Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH
Neurologist, Public Health Specialist
Aysha Akhtar, M.D., M.P.H., is a double Board-certified neurologist and preventive medicine/public health specialist and is on a mission.
She is demonstrating how there is a mutual benefit to both humans and animals when animals are protected. She is the author of the book, Animals and Public Health: Why Treating Animals Better is Critical to Human Welfare (Palgrave Macmillan), which examines how the treatment of animals impacts human health. In her TED Talk, she discusses how treating animals better is not only good for animals, but also good for us. Dr. Akhtar has spoken and written extensively on the connection between animal protection and human health.
Dr. Akhtar is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She is published in peer-reviewed journals including Lancet, Pediatrics, Journal of Public Health Policy, and Reviews in the Neurosciences. Dr. Akhtar has been interviewed by major news media and appeared in the television shows, 30 Days, produced by Morgan Spurlock and Nick News discussing animal experimentation. She is a member of the Leadership Council for the Classy Awards. She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. Her blogs can be found here.
Summit talk: Animal Protection is Human Protection, Too
“In short, if public health is concerned about the protection and promotion of human health, and if public health acknowledges that every other facet of human existence plays a role in our health, it must also acknowledge that how we relate to animals is a major determinant of our health.”
Senior Director, TRAFFIC, WWF
Crawford Allan is an international expert on wildlife trafficking and trade, with 24 years’ experience in wildlife conservation, policy and regulation. He has been selected for the Advisory Council to the U.S. Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking.
Allan has led Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce’s (TRAFFIC) black market investigations internationally and has directly supported strong enforcement action, including some of the largest seizures, major arrests and prosecutions internationally. He is the TRAFFIC leader globally of the joint WWF and TRAFFIC Wildlife Crime Initiative. He was the leader of phase 1 of World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) Wildlife Crime Technology project–the recipient of a $5 million Google Global Impact Award Grant.
Prior to the WWF, Allan was Chairman of the UK government’s Forensics Working Group of the Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime.
“Wildlife trade is big business…it needs big innovative solutions to make sure that it does not threaten species and undermine the livelihoods of the poorest communities.”
U.S. Country Director, IFAW
Beth assures the strategic development and implementation of U.S. projects and campaigns with special emphasis on U.S. role in ivory trade, wildlife trafficking, and wildlife security issues. Beth oversaw the strategic development and implementation of IFAW’s (International Fund for Animal Welfare) U.S. campaigns to protect whales from threats, address global wildlife crime and protect elephants. She leads IFAW’s innovative work to look beyond GDP for alternatives that better promote happiness and well-being for people and animals. Beth holds a Master’s of Science in Business Management from Boston University. In addition to IFAW, Allgood serves as a board advisor for Gross National Happiness USA, which aims to increase personal happiness and our collective wellbeing by changing how we measure progress and success. Prior to IFAW, Beth worked as the Senior Policy Advisor for The Nature Conservancy and the Congressional Liaison and Government Aid Agency Liaison for the World Wildlife Fund in D.C.
“Can we create a new global system that looks at replacing a push for short-term growth of economic activity with a long term sustainable growth in wellbeing for people, animals and the planet? This is important for the health of our oceans, our whales, and ultimately for us.”
President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary
Gene Baur is the president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, America’s leading farm animal protection organization, which runs the largest rescue and refuge network for farm animals in North America. Gene holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State University Northridge and a master’s degree in agricultural economics from Cornell University.
After volunteering and working with various environmental and human rights causes, Gene turned his attention to animal agriculture. He has conducted hundreds of visits to farms, stockyards and slaughterhouses to document conditions, and his pictures and videos, exposing factory farming cruelty, have been aired nationally and internationally, educating millions. He has testified in court and before local, state and federal legislative bodies, and has initiated groundbreaking legal enforcement and legislative action to raise awareness and prevent factory farming abuses. He played a significant role in passing the first U.S. laws to prohibit cruel farming systems – including the Florida ban on gestation crates, the Arizona ban on veal and gestation crates, and the California and Chicago bans on foie gras. His efforts have been covered by leading news organizations, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Public Radio, ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN. His book, entitled Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food (Simon and Schuster) in March, 2008 and has become a national best seller.
“The sixteen hundred dairies in California’s Central Valley alone produce more waste than a city of twenty-one million people – that’s more than the populations of London, New York, and Chicago combined.”
Founder, The Living Architecture Lab
David Benjamin is Principal The Living and Assistant Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. The Living explores the architecture of the future through building it today. We bring new technologies to life in the built environment, and we have a passion for integrating design innovation, sustainability, and the public realm. We believe cities and buildings are living, breathing organisms. And in the context of rapid change and new urban challenges, we propose that design should be a living, breathing ecosystem. Within this design ecosystem, we work on multiple scales simultaneously. We anticipate and welcome rapid change. We embrace design with uncertainty, design with rules rather than fixed forms, and design with shifting and unknowable forces. Clients include the City of New York, Airbus, 3M, Quantified Self, and Miami Science Museum. Recent projects include the Princeton Architecture Laboratory (a new building for research on robotics and next-generation design and construction technologies), Hy-Fi (a branching tower in the courtyard of MoMA PS1 created with almost no waste, no energy, and no carbon emissions), Pier 35 EcoPark (a 200-foot floating pier in the East River that changes color according to water quality), and Architecture Bio-synthesis (a new process of bio-computation and bio-manufacturing to produce high-performance, sustainable materials through synthetic biology).
Most recently The Living created the ‘Mussel Choir,’ which is “a monitoring system using live mussels as bio-sensors and vocalizing changes in water quality through artificial intelligence and natural intelligence.” The Living has been ranked third by Fast Company in its list of World’s Most Innovative Companies in Architecture.
“We think buildings and cities are living, breathing organisms – and it makes sense for design to take advantage of this.”
Program Director, US National Park Service / Oxford University: Women Leaders in Conservation
Stephan Bognar 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 is currently the Lead Designer of Oxford University and the US National Park Service program for developing professional female leaders in the environment; Lead Designer of NYPD Foundation’s global public health program; Independent Advisor to the New York Police Department leadership program called Leap.ID (Law Enforcement Action Program on Inclusivity and Diversity).
