Sami Al-AsadyMember at Large
SAMI AL-ASADY is a proud child of Bosnian and Iraqi war refugees studying political science at Arizona State University's Barrett Honors College. He has interned for Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona's 7th Congressional District and served the Biden-Harris Administration in its first class of the White House Internship Program. In Arizona politics, Sami has served on the board of Secular AZ since 2021 and was a campaign volunteer for Representative Judy Schwiebert. A prolific writer, Sami's opinions have been published by the Arizona Capitol Times and the Arizona Republic. He currently writes a column for OnlySky. Sami feels a debt of gratitude for the freedoms afforded by the United States Constitution and is eager to continue repaying it through honorable contributions to public service.
Kristina AmbriMember at Large
KRISTINA AMBRI is a middle school Assistant Principal, former teacher, and advocate for a high quality education for everyone that is free from any religious interference. She served on the Mesa Board of Housing and the Scottsdale Education Association Executive Board (including serving as the SEA President), volunteered on local legislative and school board campaigns, and has attended the NEA Women and Minority Leadership Conference. Kristina is a proud member of Secular AZ, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the American Humanists Association.
Craig BeckmanMember at Large
CRAIG BECKMAN is passionate for fighting for what is right in our society, including separation of Church and State, especially given the rise of Christian Nationalism in government. He has experience fighting the Christian Nationalist agenda in schools, is a board member of AZ LD2 Dems, and has run as a school board candidate. He has professional expertise in advertising, marketing, social media, and web development, and has worked with historically disenfranchised communities.
Jeanne CasteenExecutive Director
JEANNE CASTEEN has a bachelor’s degree in human communication and history from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication at ASU and a master’s in education, also from ASU. Jeanne has over 11 years of experience teaching in Maricopa County’s public schools. In 2011, Jeanne completed the Emerge Arizona program and in 2012 became a school board member of the Creighton School District. She served as Board President from 2016 through 2020. In 2020, Ms. Casteen ran for Maricopa County School Superintendent, and came within 12,000 votes of winning. She has been awarded the Arizona School Public Relations Association Award for Excellence in Advocacy and Political Contributions to Education as well as the Arizona School Board Association’s All-Arizona School Board Member Award.
Linsay EvansDirector of Development
LINSAY EVANS is committed to — and passionate about — the benefits that secular values offer for all, with a special interest in the areas of education, reproductive rights and non-discrimination. Linsay holds a master's in library and information science and a master's in social anthropology; her research focused on gendered representations in academic publishing and the effects of religiously driven population policies on women's access to reproductive health care in the Global South. She's worked in development for non-profits and foundations, as a copywriter, and in community relations.
Mary GanapolMember at Large
MARY GANAPOL's interest in Arizona politics was cemented when she attended her first Secular Day at the Capital in 2018, part of a group of Freethought AZ members who brought a busload of Tucson folks to Phoenix. That day, Mary also found out about Period.org at the Planned Parenthood table and was inspired to start a Tucson chapter. Mary describes herself as an enthusiastic, optimistic volunteer who closely follows both local and national politics and understands how being vocal about local issues is critical to the political process. Now retired, Mary sees this chapter of life as a time to give back and be of service to the community. In addition to delivering free hygiene products to agencies throughout Tucson, she is passionate about bringing a death with dignity law to Arizonans through her work with the all volunteer, nonpartisan, non-sectarian grassroots organization Arizona End-of-Life Options.
Iain HampVice Chair
IAIN HAMP has served on several nonprofit boards, including Save Our Schools AZ, Civic Engagement Beyond Voting, Junior Achievement of Arizona, and AZ LD25 Democrats, and is a founder of Phoenix Toolbank and Phoenix Suns Charities 88. He believes keeping as strong of a line between church and state as possible is key to a society in which people have the opportunity to thrive.
Kevin "Hondo" HickmanMember at Large
KEVIN “HONDO” HICKMAN’s previous experience as an Operations Manager with non-profit organizations, second chance employers, and a decade long employment with Maricopa County government makes him uniquely suited for the Secular AZ board. His introduction to the importance of secular government started over 15 years ago, when he joined the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and began to notice the one-sided nature of the programs offered to incarcerated individuals. All available support lead to some faith-based program, specifically Christian. As a lifelong atheist, Hondo knew there were others of all religions who wouldn’t have access to programs that fit their needs. During the next decade, he championed access to more diverse programs by challenging Program Managers to include a more diverse offering of support, especially those without faith-based association. He took his secular values into his work with incarcerated populations, helping them to access college courses. Hondo has been an active member of the secular community as an Assistant State Director for American Atheists, and as a Founding Member and current National Director of the Reason Riders Atheist Motorcycle Association.
