Dawkins Foundation Announces Robyn Blumner as New Executive Director
Washington, DC --The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science U.S. today announced that Robyn Blumner has been named Executive Director, effective February 5, 2014. Blumner will replace the interim Director, Edwina Rogers, who also serves as the Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America.
Blumner is a longtime columnist and editorial writer for the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. She has an extensive background as a public advocate for church-state separation, the rights of atheists and other nontheists, a spectrum of civil liberties and civil rights causes, economic and racial justice and other progressive causes. Her nonprofit experience includes having led two statewide affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“I am delighted to have Robyn Blumner leading the Foundation in the U.S,” said Richard Dawkins. “Her published writings show her to be a strong, unapologetic atheist with the vision to pursue the imaginative aims of the Foundation, while her legal background and non-profit experience equip her to put them into practice.”
A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Robyn went on to receive her J.D. Degree from New York University. Prior to joining the Times, Blumner headed up two affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union, in Utah (1987-89) and Florida (1989-97), where she rescued the affiliate from financial trouble.
Blumner started at the Tampa Bay Times in 1997, then known as the St. Petersburg Times. Her column was later syndicated and she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 2012.
“I am extremely excited to join the Richard Dawkins Foundation. Given the anti-science sentiment we’re seeing across the country, this is an extremely important time to support sound science and evidence-based logic in the public sphere,” Blumner said. “I have always been passionate not only about the issues that the Dawkins Foundation represents, but civil liberties and equality in a larger sense. This move is really a homecoming for me.”
In 2013, the Secular Coalition for America and the Richard Dawkins Foundation U.S., announced a partnership. Secular Coalition Executive Director, Edwina Rogers served as the interim Executive Director during a transitionary period, and helped the Foundation reorganize and broaden the donor base. The two organizations will continue to work together closely, and will share adjoining offices in Washington, D.C.
“We are excited to welcome Robyn to the Dawkins Foundation and look forward to continuing to work closely with the Foundation in many facets in the future,” said Edwina Rogers. “One of the goals of the Secular Coalition is to unify the secular and nontheistic movement—and show lawmakers that we are a community with the ability to organize. This partnership is a shining example of how far our movement has come and our continued growth.”