Stephan has worked with governments, UN agencies, international organizations, and corporations, e.g. on the development programs in Bamyan Province (Afganistan), and the rehabilitation program for the Baghdad Zoo (Iraq). He helped launch NIKE’s global sustainability program and WildAid’s conservation and sustainable development projects in Asia. For over a decade, Stephan served as CEO of Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation in Cambodia and Thailand – he created the vision and operation of the foundation and managed a diverse, multimillion-dollar development portfolio dedicated to development, conservation and social impact initiatives.
In 2005, he received the City of San Francisco-Environmental Citizen Award and in 2007 was recognized by L’Actualite Quebec as one of Quebec’s global citizens. He studied Political Science at McGill University, and obtained a master’s in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Vienna. Stephan was as lead development professor to Columbia University Master Students in International Development. He is currently a guest lecturer on Global Sustainable Development at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.
“Many people are still operating in two systems – in the healthcare system and the environmental system [and] do not want to build an integrated system and make the connections. We need to have more congresses, more workshops, more meetings in all parts of the world … making these strong connections, making this a global awareness campaign to bring healthcare practitioners, to bring the environmental movement, the conservation movement together to make sure that they are making the connections.”
Founder, Coller Capital, Jeremy Coller Foundation, and FAIRR
Jeremy Coller is the founder of Coller Capital and the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return initiative (FAIRR). FAIRR is an initiative that aims to alert investors to the significant material impacts that factory farming could have on their portfolio. The initiative has identified 28 risk factors associated with the production and consumption of factory-raised meat. Additionally, the Jeremy Coller Foundation seeks to address animal welfare and human health issues caused by factory farming through both grant-making and the FAIRR initiative.
Summit talk: Factory Farming. Risks for Investors
“Policy makers in COP21 hardly mentioned factory farming as a cause of climate change. I’ve spoken to a number of policymakers and there is zero interest in including factory farming because for now, it is a vested interest. That needs to change and we can expect it to.”
Co-Founder and Global Strategy Director, 5 Gyres
With more than 20 years experience in environmental non-profit work—including marine conservation, coastal watershed management, and sustainability education—Anna Cummins is an expert in the field. Her “Synthetic Sea, Synthetic Me” TEDx talk has been viewed and shared by thousands.
After receiving an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, Cummins completed a Masters in International Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute for International Studies. In 2007, Cummins joined the Algalita Marine Research Foundation as an education advisor, conducting school outreach and giving public presentations on plastic marine pollution. Through Algalita, she experienced first-hand the Great Pacific Gyre. On that voyage, she also met Marcus Eriksen, with whom she would go on to found The 5 Gyres Institute in 2009.
Their goal was to put plastic pollution on the international agenda. Beginning in 2010, 5 Gyres spearheaded a series of scientific firsts by researching plastic in all five subtropical gyres, as well as the Great Lakes and Antarctica—sailing a total of 50,000 miles in the process. In 2014, the organization convened eight scientists around the world to publish the first global estimate of plastic pollution in our ocean: 5.25 trillion particles weighing in at 270,000 tons of “plastic smog” worldwide. 5 Gyres work on plastic microbead pollution in the Great Lakes that inspired a two-year campaign that culminated in a federal ban on microbeads, which President Obama signed into law in 2015. In 2016, Cummins announced 5 Gyres’ partnership with EPA at the State Department’s “Our Oceans” summit.
Cummins was elected a fellow of the Wings World Quest in 2011, and received a Golden Goody Award in 2013.
“Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, but it does photo degrade, meaning sunlight and wave action turn plastic into sand-sized particles that stay in our oceans for decades. These plastics are easily mistaken for food by foraging animals, and enter the food chain that sustains us. By polluting the oceans and waterways, we’re really polluting ourselves.”
Co-Founder and CEO, New Harvest
Datar holds a BSc. in Cell & Molecular Biology from the University of Alberta, where she contributed to Canada’s first cultured meat laboratory, and an M.Biotech from the University of Toronto. Datar said she was inspired by a meat science course to explore the environmental consequences of livestock production. In 2010, she coauthored a publication for Possibilities of an In Vitro Meat Production System, which applied tissue engineering technology to the cultured meat application. She is also a one-third founder of the start-up company Muufri, which is producing an animal-free cow’s milk and of Clara Foods which is developing a chickenless egg white that is cholesterol-free and salmonella-free, while using lower land and water inputs and available at a reduced cost.
New Harvest is a research institute dedicated to accelerating breakthroughs in cellular agriculture through strategically funding and conducting open, public, collaborative research that reinvents the way we make animal products – without animals. Projects include “Perfect Day”, a company working to make milk without cows, “Mark Post’s Cultured Beef” and “Clara Foods”, all of which are cellular agriculture projects innovating the use of cell and tissue culture for the purposes of creating alternative food production without the use of animals. In 2010 Isha published “Possibilities for an in-vitro meat production system” in the food science journal Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies. Now she is determined to educate the public on the potentials of cultured meat and “to change people’s image from scary labs to something like beer breweries.”
“When you learn about factory farming, animal welfare, the environmental impacts of meat, I think there will be plenty of people who are waiting to move toward cultured meat when it becomes available.”
Co-Founder, Conservation X Labs
Dr. Alex Dehgan is the co-founder of Conservation X Labs, and is a senior visiting fellow in the Office of the President at Duke University. There he is focused on three major initiatives – innovation and entrepreneurship, globalization, and the tropical biology initiative.
Dr. Alex Dehgan mostly recently served as the Chief Scientist at the U.S. Agency for International Development, with rank of Assistant Administrator, and founded and headed the Office of Science and Technology. As the Agency’s first chief scientist in two decades, Dr. Dehgan implemented the President’s promise to restore science and technology to its rightful place within USAID. During his tenure at USAID, Alex has been the architect of a number of new Agency institutions, including the position of the chief scientist, the independent office of science and technology, the position of the Agency geographer, and the GeoCenter. Alex built the Office of Science and Technology from scratch to an 80 person office, and $100 M dollar research program, in less than four years, and leveraged or raised $500 million dollars, including a $200 M dollar commitment from the Swedish government to his office. In 2014, this program received congressional approval to become the new USAID Development Lab.
