Greg M. Epstein serves as the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard & MIT, and the Convener for Ethical Life at MIT’s Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life. The author of the New York Times bestselling book, Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe, Greg has been with our organization since 2004, serving in a variety of prominent leadership capacities across Harvard, U.S., and international humanist and interfaith communities over that time. You can Greg’s recent work profiled by TED Radio; via a year-long residency at leading Silicon Valley publication TechCrunch; and in a series of pieces on faith in humanity during the pandemic, for The Boston Globe.
Rick is the operations manager and assistant to Greg Epstein. He leads monthly secular meditations, and is the author of Secular Meditation: 32 Practices for Cultivating Inner Peace, Compassion, and Joy – A Guide from the Humanist Community at Harvard. He can be reached at email@example.com.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
David Buckley is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. He moved to Boston and became active in the local humanist community in 2013. David graduated from Wheaton College (IL) in 2001 and found his way to Washington DC to serve in a year-long, AmeriCorps-affiliated volunteer program. He worked in faith-based non-profits for several years including Joseph’s House, a hospice for previously homeless men and women, and Cornerstone, a transitional home for men with HIV recovering from substance use disorders. He earned his BSN at Howard University in 2009 and continued to serve the homeless and low-income community in DC as a registered nurse at So Others Might Eat (SOME) Medical Clinic.
During his years in DC David was an active member of a local social-justice-oriented religious community and served as a lay leader. While earning his master’s degree in theology at Wesley Theological Seminary in DC, David realized he could no longer espouse Christian beliefs. Over time he found a new sense of identity as a Humanist and an atheist. He has also been grateful to find a new community of support and opportunity for service through the work of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard.
Narath Carlile is the Chief Medical Information Officer for ACT.md / Physician in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. He is also a practicing physician in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. As a medical informaticist Narath has led a number of global projects including development of an open source paging system for hospitals in Africa, mobile decision support for community health workers in Mexico, interactive voice response systems for medical clinics, and educational software. Narath is passionate about the beauty of life, the potential of all living beings, extending caring to all in need, and science as a way of knowing. Narath, his wife and children are committed to helping creating communities of good that can nurture and allow humanist families to thrive.
Joe Gerstein, MD was one of the Founding Board Members of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard in 1991 and served as Treasurer until 2018. He has retired from the Harvard Medical School Faculty. He spent 32 years as President of the Humanist Association of Massachusetts and served a term on the Board of the AHA. He is the Founding President of SMART Recovery, an organization which supports 3,500 free, secular, evidence-based mutual-aid recovery groups in 26 countries, 2,200 in the US.
He is Co-chair of the Criminal Justice Workgroup of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, having facilitated almost 800 prison meetings of SMART Recovery and instigated the development of its Correctional Version, InsideOut, funded by NIDA. InsideOut is in use in almost 300 prisons globally. He has served on 11 non-profit boards, including SMART Recovery UK and Australia. He won a suit for the US Government against fraudulent drug promotion, returning almost $1 billion to the US.Treasury.
Elena L. Glassman is an assistant professor of computer science at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Stanley A. Marks and William H. Marks Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute, specializing in human-computer interaction. Elena designs, builds, and evaluates systems for comprehending and interacting with population-level structure and trends in large code and data corpora.
At MIT, she earned a PhD and MEng in electrical engineering and computer science and a BS in electrical science and engineering. Before joining Harvard, she was a postdoctoral scholar in electrical engineering and computer science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the Berkeley Institute for Data Science Moore/Sloan Data Science Fellowship.
Raised in the 1970s in a working-class family in the then-gritty Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, upon graduation, MIT alumnus Ken Granderson made the choice to use his technical skills for socially progressive purposes.
In the early 1990s, Ken taught himself to code and discovered that the new world of computer technology offered opportunities for growth without the capital or cultural barriers which had hindered many in previous Industrial Revolutions because they came from Black or other historically excluded communities.
Ken left his mainstream tech job and started Inner-City Software with the mission of 'Bringing Communities of Color Into the Information Age' by putting Boston's 'majority minority' communities and Empowerment Zone online, delivering technology features to Boston's communities of color several years ahead of companies like EventBrite, Yelp and Yahoo Groups.
In 1997, as non-techies were starting to use the Internet, Ken conceived Black Facts Online, the Internet's first Black History Encyclopedia, as a tool to help newly arriving Black Internet users find information about themselves already present in the new and uncharted territory then called Cyberspace.
20 years later, Ken enhanced BlackFacts with advanced content aggregation, AI-enabled classification and syndication capabilities, and with a growing web site and social media presence, has become a popular source of Black History and Current News. BlackFacts is also a unique example of independent, self-funded Black Technologists using their expertise and initative to create an innovative solution to address the centuries-old problem of communities of color not being in control of the narratives about them.
Ken is passionate about encouraging tech experts of today and tomorrow to 'Always Use Their Tech Super-Powers for Good.' Ken keeps a running journal of his activities at https://kengranderson.com and can be found online at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kengranderson/ or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erik Gregory is a former president of the Board of Directors of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard & MIT. He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his clinical work at the Tavistock Clinic in London, where he treated refugee children suffering from trauma. His post-doctoral studies took place at Harvard Medical School (McLean Hospital). He also received master’s degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Human Development and Psychology and the Harvard Kennedy School Of Government in Public Leadership as a Littaeur Fellow. At the Kennedy School, he examined 21st Century models of leadership and followership and their intersections with psychology.
