Animal protection leaders from a number of organizations came together in 2007 to found the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). This was in response to:
- virtually unchecked and hidden animal exploitation of inhumanely kept wildlife
- the wildlife trade itself
- the flood of horses, captive wild parrots and abandoned “pet” reptiles suddenly without homes
- the growing demand for sanctuary for farmed animals and animals used in labs
- the plight of animals left in need by natural disasters and wars
- the need for the public to be able to differentiate exploitative operations from legitimate sanctuaries
- the need for global animal specific standards and operational standards for sanctuaries, based on the fine work of the former The Association of Sanctuaries, the former Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, and others.
The GFAS mission is to promote excellence in sanctuary management and in humane care of animals through international accreditation, collaboration, mentoring, and greater recognition and resources for sanctuaries, while seeking to eliminate the causes of displaced animals.
GFAS is not the first accrediting organization for sanctuaries in the United States or other nations. While there have been sanctuary associations formed in the past, none has ever obtained worldwide recognition. Donors, the media, and members of the public have not recognized a single source of information on animal sanctuaries, partly because there have been so many isolated sanctuaries and no one, unified, international accrediting organization. Sanctuaries accredited by GFAS earn the highest level of credibility with donors, the media, and members of the public, and are clearly distinguished from pseudo-sanctuaries and substandard facilities. The GFAS accreditation is a “seal of approval” to reassure donors and foundations internationally.
In nations with an accreditation process in place, GFAS brings the benefits of increased collaboration and opportunities for partnership, with the goal of raising the level of care and building capacity whenever possible. GFAS fosters the synergy of sanctuaries working together in our global community, where the exploitation of the wildlife trade in particular must be addressed internationally.
No previous accrediting organization for sanctuaries has achieved the level of funding necessary to offer grants and be of real service to honorable sanctuaries across the globe as they strive to meet the incredible challenge of providing a fiscally sound infrastructure to meet the daily and long term needs of animals in the most humane manner possible. Offering compliance grants and fundraising solutions is a top priority for GFAS, recognizing the tremendous challenge sanctuaries face in meeting operating costs in these economic times.
The GFAS goal in working with and assisting sanctuaries is to ensure that sanctuaries are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence, without putting unreasonable burdens on often over-extended and under-funded sanctuary operators.
Board of Directors
Adam M. Roberts is a Senior Vice President of Born Free USA, based in Washington, DC. He helped found the organization in 2002 to bring the UK-based Born Free Foundation’s message of compassionate conservation to the American public. He began his animal protection and conservation career in Washington in 1991 after graduating Vassar College. In addition to directing Born Free USA he serves on the Board of Directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN), a global coalition working on wildlife trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. He chairs the SSN Press Committee, Financial Committee, Bear Working Group, and Animals in Captivity Working Group. Adam is also a Member of the Board of Humane USA, a political action committee that works to raise funds for candidates for public office who have strong positions in favor of animal protection.
In 2003, Adam founded The $10 Club, a charity to fund poverty alleviation projects in developing countries. He runs the organization single-handedly, and as a volunteer. To date, the organization has supported work in more than 50 countries. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Stephanie, daughters Bella and Mia, two dogs, five cats, and two very pampered guinea pigs.
Michael Markarian is executive vice president and chief program and policy officer of The Humane Society of the United States. He also serves as president of The Fund for Animals, an affiliate of The HSUS providing direct care, food and medical treatment to thousands of animals each year at its wildlife rehabilitation centers and sanctuaries. Additionally, as president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, he oversees the lobbying and political activity of that affiliate. Markarian is currently the chairman of Humane USA, a non-partisan and unaffiliated Political Action Committee of the animal protection movement.
Markarian has a master’s degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Maryland, and he is a graduate of the University of Missouri’s National Animal Cruelty Investigations School.
Kim K. Haddad, DVM owns and manages three small animal hospitals in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as the San Mateo K9 Social Club, a dog daycare, professional pet grooming salon and boutique for high quality foods and pet supplies. Dr. Haddad also provides veterinary care for California native wildlife at Coyote Point Museum, an AZA Accredited facility, and has been a relief veterinarian at the San Francisco Zoo for many years. She also served as medical director for Another Life for Animals, a domestic dog and cat rescue and shelter organization. She was the founder of the Kimya Institute for Animal Welfare and manager of the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, which have both now come under the GFAS umbrella as the Captive Wild Animal Protection Campaign. She is also an advisor to the American Zoological Association Animal Welfare Committee, and is a member of the Animal Welfare Committee of the American Association of Zoological Veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights.