Prior to coming to USAID, Dr. Dehgan worked in multiple positions within the Office of the Secretary at the Department of State and the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs where he developed a science diplomacy strategy towards addressing our most challenging foreign policy issues in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and the greater Islamic world. Dr. Alex Dehgan was the founding Afghanistan Country Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Afghanistan Biodiversity Conservation Program. Through his leadership, WCS led efforts to create Afghanistan’s first national park, conducted the first comprehensive biological surveys of the country in 30 years, helped develop Afghanistan’s biodiversity conservation laws and policies, and curtailed illegal wildlife trade on US and ISAF military bases.
Dr. Dehgan holds a Ph.D and M.Sc. from The University of Chicago’s Committee on Evolutionary Biology, where he focused on extinction and adaptation of 12 lemur species during environmental change in tropical forests in Madagascar. He also holds a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings, and a B.S. from Duke University. He was chosen as an “Icon of Science” by Seed Magazine in 2005, received the World Technology Award for Policy in 2011, and has been recognized through multiple awards from the Departments of State and Defense, and the US Agency for International Development. In 2013, AAAS selected Alex as one of its 40@40 fellows out of 2,600 AAAS Science Policy Fellows globally for its 40th Anniversary based on individuals who have made exemplary dedication to applying science to serve society, were creative, innovative, and collaborative problem solvers in addressing global challenges, and were uncommon ambassadors for the role of science and technology.
“The history of national states and of biological and physical systems both constrain the present. Species create an incredible range of strategies to survive, to adapt to change; some species fail to adapt, and some of those lessons provide great insights for our own species.”
Wildlife Conservation Director, Vulcan Philanthropy
James Deutsch is Director of Wildlife Conservation at Vulcan Inc., Paul Allen’s organization, and is focusing especially on elephants, rhinos, sharks, rays, and wildlife trafficking. Originally from New York City, James studied philosophy (AB) at Harvard and anthropology (MPhil) and zoology (PhD) at Cambridge. He was a research fellow at Cambridge, lecturer in ecology at the University of East Anglia, and lecturer in behavioral ecology and conservation biology at Imperial College London before becoming the chief executive of Britain’s national fundraising charity for AIDS (Crusaid) for six years.
In 2002, he returned to New York to head the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Africa Program, and was appointed VP Conservation Strategy at WCS in 2014. James’ work in Africa has included field studies of Uganda kob antelope and Malawi cichlid fishes, school-teaching in Kenya, helping found and lead the Tropical Biology Association, and spending about one quarter time from 2002-2014 on management visits to WCS’s 12 African country programs (Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, DRC, Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, and Madagascar).
Under James’ leadership, WCS’s work in Africa was expanded and reorganized under country programs, growing in budget from $6 million in 2003 to $34 million in 2014. WCS helped to create and implement the Congo Basin Forest Partnership and associated Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment of the US Government. James launched new country programs in Nigeria, South Sudan, and Mozambique. He helped WCS’s large-scale alternative livelihood program in Zambia, COMACO, to grow and mature into an independent Zambian non-profit company. Under his leadership WCS helped create Gabon’s system of national parks, discovered a population of 125,000 western lowland gorillas in Congo, and re-discovered the great ungulate migrations of South Sudan. During 2012-2014, James’ focus has been on strengthening WCS’s role and capacity in protected area management and coordinating WCS’s efforts to end Africa’s elephant poaching and ivory trafficking crisis.
President and CEO, IFAW
Azzedine Downes, President and CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare – IFAW, guides the implementation of conservation and animal welfare projects in 40 countries around the world and is the architect of one of the largest efforts to stop global crime syndicates involved in wildlife poaching. Under his leadership, IFAW developed a global, three-pronged strategy to protect elephants and rhinos through counter-poaching operations in source countries, disrupting trade in transit countries and reducing the use of ivory in end user countries in Asia.
Azzedine is the architect of the tenBoma project in Africa which is a counter-poaching strategy that has incorporated the experience and practice of former U.S. Military Intelligence officers embedded within counter-poaching forces of Eastern African countries. A fundamental tenet of tenBoma is building a network to combat transnational organized criminal networks profiting from the illegal killing of endangered species. It is the first and only project of its kind that has created a community of interest within the intelligence community in Washington, D.C. and U.S. embassies in the region. It is also the only intelligence-led counter poaching effort to be embedded in the Kenya Wildlife Service, a result of close ties and diplomatic skills of the IFAW team under Azzedine’s guidance. Through regional enforcement networks including those in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa and through a partnership with INTERPOL, he is leading diffusion and mainstreaming of key tenBoma concepts, and also pursuing opportunities to expand into Tanzania, Mozambique and into Asia on the India-Bhutan border. Azzedine is a recognized expert in the field of counter-poaching strategy and innovative thinking. In 2015, Azzedine was named to Fast Company’s “The 100 Most Creative People in Business” for his work on the tenBoma project and his ability to create a coalition of partners never before assembled in a conservation effort. He was recognized as one of the 50 Leading Conservationists in the Influence category of the publication Saving Wild.
He was most recently named by The Non-Profit Times as one of the top 50 Influential Leaders in the American non-profit sector. He was appointed to the U.S. Trade Representative Trade and Environment Policy Advisory Council (TEPAC), is a member of the Global Tiger Forum Advisory Council based in New Delhi, India, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Art, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in London.
Azzedine is a frequent public speaker on illegal wildlife trade and other conservation related topics and presents in English, French and Arabic.
“IFAW works to protect habitats at a landscape level, which includes securing protected areas, integrating wildlife migration corridors through more developed areas, reducing human-wildlife conflict, and disrupting wildlife crime. We need to attack the problem on all these fronts if we want to make a real difference before it’s too late.”
Agricultural Program Manager, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
CEO, G.A. Flory Consulting
Gary Flory, Agricultural Program Manager for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, has written guidance, conducted research and given presentations to national and international audiences on counter-agroterrorism, emerging infectious diseases, carcass disposal, One Health and foreign animal disease response. Gary is also the CEO of G.A. Flory Consulting which helps its clients plan, train and respond to agricultural emergencies like disease outbreaks, acts of agroterrorism and natural disasters. Its clients include individual farmers, meat and poultry production companies, and state and federal government agencies across the United States and around the globe.
