel of the Center for Inquiry. In this role, he oversees both the Center’s in-house legal work, and its outside litigation. Nick graduated from the University of Oxford with an honors degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and the University of Warwick with a Master’s degree in …

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Chris Lombardi

Secular Coalition for America · Washington, DC
Topics: Politics, Religion
Subtopics: Lobbying, Separation of church and state

Chris Lombardi joined the Secular Coalition in May of 2012. Chris moved to Washington D.C. in 2007 where he worked in the U.S. House of Representatives on a diverse portfolio of issues. Hailing from the midwest and a proud Hoosier, Chris graduated from Indiana University in 2002. Chris can confidently claim to be one of …

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Marissa Alexa McCool


Marissa Alexa McCool, 32, is a podcaster, author, performer, speaker, ​and an LGBT rights/atheist activist. She’s a trans woman, married, partnered, and a parent. Born in Akron, Ohio and currently residing in Saint Paul, Minnesota with her family, she graduated the University of Pennsylvania in 2017 with degrees in English, Cinema and Media Studies, and …

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Maryam Namazie


Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born writer and activist. She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She hosts a weekly television programme in Persian and English called  Bread and Roses. She is on the International Advisory Board of the Raif Badawi …

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Ian Robinson


Ian Robinson is President Emeritus of the Rationalist Society of Australia. He has been active in the Australian rationalist movement for more than forty years since as a student he became President of the University of Melbourne Rationalist Society back in 1967. He studied philosophy and history and philosophy of science at the University of …

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Andrew Seidel


Andrew Seidel is the Director of Strategic Response at the Freedom From Religion Foundation, where he fights to keep state and church separate. He regularly writes for Freethought Now!, and other popular outlets such as Friendly Atheist, Religion News Service, and ThinkProgress, and in more scholarly venues like Constitutional Studies and the Education Law & Policy Review. …

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Christine M. Shellska


Christine Shellska is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) in the Department of Communication, Media and Film, Faculty of Arts, at the University of Calgary, Canada. Her research involves studying the rhetorical strategies employed by the Intelligent Design Creationism movement. She is the first Canadian to be elected to the Board of Directors of the American Humanist …

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David Smalley


David Smalley grew up Christian, but started to question his beliefs as a teenager. His questioning and seeking after the truth led to his atheism and now he is the host of the podcast and radio show Dogma Debate and the founder of Secular Media Group, LLC. David is a secular humanist activist and works toward the goals …

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John Suarez


Dr. John M. Suarez is a retired Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, and the founder and director of the Section on Law and Psychiatry.  He is a lifelong social activist, concerned with Civil Rights, Social and Economic Justice, the Environment, Public Education and the First Amendment.  He is on the Board of Trustees of Americans …

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Edward Tabash


Edward Tabash is a Constitutional Lawyer in Los Angeles and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Inquiry. He has filed amicus briefs arguing for the preservation of the separation of church and state with the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court. Mr. Tabash graduated Magna Cum Laude with …

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Robert Talisse


Robert Talisse is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Political Science, and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from City University of New York Graduate School. Professor Talisse has published widely on political philosophy, ethics, and American pragmatism.  His current research focuses on …

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Lawrence Torcello


Lawrence Torcello received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University at Buffalo. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology. He regularly teaches and publishes on issues related to critical thinking, social and political philosophy, moral theory, and bioethics broadly construed (i.e. ethical issues in biology, ecology, and medicine). His current research …

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Kayley Whalen


Kayley Whalen is an activist who works at the intersections of humanism, racial justice, transgender and queer issues, immigration, disability advocacy and drug policy reform. She is the Digital Strategies and Social Media Manager at the National LGBTQ Task Force and the Digital Strategy Co-Director at Trans United Fund. She is multi-racial Latina/white. She skated with the DC …

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Reba Boyd Wooden


Reba Boyd Wooden is Executive Director of Center for Inquiry Indiana. She started The Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana in 1999 which became the Center for Inquiry Community of Indiana in 2005. On April 1, 2007, Center for Inquiry Indiana opened on the Indianapolis downtown canal walk at 350 Canal Walk, Suite A.  Reba …

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