Staff

Chief Executive – Andrew Copson

Andrew became Chief Executive in January 2010 after five years coordinating the BHA’s education and public affairs work. His writing on humanist and secularist issues has appeared in The GuardianThe IndependentThe Times and New Statesman as well as in various journals and he has represented the BHA and Humanism extensively on television news on BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky, as well as on television programmes such as Newsnight, The Daily Politics, Sunday Morning Live and The Big Questions. He has also appeared on radio on programmes from Today, You and YoursSunday, The World TonightThe World at One, The Last Word and Beyond Belief on the BBC, to local and national commercial radio stations.

He is a former director of the European Humanist Federation (EHF) and is currently First Vice President of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), where he leads on Communications. He has previously served as a delegate of the IHEU to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and has also represented humanist organisations to the United Nations (UN) and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). He has advised on Humanism for the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Authority, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, the BBC, and the Office of National Statistics among others. He is a member of the Advisory Group for the Humanist Library at London’s Conway Hall and, in a previous post in the office of Lord Macdonald of Tradeston in the House of Lords, he provided the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.

Andrew studied Classics and Ancient and Modern History at the University of Oxford and was a member of the winning team of the 2005 Young Educational Thinker of the Year Programme. He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, a Member of the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Centre for Law and Religion at Cardiff University. He came to the BHA in 2005 from the Citizenship Foundation, where he worked on political literacy projects.

Contact Andrew

 andrew-copson-titel

Head of Public Affairs – Pavan Dhaliwal

Pavan heads the BHA’s public affairs team, and is responsible for the BHA’s campaigns covering a wide range of issues including public services, equality law, ethical issues, religion and schools, and social cohesion.

Pavan has worked in high level advisory and Head of Policy and Public Affairs roles for the past seven years. She is an equalities and human rights expert with a special interest in youth, criminal justice and education policy.

Contact Pavan.

Pavan

Head of Education and Promotion – Sara Passmore

Sara studied Education and English Literature at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and has since led on multi-million pound educational programmes across the UK as a projects manager at pfeg (Personal Finance Education Group). Sara represents the BHA on the National Council of Faiths and Beliefs in Further Education and The Religious Education Council of England and Wales. She is the Vice Chair of Southwark Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education (SACRE) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. In her spare time helps run SCI-FI-LONDON, the London International Festival of Science Fiction and Fantastical Film.

Sara has responsibility for promoting understanding of Humanism, including through an educational setting, and for promoting the BHA to diverse audiences.

Contact Sara

Sara

Head of Pastoral Support – David Savage

David was a founder member of Labour Humanists. After gaining a BSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering he joined multinational company and for some years worked as a Strategic Planning Manager. Following a period working overseas he was appointed Technical Director of their international soft drinks business, with operations in over 30 countries. He is a Governor of a special needs school and works to protect river catchment environments.

David Savage

Campaigns Officer (Faith Schools and Education) – Richy Thompson

Richy graduated from the University of Oxford in 2010 with a Masters in Computer Science. While a student there he founded and was the first President of Oxford Atheists, Secularists and Humanists, and also coordinated the first Oxford Think Week. He subsequently became Press Officer of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS), and in July 2010 was elected as the third President. He simultaneously became a campaigns volunteer at the BHA as well as the European Humanist Federation, before becoming the BHA’s Faith Schools and Education Campaigner in May 2011.

Contact Richy.

Richy Thompson

ICT, Database and Web Manager – Andrew West

Andrew joined in May 2011, after two years volunteering as the BHA’s Photographer-in-Residence. He ran his own IT company for nine years before joining the BHA, and is now responsible for managing the office computers, as well as our various websites. He recently completed a part-time photography degree, where he spent four years trying to teach his tutors the difference between ‘humanist’ and ‘humorist’. He also represented the BHA on the Fourth Plinth.

Contact Andrew.

Andrew West