Gary was deployed to the Midwest on five separate occasions in support of USDA’s efforts to control Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks and was a lead author of USDA’s Mortality Composting Protocol for Avian Influenza Infected Flocks. Gary has published articles on counter-agroterrorism, the weaponization of emerging infectious diseases and biosurveillance for the journal Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Warfare. He frequently shares his expertise at conferences and training events across the country and around the globe including recent events in Azerbaijan and Malaysia.
Gary participates in a variety of working groups including the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Agricultural Workgroup; Virginia Poultry Disease Taskforce; Animal Health Quadrilateral Meeting of the Emergency Management Task Group & Disposal, Destruction & Disinfection Network; BioWatch Extended Veterinary Network; and the Virginia Catastrophic Livestock Mortality Taskforce. He was recently awarded the Agency Star award by the Governor of Virginia for his community service and leadership on animal disease response and agroterrorism.
“The effectiveness of local, national or regional efforts is hampered if… arm vulnerabilities are not addressed. Therefore, it is incumbent on all partners in the counter-agroterrorism effort to support farm mitigation measures.”
Contributor, New York Times
In 2008, Erica Goode served as a foreign correspondent in Baghdad, covering the war in Iraq. In 2009, she was named Environment Editor at the New York Times, launching a new department devoted to covering environmental issues. She is currently Visiting Professor at the SI Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and still free lances for the NY Times.
Before coming to the Times, Erica was an Assistant Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report, where she ran the Science and Society section of the magazine. Before that, she was a senior writer at the magazine writing about a range of topics, including national coverage and human behavior. Erica attended Bennington College and the University of Michigan, where she graduated with high honors in psychology.
She received a Masters of Science degree in social psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, but left shortly before completing her doctorate. In 1980, she was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Mass Media fellow. In 1985-86 and in 2007, she was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.
“A team of marine scientists found that rising temperatures in the gulf decreased reproduction and increased mortality among the once-plentiful Atlantic cod, adding to the toll of many decades of overfishing.”
Founder and President, Ocean Doctor
Dr. David E. Guggenheim is a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, ocean explorer and educator. He is president of the Washington, DC-based non-profit, Ocean Doctor. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University, a Master’s in Aquatic and Population Biology from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s in Regional Science from the University of Pennsylvania.
Guggenheim directs Cuba Conservancy, an Ocean Doctor Program and is in his 13th year leading research and conservation efforts in Cuba focused on coral reefs and sea turtles, a joint effort with the University of Havana. This work has been featured on 60 Minutes.
Guggenheim is working to advance cutting-edge technologies for sustainable aquaculture practices to the Americas to reduce pressure on overfished wild fish stocks. Following BP Deepwater Horizen Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Guggenheim has led efforts on the recovery project, the Viet Village Urban Farm Sustainable Aquaculture Park, a next generation fish farming facility designed to grow fish sustsainably.
He also hosts The Ocean Doctor Radio Show and ExpeditionCasts podcast series and plays a key role in public outreach and education about the oceans.
Prior to his work with Ocean Doctor, Guggenheim served as Vice President at The Ocean Conservancy, President & CEO of The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, co-chair of the Everglades Coalition and president of the Friends of Channel Islands National Park.
“Things are really that bad. We’ve already lost 25 percent of the world’s coral reefs. And within 20 years it’ll be another 25 percent.”
Author, Citizen Scientist
Mary Ellen Hannibal is an award-winning journalist and author of Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction. Mary is a sought-after speaker with a talent for connecting the scientific community to the public. Her work has appeared in Bay Nature Magazine and The San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, Esquire, Elle, Yoga Journal, Livestrong, and Nautilus, among many other outlets. She is an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow, a Stanford Media Fellow, and a recipient of the National Association of Science Writes’ Science and Society Award as well as Stanford University’s Knight-Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism. She founded and produced Evolve2009, a San Francisco city-wide celebration of Darwin and evolution, which won the California Library Association’s 2009 award for advocacy and communications.
She serves as the Chair of the California Book Awards, administered by the Commonwealth and is co-producer of Litquake’s Braving the Elements programming, which focuses on books about the environment.
“Citizen science is about regular people contributing to scientific discovery.”
Rev. Fletcher is an Episcopal priest and GreenFaith’s Executive Director. Under his leadership, GreenFaith has developed innovative programs linking religious belief and practice to the environment. An award-winning spiritual writer and nationally-recognized preacher on the environment, he teaches and speaks at houses of worship from a range of denominations about the moral, spiritual basis for environmental stewardship and justice. An Ashoka Fellow and author of GreenFaith: Mobilizing God’s People to Protect the Planet (Abingdon Press, 2015), Fletcher served as a parish priest for ten years and in leadership positions in the Episcopal Church before becoming GreenFaith’s leader. In the past two years, Fletcher coordinated the 2015 OurVoices campaign, which mobilized religious support globally for COP 21, led organizing of faith communities for the People’s Climate March, and has helped lead the faith-based fossil fuel divestment movement.
Summit talk: The Faiths and Animals – Perspectives, Pitfalls and Possibilities
“I pledge to make my life a blessing for the earth.”
Vice President, Development and Impact, Vizzuality
Ashley is Vice President, Development and Impact at Vizzuality. She partners with current and prospective clients to shape projects for success and to communicate the impact stories that matter most to them. Ashley is an open innovation and online community strategist with a passion for social impact. She joined Vizzuality after a two-year stint as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, where she led human-centred design projects to improve the way government designs, builds, and delivers digital services to the public. Before that Ashley worked in design thinking consulting and crowdsourcing for the OpenIDEO platform at IDEO, in corporate philanthropy for a national, grower-owned food cooperative and in nonprofit fundraising for children’s health and education organizations. Her writing has been featured by 3BL Media, the Vault CSR Blog, the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, and Ceres. As creator of The Changebase, Ashley regularly writes about trends, issues and best practices in CSR and social change. Ashley holds a BA in Sociology and Spanish from University of Michigan and an MBA in Marketing and Corporate Responsibility from Boston University.
“People are the heart of every great technology project.”
