Staff and Board

The Team

Ranil Prasad, Acting Executive Director

Ranil is a fourth year Political Student at UBC, and has a background in non-profit and public sector administration and in running progressive campaigns. 

After being hired as part of the first cohort of BCHA interns, Ranil has never been allowed to leave. He was promoted to Campaign Manager where he saw the BC Legislature amend the beginning of their sittings from "Prayers" to "Prayers and Reflections," which allowed MLAs to seriously engage with the idea of secular invocations. He was then appointed to the board of the BCHA to fill a vacancy, and was elected in his own right at the latest AGM. He resigned in order to take on his latest challenge as Acting Executive Director.

In his spare time, he sits on the board of the Youth Parliament of BC Alumni Society and is an avid Canucks fan, despite the pain involved.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

Email: ranil@bchumanist.ca

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director (on leave)

Ian BushfieldIan Bushfield has been involved in the BC Humanist Association since 2009 and aside for two years in the UK he has been the Executive Director since 2012. He has a background in physics and non-profit management and grew up in Alberta. In 2017 he joined the BC Civil Liberties Association's Board of Directors.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

Emily Fagan, Marketing Coordinator

Emily Fagan is a recent graduate of the University of Victoria, where she studied Writing with a History minor. Much of her time at UVic was spent writing for the Martlet, the independent student newspaper, where she worked as Editor-in-Chief in her final year. In her spare time, Emily writes on a freelance basis for several publications including the CBC and Maclean's Magazine. Born and raised in New York, Emily loves to travel, although not during a pandemic.

Pronous: she/her (what’s this?)

 

Dr Teale Phelps Bondaroff, Research Coordinator

Dr Teale N Phelps Bondaroff is an experienced researcher with a PhD in politics and international studies from the University of Cambridge and BAs in political science (honours) and international relations from the University of Calgary. He is proficient with in a wide range of social science research methods, which he employs in his research on behalf of his strategy and research consultancy, the Idea Tree Consulting.

With years of experience in the field, Dr. Phelps Bondaroff is a world expert on illegal fishing and organized crime, and currently works as the Director of Research of OceansAsia, a marine conservation organization, and has consulted for a number of marine conservation groups (The Black Fish, the Sea Ranger Service, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and others). Dr Phelps Bondaroff remains active as an academic researcher, with work examining the strategic use of international law by non-state actors. He also cofounded the AccessBC Campaign for free prescription contraception in BC and is active in all levels of Canadian politics.

Since December 2018, he has been volunteering as a research coordinator for the BC Humanist Association. 

You can learn about his numerous projects at www.teale.ca

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

Sophie Burk, Campaigns Manager: MAiD, Death & Dying

Sophie is a recent graduate of Simon Fraser University in Health Sciences and Ethics, and the Douglas College End-of-Life Doula Course. She is particularly interested in bioethics and public health ethics and served as the Undergraduate Representative on the SFU Research Ethics Board. She has worked as an advocate and educator in environmental stewardship, sexual health and community harm reduction. Sophie is passionate about expanding end-of-life and ‘pastoral’ care for non-religious people, and believes that best part of being a humanist is believing that it falls on us to act and make the world a better place.

Pronouns: she/her (what’s this?)

Adriana Thom, Policy Researcher

Adriana Thom is a third year student at the University of Victoria pursuing a double major in Geography and Political Science (a fancy way of saying that she loves to wear socks with sandals and rant about climate change). Adriana is also passionate about youth parliament and is most currently the Premier-Elect of the BC Youth Parliament (a youth led nonprofit organization) and most excitably an alumna of the 10th Commonwealth Youth Parliament. In her spare time, she enjoys quoting drag race, listening to country music, and watching the Story of Diana (parts 1 and 2) repeatedly.

Pronouns: she/her (what’s this?)

Board of Directors

The BCHA's Board of Directors is elected from our membership at our Annual General Meeting. Read more about their role.

