Tamar Ghosh – Chair

IMG_9042Tamar is currently based at the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (Nesta), where she runs the Longitude Prize. The Longitude Prize is the UK’s biggest science prize, with a £10 million fund. It works to encourage the development of a novel and transformative point-of-care diagnostic test to be used globally to fight antibiotic resistance.

Before Nesta, Tamar founded and ran two social enterprises in global and national healthcare, which continue in her spare time. She was Director of the social action campaign ‘Give More’ on behalf of one of the Pears Foundation, promoting increased giving of money and time amongst the UK public. Prior to that, she spent 15 years developing and delivering funding strategies for international NGOs, including ActionAid and VSO.

Tamar has an MBA from Imperial College, London and Masters in Development Studies, following an undergraduate degree in Mathematics at Bristol University. She is also a trustee of Heart UK and BAAG, a consultant on fundraising and strategy development, and a guest speaker at Imperial College Business School on innovation and entrepreneurship as part of its MBA and masters in health programmes.

Patricia Rogers – Vice Chair

With an MA from Cambridge University, a PGCE and a Diploma of Management Studies, Patricia is an educator and internationalist, and has lived, taught and written in the UK, Nigeria, Pakistan the Philippines and South Korea.  She also has strong working links with India, Nepal, Tibet, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

‘I have seen both devastations and transformations resulting from religious convictions. I was a committed Christian, but have been a humanist for about 40 years.’

Patricia has been Chief Executive of the Council for Education in World Citizenship, as well as the Jubilee Debt Campaign and Pestalozzi International Village. She is aware of the effectiveness of international collaboration and attended the 2011 IHEU international congress in Norway. She hopes her experience of running educational, international, and campaigning charities will be useful to the BHA.

John Adams – Treasurer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA professional economist for over forty years, John was professor (now Emeritus) at the University of Hertfordshire. He has taught and researched both in the UK and overseas specialising in Labour Market Economics, Economic Philosophy and the Economic Analysis of Tourism.

John was the first Chair and is now the Vice President of the National Governors’ Association, was a founder member of the National Teaching Awards, spent four years on the board of the General Teaching Council and has been a member of various advisory boards at the Department of Education.

John is married with two adult children and lives in North Yorkshire. He is a member of five cricket clubs, including the MCC. John received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in 2012 for services to education.

Michelle Beckett

Michelle BeckettMichelle is a graduate of Lancaster University and initially began her career as a headhunter.  She is now the CEO of a charity that matches business volunteers with good causes, and has a background in social media consultancy.

Conference speaking, fundraising and lobbying are the favoured parts of her day job.

She spends the rest of her time juggling being a single mum to her daughters, blogging, occasional am-dramming and singing, and drinking the beverage of her chosen home: Yorkshire Tea.

Michelle has a particular interest in building on and offline networks, and engaging young people in Humanism.

Tom Copley

TomCopleyTom is an elected member of the London Assembly, serving as a city-wide member since May 2012. He is currently the deputy chair of the Assembly’s Housing Committee. He has a keen interest in theatre and the arts and is about to publish a report in the challenges faced by small theatres in London.

Prior to his election to the Assembly, Tom worked for the Searchlight Educational Trust – an anti-fascist, anti-racist charity that works with communities to fight racism and hatred. He has also worked for the Labour Party and the Health Protection Agency. Following his election to the Assembly, he was made a patron of LGBT Labour.

Originally from Derbyshire, Tom grew up in Wiltshire and has lived in London for most of the last eight years.

Blaise Egan

DSC_Blaise_H&SBlaise Egan is a consulting statistician working for BT, where he has worked for over thirty years, in a variety of roles involving the improvement of processes and decision-making. His work in the research department, developing telecare systems for the frail and elderly, was recognised by the British Computer Society and gained him a US patent. He has a strong interest in the mathematical sciences and holds a BSc in maths and an MSc and an MPhil in statistics. He is the Chair of Essex Humanists and he lives in Essex with his partner Glenys.

Ewan Main

Ewan 218

Ewan qualified first in Linguistics (York) then in Community and Youth Work (Durham). He has worked in various youth, advice and welfare services and was a founder trustee of two local charities. For twelve years he developed and ran the national online support services—internet communities and email helplines—for unpaid carers for a UK charity, at the same time as freelance design and consultancy work in web, film, print and words.

