After nearly three years of working with Michael Blanford, the JREF is sad to announce that he will be leaving the organization. JREF’s Director of Educational Programs, Blanford is precluded from moving to Los Angeles at the present time to join the rest of the organization’s staff at its new offices and meeting space, opened this last June. The JREF is pleased that he was able to contribute so much to its important mission advancing critical thinking in education, especially with his work leading a team developing JREF’s educational modules for the classroom.

“Michael is a good skeptic, a good educator and a good friend, and I’m very happy he will remain connected with the JREF in the years ahead, continuing to give guidance and advice on our developing programs of educational and teacher resources,” said D.J. Grothe, president of the Foundation. “The growth of JREF’s new educational programs are a direct result of Michael’s creativity and hard work, and we are grateful for his many contributions.”

barb-drescherThe JREF is very happy to announce that Barbara Drescher will begin serving as the organization’s Consultant for Educational Programs in Blanford’s absence. Drescher has been involved with the James Randi Educational Foundation for many years, speaking and leading teacher workshops at The Amaz!ng Meeting, JREF’s annual conference, and advising on the JREF in the Classroom program. In addition to skeptical activism, Ms. Drescher teaches research methods, statistics, and cognitive psychology at California State University, Northridge, where she has focused her research on perception, attention, learning, and reasoning. On her critical thinking website,, she evaluates claims and research, discusses education, and promotes science and skepticism.

“I strongly believe that what the JREF does makes the world a better place,” says Drescher. “I have been proud of my contributions to the JREF's educational efforts over the past few years and I am excited about the opportunity to make a much larger and more lasting contribution in this new role."

For more about the James Randi Educational Foundation’s educational programs, click here.