The 2020-21 Board consists of:

Kevin Bavaro, Treasurer

I currently spend my work time assisting companies with software implementation in the agriculture sector, following over 25 years learning (and sharing) everything I could about coffee – roasting, blending, trading, importing – in North America and for a short time in Tanzania.

I am fortunate to work from home in Chemainus, North Cowichan on Vancouver Island.

I was introduced to humanism during a work stint in Kitchener/Waterloo with the Society of Ontario Freethinkers (SOFREE) and Secular Connexion Séculière, and as a member of the Victoria Secular Humanist Association.

My recent volunteer experience included time as newsletter coordinator for the Pro-Truth Pledge. Interests outside of politics and skeptic discussions include yard and garden work, golf and sous vide cooking.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

J B Bell, Vice-President

j_b_profile.jpgI’m a past President of BCHA, with experience on several non-profit and co-op boards advocating for voices that often go unheard. I have a BA in Justice Studies from Royal Roads University.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

 

Sam Darling

Although I'm a creative by profession -- trained as a filmmaker and now working as a novelist and singer -- I've always had a passion for science. I worked as a science communicator in New York, Australia, and New Zealand and am happy to now be settled in British Columbia, raising the next generation of critical thinkers in my household. I also host a chapter of Skeptics in the Pub North Vancouver and am active in nonprofit groups that support 2SLTGBQA+ and indigequeer communities. I am also an active member of the Unitarian Universalists as one of their stroppy atheists.

Pronouns: she/her (what’s this?)

Dan Hanna, Secretary

Dan Hanna

I was born and raised mostly in the Vancouver Eastside, until I joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1971. I have lived in various places from Ottawa, Inuvik, Masset, Alert NWT, and then Toronto. After getting my BAA in Admin & Information Management, my partner and I moved back to Vancouver in 1997. We worked for the Federal Public Service until we retired in May 2015.

About five years ago I realized I was an agnostic in terms of what I know, an atheist in relation to supernatural forces, and a humanist in how I approach living my life in this world. I am very interested in understanding this world we live in, especially the people. This has led me to learn about the many diverse religions and philosophies that so many people orient their lives around. I believe “understanding,” not agreement is essential to improving this world.

Life is also about having fun. I enjoy learning to play my guitar (I’m a work in progress for sure), cooking and baking (aloo gobi to rustic no-kneed bread), reading all sorts of books, and contributing to worthy causes (like the BC Humanist Association – YEAH!).

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

Adam Highway, President

Born and raised in the UK, I first moved to Canada aged 18, and became a citizen at 23. Canada, and in particular, Vancouver is absolutely my home – I love where I live, and am proud of much of what Canada has achieved and stood for, while still hoping for better in many areas. My work history encompasses different industries and roles, in both the UK and Canada, including marketing, communications, web development, property management, and data analysis – I believe the breadth of my experience can prove an asset to BCHA.

I’m a lifelong atheist, with a layperson’s passion for science and rationalism, and a strong sense of social justice, fairness, and equity which, to me, are inseparable and complementary parts of Humanism. My involvement over the years with ad hoc protests, movements, and causes (papal state visit protests, Black Lives Matter, conversion therapy, etc.) has developed into a desire to contribute more consistently to an organization which works, among other things, to promote secularism and human rights. I look forward to working with the rest of the Board and Staff of the BCHA to build upon our excellent previous work and successes throughout BC and indeed Canada.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

Katie Marshall

katiephoto.jpgI’m a professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of British Columbia, where I research and teach in animal physiology and biochemistry. As someone who was raised in a very religious community in small town Ontario, discovering Atheism was an important first step for my eventual path towards becoming a biology professor. I have lived on both coasts in Canada, and after a few years as a faculty member in the US, am very glad to be back in British Columbia. I have extensive experience working with several scientific societies, and am looking forward to bringing that experience to the BCHA.

Pronouns: she/her (what’s this?)



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