Environmental Scientist, Writer
Jennifer Jacquet is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University, she is an environmental social scientist interested in large-scale cooperation dilemmas like climate change, and the exploitation of wildlife, including fishing, as well as in the role of social approval in encouraging cooperation. She is the author of Is Shame Necessary? New Uses for an Old Tool (2015).
As a student, she was a Sea Shepherd volunteer, manatee intern with Florida Fish and Wildlife, and volunteer shark tank diver at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Jennifer earned her B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies at Western Washington University. She received her M.S. in Environmental Economics from Cornell University and Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Studies from University of British Columbia.
“The field of conservation science has been highly successful in identifying, diagnosing, and publicizing declines in biodiversity and many other problems affecting our environment. It has been less successful in focusing our attention on solutions.”
Paula Kahumbu received her PhD in Ecology at Princeton University where she studied elephants in coastal Kenya. She is one of Africa’s best-known wildlife conservationists. She is the CEO of WildlifeDirect and brainchild of the ‘Hands Off Our Elephants’ campaign with Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya. The campaign is widely recognized for its singular successes in advocacy and the engagement of the people of Kenya to support the protection of elephants. At a popular level this never has been experienced before in Kenya or any other elephant range state.
Paula is the winner of the Whitley Award 2014, National Geographic Howard Buffet Award for conservation leadership in Africa in 2010 and is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She received a special commendation at the United Nations Person of the Year celebrations for her critical role in creating awareness and mobilizing action around the crisis facing elephants in Kenya. She is recognized as a Kenyan conservation ambassador by Brand Kenya and in 2015 received the presidential award and title of Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW).
“It’s war now. We are losing our national heritage; we are losing our elephants. It’s happening inside our national parks; rangers are being shot by other rangers because they’re poaching. We have to act now.”
Founder, National Whistleblower Center
Stephen M. Kohn is one of the nation’s leading advocates for corporate and government whistleblowers. He is the author of the first legal treatise on whistle blowing and is the world’s most published author on whistleblower protection.
The National Whistleblower Center (NWC) was recently selected as a Prize Winner in USAID’s (United States Agency for International Development Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge – an initiative of USAID in partnership with the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian Institution, and TRAFFIC. In late 2015, the (NWC) launched a major international campaign to promote protections and rewards for wildlife whistleblowers. When effectively implemented, these provisions will incentivize whistleblowers to report violations concerning ocean pollution, wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, illegal fishing and violations of the Endangered Species Act, among others. The NWC plans to create a powerful worldwide, multilingual online platform for educating stakeholders and whistleblowers about wildlife whistleblower legislation.
The solution will enable whistleblowers to confidentially access information about their rights, and offer them a secure and confidential reporting process, including legal counsel. Several U.S wildlife laws, including the Lacey Act, require payment of rewards to whistleblowers whose information leads to successful enforcement actions. However, potential whistleblowers are often unaware of these laws or how to use them. A worldwide reporting system that both increases awareness of these laws and provides assistance in leveraging them may increase reporting of wildlife crimes.
“It is up to the responsible agencies, NGOs, and whistleblower advocates to implement the laws and encourage an army of valuable informants to step forward and provide the government with the information it needs to protect endangered species-potential victims who cannot speak on their own behalf.”
Founder, Wildlife Works, Inc.
Mike Korchinsky’s first holiday to Kenya over 15 years ago launched him into a lifetime’s work to save the country’s wildlife. He saw a cycle of violence between the rangers, poachers and animals that prevented any chance for long-term, sustainable solutions for the communities at stake.
Mike founded Wildlife Works in 1997 with a simple but powerful idea: protecting endangered wildlife requires balancing the needs of the wildlife with the need for work in those rural towns. He established Rukinga Sanctuary on 80,000 acres of land in South East Kenya to prove that wildlife conservation can attract sustainable development opportunities to rural communities.
At the base of the sanctuary, Mike built an eco-factory to produce casual apparel. Over the last decade, over 300 local jobs have been created from our conservation and fashion businesses, bringing countless families out of poverty and unemployment. As a result, the local wildlife has been flourishing; elephants, one of the many protected inhabitants of the sanctuary, have been coming back at a rate of 2-4% each year.
In 2009, Mike launched Wildlife Works Carbon LLC, to pursue more rapid expansion of the Wildlife Works Conservation Based Development model through the sale of Avoided Deforestation Carbon Offsets, now known as REDD (Reduced Emissions from Degradation and Forest Degradation.
Mike’s new focus is now on helping national governments in the developing world to use the REDD+ mechanism strategically to promote green rural development that is forest and wildlife friendly.
Summit talk: Why Carbon Matters in Making Wildlife Work
“Many people, after they’ve made their money give their money and hearts to conservation, but very few give their business acumen.” “I would like to measure success in ten years based on how many species we save.”
Co-Executive Director, The ARCUS Foundation
A highly-regarded primatologist, Annette oversees the world’s largest private grantmaking program devoted to great ape conservation at the ARCUS Foundation. She is also Co-Executive of the Foundation where she continues to support her long-running efforts to save gorillas, but also works to protect a wide range of species in the wild and in captivity, as well as to build global awareness of conservation efforts world-wide. In addition to being a leader in conservation, The ARCUS Foundation is the top LGBT-specific grant-making organization in the United States. The foundation’s stated mission is “to ensure that LGBT people and our fellow apes thrive in a world where social and environmental justice are a reality.”
“I started [conservation work] with an interest to work with animals, not people, but as I gained more experience, I realized that if we want to protect wild places and wild creatures, we need to work with people and change behavior as well as values and attitudes.”
Director, Global Community and Development, The B-Team
Jane has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of communications, fundraising and organizational management. Much of her career has been spent in the non-profit sector, working for organizations focusing on sustainable development, environment and nature conservation. Jane comes to The B Team from IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) where she was Head of Communications and Private Sector Engagement for Asia, overseeing communications, marketing and IUCN’s business and biodiversity portfolio across the organization’s ten Asian country offices.
