Executive Board

The European Humanist Federation is run by a board which meets three or four times a year, and whose members are elected for terms of 3 years by the General Assembly. People working for the EHF come from various countries and are deeply committed to secularism and the principles of justice and equality. 

President | Pierre Galand (Belgium)​

Pierre was born in 1940. From 2007 to 2014, he was President of the Centre d’Action Laïque (CAL), a federation of Belgian francophone non-confessional and freethinking associations. He is by training an economist and is honorary professor in DES at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and member of their board. A former Belgian senator, Pierre has worked for 40 years in the field of development cooperation, helping local groups and governments devise and implement ways to overcome their dependent condition.

He has held significant positions in many different organizations : Secretary General of Oxfam, Belgium (1967-1996); President of the Centre National de Coopération au Développement (CNCD) (1994- 2002) ; President of the Comité National d’Action pour la Paix et le Développement (CNAPD) (1986 – 1989), organiser of anti-missile marches from 1979 to 1985 ; President of Laïcité et Humanisme en Afrique Centrale (LHAC) (2004-2006) ; Fight against the Apartheid in South Africa (1985-1988) ; Comité de Liaison des ONG européennes avec la Commission européenne (CLONG); Comité pour l’annulation de la Dette du Tiers Monde (CADTM) in Brussels; Eurostep (European Solidarity towards Equal Participation of People) -European Union Brussels

Pierre remains president of the Organisation Mondiale contre la Torture (OMCT-Europe) – l’Association belge et la coordination européenne pour la Palestine (ABP et ECCP) – l’Association belge et la coordination européenne de soutien au peuple sahraoui (EUCOCO – le Forum pour un Contrat de Génération Nord-Sud – les Amis du Monde Diplomatique (Belgium) and other associations. He was elected to the EHF Board in 2009 and became President in May 2012.

Email: president(at)humanistfederation.eu | Website : http://www.pierregaland.be


Jean De Brueker | Treasurer

Centre d'Action Laïque 

Jean was born in 1955 and has been active since 1985 in the Centre d’Action Laïque as youth coordinator, financial representative, deputy secretary-general and since 2008, deputy secretary-general in charge of the European and International affairs. As graduate in social anthropology, he has a good knowledge of the concerns of underdeveloped countries and has worked as an expert in several parts of Africa including Congo, Cameroun and Senegal.  Contact: jean.debrueker(at)laicite.net

Frank Stappaerts



Michael Bauer

Michael Bauer was born in 1967 and graduated in political science (Univ.-Diploma) and in musicology (MA). He works as CEO of the Humanistischer Verband Bayern (HVD Bayern), a corporation under public law, and managing director of four of its LLCs. The HVD Bayern Group employs some 300 professionals in several fields of humanist activities. On behalf of Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands (federal umbrella) he publishes the quarterly humanist magazine “diesseits”.

His recent published works include: “Erziehen ohne Religion – Ein Ratgeber für Eltern” (Educating Without Religion – A Companion for Parents), Munich 2013 (together with Ulrike von Chossy), “Am Ende des Weges – Humanistische Positionen zum assistierten Suizid” (Humanist Positions Regarding Assisted Suicide), Berlin 2014 (together with Gita Neumann and Erwin Kress), “Gläserne Wände – Bericht zur Benachteiligung nichtreligiöser Menschen in Deutschland“ (Glass Walls – Report on the Discrimination of the Non-Religous in Germany), Berlin 2015 (together with Arik Platzek).

Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands


Panayote Dimitras

Humanist Union of Greece

In 1992, Panayote Drimitras founded the Greek Helsinki Monitor and the Minority Rights Group – Greece (MRG-G) and has been spokesperson of the GHM ever since. In 2010, he also created the Secretariat of the Humanist Union of Greece (HUG). He received his B.A. in Economics from the Athens School of Economics and Business in 1975, an M.P.A. in 1977 and a Ph.D. in 1979 in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University.

He was also founder and director of Eurodim, a Greek polling agency, from 1979-1990.  Since 1990 he has co-founded and directed the Communication and Political Research Society (ETEPE), a non-profit research organization. Between 1980-2005 he was a lecturer, assistant or visiting professor. 


