Board Of Directors | Thinking Animals United

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Stephan Bognar

Stephan has 24 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.

Jennifer Contegiacomo

Jennifer is a lawyer with McDermott Will & Emery where she participates in mediations and settlement negotiations, works with trial teams to prepare for trials and assists senior national counsel with the development of factual background for legacy liability and related defense strategy. Jennifer’s earlier experience includes representing multinational clients in large international mergers and acquisitions, private placements, public offerings involving equity and high-yield debt securities, licensing agreements, joint ventures and shareholders agreements, as well as general commercial transactions. In this capacity, she worked with clients in a wide range of industries. Jennifer graduated from New York Law School, JD, cum laude and from SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology, BFA, summa cum laude.

Scott Hajost

Scott is the Managing Director of the Global Wildlife Whistleblower Program at the National Whistleblower Center and Senior Strategic Adviser to the Natural Heritage Institute. Prior to these roles, he was Chief of Party for the USAID funded global Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge. Before, that he was Chief of Party for the USAID funded global climate Forest Carbon, Markets and Communities (FCMC). He is an expert in international conservation /environmental law and policy with over 30 years of experience. He is an international lawyer by training and was a treaty negotiator while at the US State Department, responsible for wildlife conservation, oceans, environment and polar affairs. While at US EPA, he was top manager for international affairs as a member of the Senior Executive Service. After leaving the US government, he was International Counsel at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading US NGO. Subsequently, for many years, he was the Executive Director of IUCN US. Scott is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the US IUCN National Committee. He serves on IUCN law, ecosystems, protected areas and communications Commissions. His specialties include: International environmental law and policy, including global climate change, biodiversity, oceans, polar affairs, international environmental governance, fundraising for non-profits and NGOs.

David LahtiDavid Lahti

David 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 (www.tompowelimaging.com) 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 (ericsteinhauser.com) 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. (www.thinkinganimals.org) which produces the series, Exploring Animal Minds in Manhattan, and the Rethinking Animals Summits. She is the founder of the Animal Issues Thematic Cluster in the Major Group system at the United Nations. 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.