Dr. Gregory has served as a Fellow with the National Cancer Institute in Hawaii, a Spencer Fellow with the Spencer Foundation, and Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago. He most recently completed an Executive Certificate in Management and Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Management. He will be at visiting scholar at Harvard’s Divinity School beginning the Fall of 2020.
A.J. Kumar is the president of the Board of Directors of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard & MIT. He first became involved with the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard while a graduate student getting his PhD in Applied Physics. He had just returned to the US from two years in South Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer and came to Harvard seeking ways to connect science and technology with social justice. He led the Humanist Graduate Student Community at Harvard while creating a rapid test for sickle cell disease for low-resource settings as his thesis project.
After graduating, A.J. joined Jana Care, a medical diagnostics startup, and led the research and scientific strategy to address chronic diseases with paper diagnostics and mobile phones. He is currently a science director at Indigo Ag where he provides scientific strategy for systems experiments to create an agricultural system that benefits farmers, consumers, and the planet. A.J. is an author on 20 scientific publications and an inventor on 8 patents and patent applications.
A. J. Kumar
Quinnie Lin is an entrepreneur, attorney, and advocate who founded the Washington DC and Los Angeles-based public affairs firm, QB Strategies (powered by Georgetown Venture Lab): a social impact consulting practice that helps enterprises, candidates, and organizations level up their impact through data-driven and people-centered approaches. She is currently working on a tech-based health platform startup in pre-seed phase based in LA.
As a graduate of Boston public schools, Harvard College, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and Georgetown Law, she has always been motivated by social justice. She started community organizing at the age of 17 and has led successful campaigns that resulted in the introduction of the Ethnic Studies minor at Harvard University as well as the establishment of a new mental health center at Georgetown Law. Since launching QB Strategies, Quinnie has devoted her time towards building a consultancy and network of leaders who believe in systems change, the power of technology for social impact, and unconventional ways to promote access to justice and equality. Quinnie is a member of the bar in Massachusetts and Washington DC.
Stephen Matheson is a former president of the Board of Directors of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard & MIT. He is a biologist, Bardolator, beer lover, bicyclist, and baseball fan. He works in non-profit scientific publishing at the Public Library of Science (PLOS) and lives in Tucson, Arizona.
Jeffrey Miller has been a member of the Humanist community at Harvard since 2001. He graduated with an A.B in Economics at Harvard. He currently works as a private equity investor and has prior experience in investment banking and strategy consulting. He also participates in fundraising activities for the Broad Institute in Cambridge. Jeff and his wife Katie have two young children and three pets, and are passionate about science, humanism, and animal rescue.
Darren Sears studied visual art from an early age, often a means of expressing his captivation with the physical and biological world. He continued to explore his environmental and artistic interests during his college years at Stanford. A semester abroad in Madagascar focusing on ecology and conservation, and several months in Peru creating a guidebook on Amazonian palms solidified the growing realization that his ecological and geological interests, more driven by idealized versions of environments than their functional complexities, were more aesthetic than scientific.
Darren earned a Master in Landscape Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and entered private practice. The profession proved to be a good fit in many ways, but he quickly learned that due to the practical requirements of designing usable spaces for actual clients, most of his visions could not be realized out in the real world. Darren’s work is nevertheless strongly informed by landscape architecture’s aim of bringing clarity and order to the physical environment. He thinks of himself as a designer or environmental artist constrained (so far) to standard artistic formats rather than a painter depicting scenery in a traditional, stand-alone sense. Since mid-2016 Darren has been taking a break from landscape architecture to focus on his worldviews. A resident of San Francisco, he is represented by Hang Art gallery and has exhibited in solo and group shows locally and nationally. In 2017 he participated in month-long artist residencies in Iceland and Tasmania.
OUR ADVISORY BOARD
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein grew up in White Plains, New York, and graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College, receiving the Montague Prize for Excellence in Philosophy, and immediately went on to graduate work at Princeton University, receiving her Ph.D. in philosophy. She is the author of The Mind-Body Problem; The Late-Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind; The Dark Sister; Mazel; Properties of Light: A Novel of Love, Betrayal, and Quantum Physics; Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction; and Plato at The Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away.
Steven Pinker is a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He conducts research on language and cognition, and is the author of many books, including Enlightenment Now, The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.
Ron Suskind is a Pulitzer-winning journalist, bestselling author, and the founder of Sidekicks. Ron’s bestseller, Life, Animated (2014), chronicles his family’s twenty-year journey raising and connecting to their autistic son. The Suskinds are also the subject of an award-winning documentary feature of the same name. Their story has driven activism and research about the compensatory strengths of those with autism and others who are “differently-abled” due to distinctive neurology or sociocultural backgrounds. Ron’s company, Sidekicks, is leading efforts to build a next generation of augmentative technologies to lift and support these communities
Ron often appears on network television and has been a contributor for The New York Times Magazine and Esquire. Ron was the Wall Street Journal’s senior national affairs reporter from 1993 until his departure in 2000, and won the 1995 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. He currently lives in Cambridge, MA, with his wife, Cornelia Kennedy Suskind, and lectures about narrative and justice at Harvard Law School.
Ernst Mayr, (1904-2005), was a University Professor at Harvard and an advisor to the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard. He was one of the 20th century’s leading evolutionary biologists and a noted ornithologist.
George Wald, (1906-1997), was a University Professor at Harvard and an advisor to the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard. He shared the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discoveries concerning the primary physiological and chemical visual processes in the eye.