Change Comes to CFI’s Board of Directors: Cornwell Joins, Kelleher is New Chair

August 14, 2012

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is pleased to announce that R. Elisabeth Cornwell, PhD, has been elected to join its Board of Directors, and that current board member Daniel Kelleher has taken the helm as the board’s chair.

Dr. Cornwell is the executive director of the U.S. branch of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and an accomplished research scientist in evolutionary psychology. At the Dawkins Foundation, she has spearheaded popular and innovative initiatives for the secular movement such as the OUT Campaign, which encourages atheists to make themselves known in order to achieve broad social acceptance, and Non-Believers Giving Aid, a project which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for secular disaster relief organizations such as Doctors Without Borders, showing the world that charity is by no means within the exclusive purview of religion. Her recent research has been focused on the relationship of religious faith to particular psychological traits of believers.


“Elisabeth is the perfect fit for CFI’s board,” said Ron Lindsay, President and CEO of the Center for Inquiry. “In just a few short years, she has shown herself to be one of our community’s boldest and most creative leaders. Her ideas and experience will be invaluable to the fulfilling of CFI’s mission.”

Meanwhile, board member Daniel Kelleher has been elected to serve as Board Chair, following the resignation of Richard Schroeder, who will remain on the board. These changes come as education innovator Angie McAllister, an executive with the Apollo Group, who served as director of Camp Inquiry for two years, steps down from CFI’s board. 

Said Lindsay of these changes, “Angie McAllister brought her considerable expertise as an educator to her oversight of CFI’s programs, and we benefited enormously from her advice. We wish Angie the best, and we look forward to the contributions Elisabeth Cornwell will make to our work, and to Dan Kelleher’s guidance as our new chair.”

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The Center for Inquiry, a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization based in Amherst, New York, is also home to the Council for Secular Humanism and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.