He has been a humanist celebrant since 2012 and served a term on the BHA’s Ceremonies Board. As such, much of his year is spent focusing on non-religious ritual and the important role it can play in people’s lives.

Ewan lives with his wife in York, his home since 1997.


Guy Otten

Guy emerged from Cambridge University moved by the example of Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and still believing in a god, but reading and thought over the ensuing years brought him to Humanism in the mid-1990s. Retired as a lawyer and tribunal judge he is now a humanist celebrant and Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Humanists.


Naomi Phillips

Naomi Phillips colourNaomi is a feminist and political campaigner. She was the British Humanist Association’s Head of Public Affairs until 2012, leading the BHA’s policy, campaigns, and parliamentary work. Naomi was a Director of the European Humanist Federation and regularly represented the BHA at the European Parliament. Naomi was also a voting representative to IHEU and a speaker at the World Humanist Congresses in Oslo 2011 and Oxford 2014. Until 2015, she served as chair of Labour Humanists, a group of activists working for a more equal, ethical, and secular Labour Party.

Naomi is on Twitter on @nayphillips.

David Pollock

David PollockActively involved in the humanist movement since 1961, David Pollock was a trustee of the British Humanist Association from 1965-75 including a stint as Chair from 1970-72. He was re-elected to the board in 1997.

In addition David is a board member and former Chair of the Rationalist Association and was President of the European Humanist Federation from 2006 to 2012. He takes a special interest in policy and campaigning on the place of religion and belief in society and other questions of public policy.

An Oxford classics graduate, after 25 years in management with the National Coal Board, he was Director of Action on Smoking and Health (1991-95) and then of the Continence Foundation (1996-2001) before retiring to (almost) full-time Humanism.

Jeremy Rodell

JFR Jun 2014After a science degree, Jeremy had a number of business roles in a major international company.

It was only after his humanist wedding in 2001 that Jeremy realised Humanism was the term for what he had thought for many years. He is co-founder and Chair of South West London Humanists. In 2011 he co-founded Richmond Inclusive Schools Campaign and works closely with the Fair Admissions Campaign.

Among other charity roles, Jeremy volunteers as a humanist speaker for 3FF, which works to build understanding between people of different faiths and beliefs. He thinks Humanism can make an important positive contribution to our plural society.

Alom Shaha

alom_shaha23Alom Shaha is a science teacher, writer, and filmmaker, who has spent most of his professional life sharing his passion for science and education with the public. Alom has produced, directed, and appeared in a number of television programmes, and has received fellowships from the National Endowment for Science, Technology, and the Arts (Nesta) and the Nuffield Foundation. Alom has been a local councillor, a school governor and volunteered for other charitable organisations. He teaches at a comprehensive school in London and writes for a number of print and online publications. He is the author of The Young Atheist’s Handbook.

Imtiaz Shams

IS photoImtiaz Shams has been using his experience founding ‘tech for good’ start-ups to help apostates who leave conservative religions.

In 2012, he began creating ‘underground railroad’ networks for ex-Muslims around the world. In 2015, he co-founded Faith to Faithless, an organisation which is reducing the stigma faced by ‘apostates’ of all religions. It has been featured on the BBC and in Vice, the Guardian, and the Times, and has helped thousands find a place for themselves in a world that often dehumanises the non-religious.

Imtiaz believes Humanism is vital in the fight to bring happiness to apostates who face discrimination from their families, community, and state. He has a management degree from the London School of Economics and works as a consultant for high-tech solutions to problems including age-care, transport safety, and approaches to right-wing and Islamic extremism.

Twitter: @imtishams / @faith2faithless

Amy Walden

AmyW-2 croppedAmy has a BA(Hons) Criminology from Solent University and a Diploma in Probation Studies from the University of Portsmouth. She has worked within the criminal justice system for 12 years, and returns to Solent University to give an annual lecture on working with offending behaviour.

In 2011 Amy initiated humanist pastoral support in prisons with a pilot project at HMP Winchester. This proved successful, with the initiative now being introduced in other prisons. Amy continues to be involved in the BHA’s pastoral support services. She is part of a team training BHA members to deliver humanist pastoral support in prisons and hospitals across the country as well as within the armed forces.

Amy is passionate about equality and the value of diversity. She has been part of an Equalities Consultation Panel within her workplace and delivered training in this area to her colleagues. Amy has a strong interest in science and nature. She enjoys walking and going to live music events. She is also a regular attendee at her local Skeptics in the Pub group.