Hale is the 20th president, and the 4th woman, to serve in the organization’s history. She will preside over the current AHA board of directors, which is comprised of six women and six men. The last female president of the AHA was Suzanne Paul of Farmington, Michigan, whose term completed in 1992.
Hale has been an advocate for secularism and humanism for many years as co-owner of EvolveFISH.com, the largest online store of freethought merchandise. She is also the co-founder of the Freethinkers of Colorado Springs, a local affiliate of the American Humanist Association, and serves on its board of directors. She is a Humanist Celebrant certified by the Humanist Society of the American Humanist Association.
“I am proud to continue the American Humanist Association’s long tradition of representing humanists, atheists and the non-religious in the United States,” said Hale.
As AHA president, Hale hopes to help raise public awareness and acceptance of humanism, advancing the AHA's agenda of supporting public policy based on reason and science.
“A decade ago, the idea that you can be ‘good without a god’ was still new to the general public,” said Hale. “Today, the number of religiously unaffiliated Americans is growing at a significant rate, and it’s time for our elected leaders to take notice.”
Other elected AHA officers include Jennifer Kalmanson of Laurel, Maryland as vice president, Susan Sackett of Scottsdale, Arizona as secretary, and Jason Torpy of Alexandria, Virginia as treasurer. The immediate past president of the AHA is David Niose, an attorney from Massachusetts and author of the recently published Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans.
Newly elected members of the AHA board of directors include Anthony Pinn of Houston, Texas, and Debbie Allen of San Diego, California.
The American Humanist Association was founded in 1941 and is headquartered in Washington, DC. The AHA's honorary president, until his death in July 2012, was author Gore Vidal.
Each year since 1953 the AHA has presented its Humanist of the Year award to an important humanist activist or intellectual. The 2012 award was presented to Gloria Steinem. Past recipients include Carl Sagan, Bill Nye, Steven Pinker, Margaret Sanger, Ted Turner, Alice Walker, Betty Friedan, and Rebecca Goldstein.
Elections of the officers were effective January 1, 2013.