We lost another great leader in the Humanist community yesterday. Warren Wolf was president of the Institute for Humanist Studies (IHS) and former president of The Humanist Institute. His organizations were actively involved in educating future leaders about the history and power of ethics beyond religion.
Looking back through more than seven years of correspondence with Warren, it’s immediately apparent how invested he was in the teaching of Humanism, an idea that doesn’t get much attention online but certainly influenced countless individuals.
I’ve asked some people who knew him for statements and will update this post when I hear back.
***Update***: Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association, sent this statement to me via email:
Warren Wolf will be remembered as a humanist leader who made progress happen for this movement by bringing to bear his no-nonsense business instincts, his friendly way of attracting allies, and his persistence in the face of challenges.
He directly grew humanism by being a decades long member and financial supporter of the American Humanist Association. As an integral member of the AHA’s board nominating committee in recent years, Warren helped shape the leadership for years to come.
Warren transformed The Humanist Institute during his terms of presidency. While THI provided years of steady humanist leadership training for a small number of graduates in the years prior, Warren set the wheels in motion to professionalize, accreditate, and expand the program. And at the same time he linked THI to the AHA to help it reach wider audiences and guarantee it’s longevity. And, along with its executive director Kristin Wintermute, he took the reigns of the movements premier online learning platform, preparing what is now the Kochhar Online Humanist Education program to reach an audience worldwide.
As the Institute For Humanist Studies was remade into a academically minded policy think tank, Warren was president from that time until his death. Understanding the benefits of growing a business at the right speed and aligning the right skill-sets to make it successful, Warren and it’s director, Anthony Pinn, set the path for meaningful humanistic research to occur, and laid the groundwork for future public policy work that would have a respected academic foundation.