Prior to her time at IUCN, she was Chief Executive Officer at the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, building the organization’s funding from private and public sources and leading program design for integrated conservation and development projects in Africa. She has also served as National Director of Marketing and Communications at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) where she was part of the team developing NCC’s first $100 million private sector fundraising campaign, and has held a variety of roles with Aga Khan Foundation Canada and Oxfam Hong Kong, in addition to consulting on marketing and communications for several years for non-profits and corporations in Asia and Canada.
A dual British-Canadian national, Jane has a Bachelor of Arts from Manchester University and has lived and worked in Asia, Europe and North America.
“Overcoming the challenges inherent in conserving biodiversity and the living world will require a coordinated effort on the part of all sectors – government, NGOs and the business sector.”
CEO, Compassion in World Farming
Philip Lymbery is a naturalist, author and chief executive of the leading international farm animal welfare organization, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). His book, Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 and gained international acclaim, earning him a reputation as one of industrial farming’s fiercest critics.
Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester, Lymbery has been listed by The Grocer magazine as one of the food industry’s most influential people. He is recipient of the ‘outstanding campaigning’ award by Brussels-based Eurogroup for Animals and the International Golden Dove peace prize in Rome.
Lymbery led the growth of CIWF internationally, with offices in 10 countries across Europe, the USA, South Africa and China. He places emphasis on engaging with major food companies and achieving game-changing legislation. CEO since 2005, Lymbery was CIWF’s campaigns director throughout the 1990s, helping to win historic victories such as EU bans on barren battery cages for laying hens and veal crates for calves. More recently he led industry discussions that brought about a major reduction in live calf exports from Britain.
Summit talk: Farmageddon. The True Cost of Cheap Meat
“(CWIF’s) call for an end to industrial farming has never been more urgent for animal welfare, the environment and the sustainability of food for future generations. Factory farming and the cruelty that it entails is not restricted to any one continent, country, or culture. It is a global predicament, being both the biggest cause of animal cruelty and a major driver of environmental harm.”
Founding President, Veterinarians International
Dr. Scarlett Magda is a veterinarian with a passion for raising awareness about the interconnectedness of human and animal health and tackling the root causes of zoonotic disease transmission and animal welfare issues.
She has 10 years of international experience working with organizations ranging from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Foundation for AIDS Orphaned Children in Uganda, Elephant Family, UK, the Zoological Parks Organization of Thailand and the Ministry of Environment in Costa Rica. She had sat on the board of directors for Veterinarians Without Borders Canada for five years prior to moving to the United States. Her involvement in international veterinary medicine started in 2007 while she was a veterinary student designing an elephant saddle project investigating skin wounds in Thailand and India. This project honored her with the Ballard Award for Wildlife from Morris Animal Foundation and is the only work on the topic that has been published in the scientific literature to date. She later participated in a goat health project in Mbarara Uganda which demonstrated to her the clear link between human and animal health through brucellosis prevention work.
After graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2009 she moved to New York City to understand how the veterinary profession was engaging in global health issues. With a passion for raising awareness through multiple platforms, emphasizing collaboration, and a strong belief in “not reinventing the wheel” Dr. Magda wanted to create an organization that emphasizes enhancement of sound international animal projects that lack funding and support thus, is 2014 Veterinarians International was born with projects in zoonotic disease prevention, livestock health and food security and Asian elephant health and welfare.
Dr. Magda also practices emergency veterinary medicine in numerous specialty hospitals across New York State.
Founder and CEO, Pembient
Matthew is Co-founder and CEO of Pembient, a company biofabricating wildlife products in order to stop the poaching of, and prevent the farming of, iconic species such as the rhinoceros. A serial entrepreneur, Matthew’s past ventures include PrivacyBank.com, an internet company that was acquired by InfoSpace (now NASDAQ: BCOR). Matthew holds a Masters of Engineering Management, as well as a M.S. in Genetic Epidemiology, from the University of Washington in St. Louis.
Pembient’s goal is to replace the illegal wildlife trade, a $20B black market, the fourth largest after drug, arms, and human trafficking, with sustainable commerce.
Summit talk: Cellular Agriculture as a Conservation Platform
“Animals are precious. Traditions are important. We’re bioengineering rhino horn to help restore harmony between the two.”
Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Ecovative Design
Gavin McIntyre co-founded Ecovative Design LLC in 2007 and serves as its Chief Scientist. He has led all mycological material and biological process development in the company’s strides to replace synthetics. Gavin co-invented the MycoBond platform, a patent-pending technology that uses a growing organism to transform agricultural byproducts into strong composite materials. These materials are 100% compostable and made with a fraction of the energy of conventional plastics. He has served as the principle investigator on grants received from the US EPA, the USDA, the NSF, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. Gavin has also served on Technology Roundtables hosted by former NYS Governor David Paterson, the US DoE and EPA, and Congressman Paul Tonko. Gavin received a dual B.S. In Mechanical Engineering and Product Design and Innovation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2007.
“Our goal was to develop compostable materials that are not derived from fossil fuels and do not require an exorbitant amount of energy to manufacture. In seeking to design an alternative, we took advantage of domestic waste streams that are abundant and rapidly renewable. These raw materials fit into nature’s recycling system and are beneficial to the environment once their useful lifecycle is complete.”
Mike is Co-Founder and CEO of TreeZero, an Atlanta-based sustainable solutions company that markets, supplies and distributes agro-fiber paper and other environmentally responsible products for Fortune 2000 companies, colleges and universities, government agencies and consumers with a passion for sustainability. TreeZero’s flagship product TreeZero paper (originally marketed as TreeFrog paper) is the only premium, 100 percent tree free, carbon neutral paper made from sugarcane waste fiber. It is completely recyclable within existing recycling systems and compostable. According to Ricoh, TreeZero paper delivers excellent print quality when compared to regular recycled paper. TreeZero paper is available at major office supply distributors such as Office Depot/Office Max®, Ricoh Canada, Staples®, Veritiv™, Artlite and W.B. Mason, online at Amazon and in-store at FedEx® Office.
Prior to founding TreeZero, Nilan was the CEO of an international sourcing company, The MarketSource, which focused on consumer goods for companies like Pepsi and Tropicana for 8 years. Prior to The MarketSource’s success, Nilan served as the Founder, Chairman and CEO of One Coast Network, the largest wholesale gift and home accessory company in North America.