Giulio Ercolessi | Vice-President 

Coordinamento Nazionale delle Consulte per la Laicità delle Istituzioni

Giulio Ercolessi was born in Trieste, NE Italy, in 1953. As local leader of the youth movements of the Italian Liberal Party and of the European Federalist Movement in the late Sixties, he joined the Radical Party in 1971, after cooperating with them through the left-wing faction of the Liberals, the Divorce Law League and the League for the Abrogation of the Concordat. As national leader of the Radical Party from 1971 to 1980, he held various party positions, including that of secretary general in the year 1973-74. He abandoned active politics in 1982 but kept on dealing with political issues as an independent essayist. www.giulioercolessi.eu

Massimo Redaelli 

Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti

Massimo Redaelli was born in 1979 and studied computer engineering in Milan and Chicago. He works as a forensic questioned document examiner. He has been coordinator of the Milan branch of Unione degli Atei e degli Agnostici Razionalisti (UAAR) since 2008 and member of the UAAR board since 2010. He joined the EHF Board in 2011.


Pol Wirtz 

Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an Agnostiker Lëtzebuerg

Pol was born 1946 and started his professional career in journalism, which he continued as a publisher of several magazines and long term member of the Luxembourg Press Council. In parallel he is and has been active as HR specialist and Executive Search  consultant working globally for most Luxembourg based international corporations.

Since age 16 he has been active as a left liberal (secret.gen of World Fed of Young Liberals) in all local humanist, secular and anti-clerical movements and co-founder of AHA.


Baard Thalberg 

Human-Etisk Forbund

Baard was born in 1963 and graduated from the Engineering College of the University of Oslo. He is a trained commercial pilot and a senior executive Officer on the Norwegian Defence Staff. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Norwegian Humanist Association, and a Ceremony celebrant for Humanist ceremonies (Baby naming, Confirmation, Marriage and Funerals). Other hobbies include SCUBA diving and what he calls a “nerd-like” interest in aviation.


Cristina Iacob

Asociaţia Umanistă Română

Cristina is Vice-President of the Romanian Humanist Association and was elected at EHF Board in May 2016. Cristina has been strongly involved in developing the humanist movement in Romania, but also in Europe and at the international level with the International Humanist Ethical Youth Organization.


Staffan Gunnarson


Staffan Gunnarson, born in 1964, is a freelance writer and lecturer, living in Stockholm. He studied the History of ideas and science and Political science at Gothenburg University. Staffan has been involved in the Swedish, Norwegian and International Humanism movement for twenty-five years,as the editor of the magazine “Humanisten” and Board member of "Humanisterna" (Sweden). Other work to mention includes a few years in market research and a period in the Internet business.

Patrik Lindenfors 


Patrik is a board member of the Swedish Humanist Association. He earned his PhD in 2002 and currently works as an Associate professor of Zoological ecology at the Centre for the Study of Cultural Evolution and the Department of Zoology, both at Stockholm University. At the Centre, he investigates how to apply thinking from studying biological evolution on research of cultural change, while at the Department he researches brain evolution and the evolution of sexual differences, mainly in primates. Patrik has published two books, "God probably doesn't exist" (2008; translated into eight languages) and "Samarbete" (2011; on the biological and cultural evolution of cooperation; currently only available in Swedish). His third book (to be published during 2015) "Sekulär humanism - förnuft, omtanke, ansvar", which is written in collaboration with the president of the Swedish Humanist Association, Christer Sturmark, is a summary of secular humanism as a life stance for school teachers and interested pupils. 

The Netherlands 

Ingeborg Takken

Humanistisch Verbond Nederland 

Ingeborg started her career as a newsreporter for Dutch television. She then worked in the field of communications and life orientation for NGO’s and gouvernemental organisations as a trainer, consultant and executive director. In 2001, she started working as a humanist chaplain with the Dutch armed forces and was deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan. She then reached management positions, first as Chief Humanist chaplain for the army; the last 5 years as Chief Humanist Chaplain for Joint Dutch Armed Forces.

United Kingdom

Pavan Dhaliwal | Vice President 

British Humanist Association 

Pavan is Head of Public Affairs the British Humanist Association, responsible for the BHA’s campaigns covering a wide range of issues including public services, equality law, ethical issues, religion and schools, and social cohesion. Pavan has worked in high level advisory and Head of Policy and Public Affairs roles for the past seven years. She is an equalities and human rights expert with a special interest in youth, criminal justice and education policy. She joined the BHA in January 2012 and was elected to the EHF Board in May 2012.

Gary McLelland 

Humanist Society Scotland

Gary is the Policy and Public Affairs Officer for Humanist Society Scotland. He is responsible for leading on HSS's policy development, campaigns and communications. Gary has a background in education and social work within Local Government in Scotland. He is also a member of the Scottish Joint Committee on Religious and Moral Education.