A leading voice for humanism in the United States and abroad, Fred Edwords is recognized as an outstanding lecturer, debater, and teacher on human rights, humanist philosophical issues, and effective outreach techniques for organizations in the community of reason. He has appeared on national and local television in the United States and Canada, has been interviewed on radio and for newspapers around the world, and has lectured in North America, Europe, and India. He has also written for several publications in the United States and elsewhere.
Fred Edwords began his humanist activism in 1977 as vice president of the Humanist Association of San Diego. He became president the next year, expanded his reach as American Humanist Association West Coast regional coordinator in 1979, and became national administrator for the organization in 1980. He then served for fifteen years as AHA executive director (1984-1999) and twelve years as editor of the Humanist magazine (1994-2006). Edwords subsequently shifted his attention to bringing humanism to a wider public as AHA director of communications. Today he serves as a management and PR consultant to the AHA while heading up the United Coalition of Reason, bringing local group leaders together in cities across the United States and training them in public relations and effective use of the media.
Fred Edwords is also seen as a leader in the broader community of reason. He was the first president (2002-2005) of Camp Quest, Inc., a summer camp for freethinking children, and served in various leadership roles on the staff of the Ohio camp from 1998 to 2008. He has also served on the boards of the International Humanist and Ethical Union and the National Center for Science Education, served as vice president of the North American Committee for Humanism, and is currently a member of the Broader Social Impacts Committee for the Hall of Human Origins at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC. In 1980 he was the founding editor of the Creation/Evolution journal—the only publication dedicated to answering the pseudoscientific, philosophical, educational, and legal arguments of creationists—serving as its editor for eleven years. For such work Edwords was recognized in the mid-1980s as Rationalist of the Year by the American Rationalist Federation and as a Humanist Pioneer by the American Humanist Association. He continues as an advisor to the Secular Student Alliance, as a humanist celebrant in the Humanist Society, and as national director of the International Darwin Day Foundation.