Staff and Board

The Team

Ian Bushfield, Executive Director

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?)

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

Pronouns: he/him (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 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, Secretary

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?)


Sophie Burk

I’m early in my biomedical ethics career; currently working in abortion care and end-of-life issues. I graduated from Simon Fraser University, where I also served as the Undergraduate Representative on the Research Ethics Board. I was involved with social justice from a young age growing up in BC, as an advocate & educator in environmental stewardship, sexual health and community harm reduction. I am grateful to live and work on unceded Coast Salish territoriesBurnaby. 
I am a new member of the board, and BCHA’s former Campaign Manager for End of Life Issues, where I wrote the "End of Life" and "Memorial & Grief" guides and co-hosted the live stream event on the topic. I look forward to working with the BCHA members and board to continue advancing our work affirming human rights, pluralism and secularism in BC. 
Pronouns: she/they (what’s this?)

Eric Damer

I have enjoyed supernatural BC all my life, with residences in Kamloops, Victoria, and metro Vancouver. My lifelong commitment to a naturalistic worldview drew me to studies in philosophy, education, and history, which led to work in parks, museums, and archives. After many years debating people who held worldviews based on revealed knowledge or other questionable rationales, I realized that practical outcomes can be more important than foundational beliefs. So I adopted the label “humanist” to support an ethical, progressive, and cooperative form of atheism that seeks human and biosphere welfare. I was active with the UBC Humanist Society in the late 1990s, and have been a member of the BCHA since 2000. When not in front of a computer writing, I like to get outside to local parks and “wild” places.

Pronouns: he/him (what’s this?)

Jürgen Dankwort

bio pending

Sam Darling

I'm a Management Consultant with a background in theatre and film. My main focus is group dynamics and smoothing areas of friction in organizational communication and workflow. I also worked as a science communicator in New York, Australia, and New Zealand and appreciate the importance of clearly communicating complex ideas to the public.

Pronouns: she/her (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, Vice-President

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?)

Created with NationBuilder Creative Commons License