Summit talk: Remaking the Way We Make Things – Innovation and Sustainability
“We can make a difference in the sustainable world – but we also could create a business that would make business sense too.”
Senior Reporter, ProPublica
Andrew Revkin is the Senior Reporter for climate and related issues at the independent investigative newsroom ProPublica. He began writing on climate change in the 1980s. He has written on a wide range of subjects including destruction of the Amazon rainforest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, sustainable development, climate change, and the changing environment around the North Pole. Early in his career he held senior editor and senior writer positions at Discover magazine and Science Digest, respectively. Andrew covered the environment for The New York Times from 1995 through 2009, and wrote the Dot Earth environmental blog for The Times’ Opinion section from 2010 through 2016. He has won most of the top awards in science journalism, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship, Columbia University’s John Chancellor Award for sustained journalistic excellence and an Investigative Reporters and Editors Award.
Andrew has written books on global warming, the changing Arctic and the assault on the Amazon rain forest, as well as three book chapters on science communication. He is among those credited with developing the idea that humans, through growing impacts on Earth’s climate and other critical systems, had created a “geological age of our own making”, known increasingly as the Anthropocene. From 2010 through 2016, he was a member of the Anthropocene Working Group, created by the international geological community to assess whether a new geological epoch has begun. From 2010 to 2016 he was also the Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University. He graduated from Brown University in 1978 with a degree in Biology. He later received a Master’s in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
“By altering climate, landscapes, and seascapes as well as flows of species, genes, energy, and materials, we are sealing the fates of myriad other species. And, without a big shift from business-as-usual, we will undermine our own long-term welfare as well.”
Executive Director, Environmental Investigation Agency International
Mary Rice is the Executive Director of the EIA International, which investigates and campaigns against a wide range of environmental crimes and abuses, including illegal wildlife trade (such as elephant ivory, tiger parts and derivatives), illegal logging and trade in climate- and ozone-altering chemicals. Trained as a journalist, Mary spent 15 years working in Asia before moving to London and into the environmental sector. With close to two decades of experience in this field, Mary has extensive knowledge of the illegal international trade in ivory, acting as a spokesperson on the subject and attending major international meetings on the issue.
The findings of EIA’s global investigations into the illegal trade in ivory played a key role in establishing the international ivory ban in 1989. Subsequent investigations into the trade of ivory of species threatened by the increasing demand for their parts and products have been pivotal in providing decision makers with empirical evidence of the reality of the burgeoning illegal international trade in wildlife.
Mary is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a published author. Heat, Dust and Dreams (Struik), an exploration of people and environment in Namibia’s Kaokoland and Damaraland, was the result of three years of research and photography in what is now known as the Kunene region, home to the last viable population of black rhino outside a protected area.
On Tanzania’s elephant crisis: “The transportation of the goods along the roads, the stashing of goods in safe houses, the people involved in pulling together containers and getting false documents and paying corrupt officials, police, customs, border people to facilitate this – that’s not where the enforcement effort is happening. And that’s where it needs to happen.”
Founders, One More Generation (OMG)
Olivia and Carter Ries are a dynamic brother and sister duo who were motivated at the ages of 7and 8 to start a new non-profit dedicated to protecting endangered animals for the next generation of children to experience. In 2009, with the help of their father, they founded One More Generation (OMG), which is both a declaration of alarm and despair about wildlife in trouble and a battle cry for action.
They have received strong support globally from schools and restaurants, and also from corporations such as Delta Airlines and Sodexo, the world’s largest food service provider. They recently met with a large Southeast school system that serves over 50,000 sports meals per day—including a carton of milk with an attached plastic straw. They challenged the need for any straw, and now school officials are looking at removing the straws from their sports packs, which will keep over 6-million plastic straws from harming wildlife and the environment annually. Now 14 and 16-years-old, Olivia and Carter want everyone to see that each of us can make simple changes in our daily lives that can have a lasting impact for generations to come. OMG! This is just the beginning of great things to come.
Senior Attorney, NRDC
Rebecca Riley is Senior Attorney, Land and Wildlife Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). She focuses on legal and policy issues related to wildlife and endangered species. You can read her blog here. Before joining NRDC, she was a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice in the Environment and Natural Resources Division and clerked for a federal judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Riley is a graduate of the University of Toledo and Harvard Law School.
Sam Rivers s the founder of ALLOTT, an urban agriculture accelerator dedicated to helping convert under-utilized spaces into productive food hubs for local communities. A current project, the Greenstream, is a mobile education lab for inspiring more than 30,000 students a year about urban agriculture and the impact a plant based diet can have on preserving our planet and it’s animals. Rivers serves on multiples boards including most recently: ChangeFood, North Brooklyn Farms and Elizabeth Street Garden.
In his free time, Sam is currently penning his first children’s book – The Dalai Fama.
“66 billion animals are raised and slaughtered every year. Eating more plants is a simple way everyone can have an impact.”
Contributor, New York Times
Jim Robbins is an award-winning journalist and writes for The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler and many other publications specializing ecological systems and the big problems of our time. He has just completed a sixth book about the future of birds in a changing world, The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, The World, And A Better Future (Random House USA)
He has carried out assignments, in Europe, Mongolia, Peru, Chile, Mexico and across North America, especially the Rocky Mountain West. His writing interests fall into two main camps: the environment and the human central nervous system. He considers the fact that he has been able to freely indulge his curiosity and get paid for it, one of his greatest accomplishments.
“Disease, it turns out, is largely an environmental issue. Sixty percent of emerging infectious diseases that affect humans are zoonotic – they originate in animals. And more than two-thirds of those originate in wildlife.”
CTO and Co-Founder, MycoWorks
Philip Ross is an artist, inventor, and scholar whose internationally awarded and exhibited research is focused on biomaterial design and life support technologies. A thought leader on biomimicry, Philip’s innovations in mycelium engineering are globally recognized as foundational to the invention of mycotecture, the practice of building with mycelium.
Philip leads MycoWorks’s design and technological research from his comprehensive understanding of applied engineering within living systems.
His work has been showcased by the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley’s Zero1, the Moscow Biennale, and Germany’s Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. In 2013, his mycelium-based furniture won Ars Electronica’s Award of Distinction for Hybrid Art.
