Ed Beck Becomes CFI–DC Executive Director as Melody Hensley Steps Down

October 28, 2015

Ed Beck, the Center for Inquiry’s Senior Policy Analyst, will take on a new leadership role beginning Monday, November 2, as he becomes the new Executive Director of CFI’s Washington, DC branch. Ed takes over for Melody Hensley, who is leaving after eight years of leading CFI–DC. Ed will continue to work on national policy, splitting his time between CFI–DC and the executive office.


A United States Marine Corps and Iraq War veteran, Ed holds a B.A. in International Politics and Anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Since first becoming involved with CFI in 2007, Ed has taken on a dizzying array of responsibilities. His various roles have included CFI On Campus group leader and volunteer, outreach and web intern, CFI—Western New York event organizer, CFI Institute and Camp Inquiry coordinator, assistant editor of CFI’s philosophy journal Philo, assistant to senior research fellow Joe Nickell, and more. Since moving to Washington in 2012, Ed has served as the Senior Policy Analyst for the Center for Inquiry’s Office of Public Policy, the organization’s comprehensive legislative and lobbying program. 

During her eight years as director, Melody Hensley spearheaded groundbreaking events such as the Women in Secularism conferences, lead grassroots efforts to support important causes, and personally nurtured a warm and welcoming community skeptics and the nonreligious. In her parting announcement, Melody wrote, “I am deeply grateful for this family, for all those who have come to our events, for those who have supported us financially, and particularly those who have volunteered their time and efforts to make CFI–DC the oasis, the home, that it has become for so many.” All of us at CFI sincerely thank her for her years of dedicated service, and for the strong foundation she has laid for the branch’s future.

“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to take a greater role in the CFI—DC community,” said Ed Beck. “Melody and her tireless volunteers have fostered a truly charming, invigorating group of humanists and freethinkers. It will be a real pleasure to work with them to further cultivate a critical, curious, and positively engaged secular humanist presence here in the nation’s capital.”

Ed was recently a guest on CFI’s podcast Point of Inquiry, along with the Secular Coalition for America’s Sarah Levin, discussing the pro-vaccination campaign Put Kids First. 

Photo by Bruce Press.

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.