Whitney "Whit" JohnsonChair
WHITNEY "WHIT" JOHNSON has held secular values his entire adult life. Even before he discovered there was a label for his belief system — Humanism. He was an early member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the American Humanist Association, and is currently the Vice President of FFRF-VS, the Freedom From Religion Foundation - Valley of the Sun Chapter. Whit is a retired Air Traffic Controller and currently owns two small businesses in Phoenix.
Karen McClellandMember at Large
KAREN MCCLELLAND grew up in Europe, Canada and the U.S. She attended Cornell University, worked in banking, finance and retail management, and moved to Sedona in 1987. She served on multiple Sedona PTA and school boards, has been on the Governing Board of the Sedona-Oak Creek High School District since 2002, and has been active with SOSAZ. Karen is active in advocacy at the State Legislature, and serves on the Board of Directors for the ASBA as the Yavapai County Director, where she’s been honored with a gold star Master of Boardsmanship, County Director of the Year, Advocate of the Year and as an ALL Arizona School Board member. She was a member of the Planned Parenthood Advocates of AZ Board of Directors and currently is a member of the Leadership Council of Arizona List. She was also on the Board of the Democrats of the Red Rocks from 2007 to 2021, is currently an elected PC and a member of the ADP State Committee and the Copper State Leadership Council, and is an individual member of American United, Freedom from Religion Foundation, American Atheists, American Humanist Association and Sedona Rationalists group.
Martha O'ConnorMember at Large
MARTHA O'CONNOR received her Ph.D. from Georgia State University in 1990. BS and MS degrees were earned at the University of Wisconsin Madison and Milwaukee respectively. She was a tenured professor of Occupational Therapy and Graduate Studies at The Medical University of Georgia, Augusta, GA. She became the Director of Accreditation for The American Occupational Therapy Association, MD, the Director of Examination Development for The National Board for Occupational Therapy Education, Gaithersburg, MD. Martha Moved to Arizona to become the Executive Director of the Council on Chiropractic Education, a national accreditation agency. Martha did Home Health for a few years and worked at Gompers school. Phoenix, AZ. On retirement Martha became involved with the League of Women voters, Indivisible, The Humanist Society, Secular Coalition and Americans United. Most recently serving as liaison between Secular Coalition and Americans United to report on the legislative activities of the Phoenix legislature. She is dedicated to the separation of church and state and the protection of the rights of non-theists.
Dianne PostLegal Director & Member at Large
DIANNE POST received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1979. She was a family lawyer in Arizona for 18 years, representing mostly battered women and abused children, before beginning a career in international law primarily doing gender-based violence work. On the international level she has worked for the U.S., O.S.C.E., and the U.N. in Russia, Mongolia, Algeria, Cambodia, Kenya and other places. She coordinated the group in Russia that drafted the first trafficking law and worked with the former head of the Constitutional Court in Kenya to create a manual to train prosecutors to prosecute cases of sexual violence against children.
Vickie Sandell StanglMember at Large
As a political science instructor at Wichita State University and as the President of the local Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) Chapter in Wichita,Kansas, speaking before groups was an almost every day task for VICKIE SANDELL STANGL. She either conducted board meetings or spoke before special events within the community for the University, the League of Women Voters, and Women's History presentations. Vickie has a great deal of experience as a board director, serving on a private school board, the League of Women Voters board in Overland Park, Kansas, and for AU in Wichita, Kansas.
SUZANNE STORY is a career educator who currently develops and delivers health, human services, and employee growth classes for Maricopa County. Prior to this, she served for over twenty-years as a teacher in the Peoria Unified school system, specializing in Advanced Placement English and History. In addition to her professional work, Suzanne is a longtime public advocate of rationalist, non-theistic approaches to state and national governance. She was a candidate for the Maricopa Country Board of Supervisors in 2020, earning over 170,000 votes and running on a platform emphasizing education, reproductive rights, inclusion, and human rights.
Kalyn ThompsonMember at Large
KALYN THOMPSON was born and raised in a small town in Arizona. Since earning her degree in psychology from ASU, she has worked as a special education teacher, behavior therapist, yoga/mindfulness teacher, and non-profit events coordinator. Kalyn has a passion for helping others and finds empowerment in community involvement. She values the beauty of diversity and strives to create an inclusive, safe, yet secular environment.