Philip has been a visiting lecturer and professor at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, the San Francisco Art Institute, and the University of San Francisco.
Founding President, The Safina Center
Carl Safina is the author of various books and many other writings about how the ocean is changing, lives of free-living animals, and the human relationship with the natural world. His books include the award-winning Song for the Blue Ocean and Eye of the Albatross, as well as The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, and Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel. His writing appears in The New York Times, TIME, Audubon, and on the Web at National Geographic News and Views, Literati Magazine, Huffington Post, CNN.com, and elsewhere. He hosted the PBS series Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina.
Carl’s writing about the living world has won a MacArthur “genius” prize, Pew and Guggenheim Fellowships; book awards from Lannan, Orion, and the National Academies; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals.
Carl has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University. He is the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, where he co-chairs the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. He also holds honorary doctorates from Long Island University, State University of New York, and Drexel University. Safina is a member of Harvard Medical School’s Center for Health and the Global Environment Advisory Board and World Wildlife Fund’s Marine Leadership Committee. He has been named among “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century” by Audubon magazine.
“While humans have long been extracting marine life, energy, minerals and other resources from the oceans and coasts….we have to think of oceans and coasts in dollars and cents in order to best protect them.”
Environmental Health Scientist, Marine Toxicologist, Explorer, Author
Susan D. Shaw, DrPH, is the Founder/Director of the Marine & Environmental Research Institute based in Blue Hill, Maine and New York City, and adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health, University at Albany, NY. Dr. Shaw is a globally recognized expert on the health effects of environmental chemical exposure in marine wildlife and humans and has published extensively on those topics.
A Fulbright scholar with dual degrees from Columbia University in film and public health/ environmental health sciences, Dr. Shaw’s early career was launched with the 1983 publication of Overexposure, the first book on health hazards of photographic chemicals with landscape photographer Ansel Adams, that ultimately transformed the field.
With the founding of Marine & Environmental Research Institute (MERI) in 1990, Dr. Shaw turned her attention to ocean pollution. Named Gulf of Maine Visionary in 2007, she was the first scientist to reveal the widespread contamination of marine mammals in the northwest Atlantic Ocean by flame retardant chemicals.
An outspoken and influential voice on ocean pollution, Shaw dove into the Gulf of Mexico oil slick a month after the Deepwater Horizon explosion to investigate the controversial use of chemical dispersants to sink the oil. She was appointed to the U.S. Department of Interior’s Strategic Sciences Working Group to assess consequences of the spill. Her account of the hidden damage underwater was published in the New York Times and widely broadcast through TED talks and international media including CNN. Dr. Shaw appears in several documentary films on the Gulf disaster including Animal Planet’s Black Tide: Voices of the Gulf and Green Planet’s The Big Fix, the Official Selection documentary at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Shaw is an Explorers Club Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. In 2012, she received the Explorers Club Citation of Merit Award for her leadership role in ocean conservation. She is the 19th recipient of the Society of Women Geographers’ Gold Medal Award since 1934, joining the ranks of Amelia Earhart, Margaret Mead, Jane Goodall, and Sylvia Earle.
Summit talk: Man-Made Pollution, Climate Change, and the Vanishing World of Marine Mammals
“Pollution stress from toxic chemicals and plastics has reached staggering levels in ocean predators. With warming, climate-pollutant interactions are pushing mammalian species beyond resilience. We are the targets of the same interactions, and we need to understand the tipping points.”
President, The Ocean Foundation
Mark Spalding is the President of The Ocean Foundation and is an authority on international ocean policy and law. He is the former Director of the Environmental Law and Civil Society Program, and Editor of the Journal of Environment and Development, at the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS), University of California San Diego (UCSD). Mark has also taught at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD’s Muir College, University of California Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, and University of San Diego’s School of Law. He was a research fellow at UCSD’s Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, a Sustainability Institute – Donella Meadows Leadership Fellow and a SeaWeb Senior Fellow. He is chair emeritus of the National Board of Directors of the Surfrider Foundation, and was the chair of the environmental law section of the California State Bar Association. He holds a B.A. in history with Honors from Claremont McKenna College, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a Master in Pacific International Affairs from IR/PS.
President, Born Free Foundation / Born Free USA
Will Travers is an internationally-renowned wildlife expert who has dedicated his life to wildlife issues, since he lived in Kenya while his parents, Virginia McKenna and the late Bill Travers, made the film Born Free (1966). In 1984, he co-founded the wildlife charitable organisation now known as The Born Free Foundation, which works to stop individual wild animal suffering, protect threatened species worldwide and keep wildlife in the wild.
Will has been involved in rescuing elephants, tigers, lions and dolphins and is always willing to share his experience and knowledge to further Born Free’s vision for a more compassionate future.
Will is also a Board Member of Born Free USA and is President of the Species Survival Network (SSN), an international coalition of more than 100 organizations committed to the promotion, enhancement and strict enforcement of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Will has participated in every CITES meeting since 1989 and advises on the precautionary application of Convention. He also advises the United Kingdom Government on matters relating to zoos, the use of wild animals in circuses and international wildlife trade.
Will has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows, speaking out against canned hunting of lions highlighted in the documentary, Blood Lions, the international ivory trade and the trade in chimps as exotic pets.
Will was awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in June 2012 for Services to Conservation and Animal Welfare in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
President of the Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc.; Author
Steven is the President of the Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. He holds a J.D. from Boston University Law School and a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary. Steven has practiced animal protection law for 30 years throughout the United States.
Wise teaches animal rights law at Harvard Law School, Vermont Law School, John Marshall Law School, Lewis & Clark Law School, and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a former president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
Wise has authored several books, including: Rattling the Cage -Toward Legal Rights for Animals and he has a memoir about the Nonhuman Rights Project in the works. Furthermore, he has authored numerous law review, encyclopedia and popular articles. His work for the legal rights of nonhuman animals was highlighted on Dateline NBC, and the subject of the documentary, A Legal Person, and the HBO special, Unlocking the Cage.
“A direct humancentric benefit of giving animals rights would be the increase in human happiness brought about by knowledge that the animals we like are being protected.”