Margaret Downey

Margaret Downey

TPMA President

Margaret Downey founded the Freethought Society (FS) and the Anti-Discrimination Support Network (ADSN) in 1993. In 1994, Margaret founded the FS Thomas Paine Memorial Committee. She has been published in three books, Parenting Beyond Belief, A Better Life, and 50 Voices of Disbelief.

Margaret is a past board member of the American Humanist Association, The Humanist Institute and the Thomas Paine National Historical Association. She is a current board member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and is a member of the Advisory Board Member of the Robert Green Ingersoll Museum. Margaret has represented the interest of the nontheist community (since 1995) at several United Nations conferences.

In 2002, Margaret became the first “Secular Humanist Celebrant” in Pennsylvania certified by the Center for Inquiry. She created the Richard Dawkins Award in 2003. Margaret served as president of the Atheist Alliance International for two years. In 2007, Margaret designed the Tree of Knowledge, which has since become a respected symbol of the nontheist/secular community and is used in private homes as well as public displays during the winter holiday season.

Margaret has been a guest on National Public Radio’s Talk of the Nation and Radio Times. Television appearances include features on local news stations as well as ABC’s Nightline, PBS and Fox News. Media Training Worldwide has endorsed Margaret to conduct media training for the nontheist community.

Margaret enjoys acting and costuming. She is the organizer of the yearly Skeptic Parade Entry held in Atlanta, Georgia on Labor Day Weekend as part of the DragonCon festivities. She has portrayed Madame Bonneville, many Suffragists, and created a character known as “The Friggatriskaidekaphobia Treatment Nurse” in order to teach critical thinking skills every Friday the Thirteenth. In 2018, at the 25-year anniversary celebration of the Robert Green Ingersoll Museum opening, Margaret portrayed Eve Parker Ingersoll in a one-woman play she wrote for the occasion.