Board Of Directors | Thinking Animals United


Stephan Bognar

Stephan Bognar has24 years of professional experience in the design, implementation, management, and evaluation of global development and environment programs centered on sustainability and inclusivity/diversity, health, food security, education and sports, natural resource management, including water security, and conflict resolution. He has an extensive track record in building social and environmental responsibility programs, providing technical assistance to global development teams, and community mobilization. Stephan has worked with governments, UN agencies, international organizations, and corporations. Until recently, for over a decade, Stephan served as CEO of Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in Cambodia and Thailand.

MaxMax Elder

Max Elder works in philanthropy in New York City and is a passionate animal welfare activist. He graduated magna cum laude with a degree in philosophy from Kenyon College, where he was a Graham Gund Scholar, an Elizabeth Ann Gibbons Scholar, and the recipient of the Virgil C. Aldrich Prize in Philosophy. Max studied animal ethics at Oxford University under Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey, and is now an Associate Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. He has worked at the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and has published multiple articles and book chapters on topics related to fish, the environment, and philosophy.

Asher JayAsher Jay

Asher ( is a 2014 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, who uses creative concepts and design to advance animal rights, sustainable development, and humanitarian causes. Her art, sculpture, design installations, films, and advocacy advertising campaigns bring attention to everything from oil spills and dolphin slaughters to shrinking lion populations. Much of her best known work spotlights the illegal ivory trade, including a huge animated billboard in Times Square and an ambitious project aimed at China’s ivory-hungry rising middle class. She participated in the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt in New York, where her oval oeuvre went on to raise money for anti-poaching efforts in Amboseli, Kenya.

David LahtiDavid Lahti

David Lahti is an Associate Professor of Biology at Queens College and the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. He received a PhD in philosophy for research on the relationship between science and the foundations of morality, and a PhD in ecology & evolutionary biology for field research on rapid evolution in an introduced bird. He runs a Behavioral Evolution Laboratory, where he and his students study function and change in complex traits, especially learned behavior in birds and humans.  He also curates the Online Bibliography of Environmental Thought, an online resource of the International Society for Environmental Ethics.

Tom PowelTom Powel, Chairperson

Tom’s work ( has appeared in hundreds of art books and exhibition catalogues, as well as in countless web and print publications including Art Forum, Art in America, Bomb, Flash Art, Art News, New York Magazine, The New York Times, Frieze, Art & Antiques, Sculpture, The New Yorker, Vogue, TimeOut New York, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, Artnet, ARTINFO, and more. He was the Official Recorder of the US pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2013. His clients have included major museums, art galleries, artists and architects in the US and internationally.

eric-steinhouser-northern-white_ol-pejetaEric Steinhauser, Creative Director

Eric ( is a film director and creative director who has developed award-winning work for agencies, clients, and organizations. He’s helped bring humor, beauty, compassion, enlightenment, environmental consciousness, great taste and solid financial advice to millions on behalf of numerous brands. As an ECD, he’s created unique partnerships among agencies, clients, and media to develop new content and branding opportunities. As creative director of the wildlife organization WildAid he created the award-winning public awareness campaign now the world’s most widely viewed conservation communications effort. It’s changing public opinion and influencing government policies with messages seen each week by over one billion people worldwide. He directed and produced the recent Emmy-nominated Animal Planet Network feature documentary SAVING AFRICA’S GIANTS with Yao Ming, exposing the catastrophic rise of elephant and rhino poaching now threatening their survival.

Bonnie WyperBonnie Wyper, Founder, President

Bonnie is an entrepreneur and has had a number of careers. Among them, she has designed in the Paris couture, directed the Rhode Island State Arts Council, managed art galleries in New York and Newport, RI, and developed the Office of Cultural Affairs for Newport, RI. She also worked at the Chiat Day and William Esty Advertising agencies in New York, directed advertising for Art in America Magazine, and was Director of PR & Advertising for Steuban. In the early ’90s she founded and published WhatNext?! Intelligence for Your Future, a monthly newsletter devoted to new technology and how it was changing our lives, and later founded Net.Content, Inc., which developed content for the Internet. Currently, she is Executive Director of Thinking Animals, Inc. ( which produces the series, Exploring Animal Minds in Manhattan. She attended L’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Hunter College where she received an Advanced Certificate in the Psychology of Animal Behavior & Conservation.