She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1997 from the University of Florida, and worked as a small animal veterinarian and volunteered at the Jacksonville Zoological Gardens. A San Francisco native, she resides in the Bay Area with her two boys, four dogs and two cats.
Ian Robinson, BVSc Cert SHP CertZooMed FRCVS, is the Emergency Relief Program Director for IFAW – the International Fund for Animal Welfare. He oversees IFAW’s international animal rescue, rehabilitation and sanctuary work around the world. This includes response to natural disasters, oiled wildlife following oilspills, marine mammal strandings and entanglements, and wildlife rescue as well as working with many rehabilitation centres and sanctuaries around the world. Ian qualified as a veterinarian from Bristol University, UK, in 1975, and following some 12 years in general practice, moved into animal welfare full time, first for the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), where he helped open and managed the largest wildlife rehabilitation hospital in Europe, treating over 6,000 wildlife casualties per year, of over 200 different species. Ian joined IFAW in 2003. He has been involved in responses to animal emergencies in many countries around the world, both before and since joining IFAW, including the Arabian Gulf, Mauritania, the Galapagos Islands, India and Sri Lanka, as well as the UK, Europe and the USA.
Ian has written a number of scientific papers, and contributed to several veterinary textbooks on wildlife. He was awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2006.
Peter A. Bender is the philanthropic advisor to the Pettus Crowe Foundation and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust. Peter serves as a director of the International Center for Earth Concerns and One With Horses, a natural horse training center in Lyle, Washington. He has served on the boards of directors of The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.
From 1997 to 2009, Mr. Bender was the managing trustee and executive director of the Pegasus Foundation, a private, non-profit foundation that funds animal protection programs in the United States and the Caribbean. From 2004 to 2009, he also served as manager of the Caring Fields Animal Sanctuary in Palm City, Florida.
Prior to 1997, Mr. Bender held a variety of leadership positions with the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps domestic volunteer service programs.
He resides in Hartford, Connecticut with his spouse, Anne Ostberg, and their companion cat, adopted from the Massachusetts SPCA in 1997.
Susana M. Della Maddalena is recently retired as the Vice President and Executive Director of PetSmart Charities. Under her leadership, the organization grew from $8 million in annual contribution income in 2003 to $45 million in 2012 and is now the largest funder in animal welfare in North America. She established PetSmart Charities as a leader, convener and catalyst for change. To date, the organization has saved the lives of more than 5 million pets through adoption and since 2009, subsidized more than 2.1 million spay/neuter surgeries, preventing the birth of more than 7.5 million unplanned pets.
Prior to joining PetSmart Charities in 2003, she was Vice President of Marketing for Northern Trust Bank of Arizona, N.A., from 1995 to 2003, where she developed and implemented various marketing and branding programs for the Arizona and Colorado divisions. From 1985 to 1995, she held senior positions with marketing and advertising agencies in Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix, where she managed breakfast food, personal care, retail and homebuilding accounts for Kellogg’s Cereals, SC Johnson, Safeway, Vons, and Kaufman and Broad Homebuilders.
As a volunteer, Susana spearheaded several multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns for non-profit organizations – as founder and board president of both Friends of Maricopa County Animal Care & Control and of The Wellness Community – Central Arizona. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Iowa and a Master of Business Administration from the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She is a pet parent to four adopted dogs – Meg, Finnegan Sam and Scooter, as well as three horses named Cash, Envy and Shelby and a pony named Walter.
Allan E. Kornberg, M.D. is a lifelong animal advocate and vegetarian of more than 20 years. Dr. Kornberg has served as the Executive Director of Farm Sanctuary; the U.S. Executive Director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, a major international organization based in the U.K.; and has worked with other advocacy groups to end the abuses of animals in factory farms and elsewhere. In addition to his commitment to animal protection, Dr. Kornberg has also had a long and distinguished career in medicine as a pediatrician with more than 25 years of clinical and executive leadership experience.
Dr. Kornberg has practiced both primary care pediatrics and pediatric emergency medicine, and recently served as Senior Vice President for the National Initiative for Children’s Health Quality. His prior professional background includes being President and CEO of Network Health (a Medicaid health plan serving the poor in Massachusetts), Medical Director of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (also in Massachusetts), Executive Director and Medical Director for the physician-hospital organization at Scottish Rite Children’s Medical Center in Atlanta, and Chief of Emergency Medicine at Buffalo Children’s Hospital in New York. His educational credentials include an undergraduate degree from MIT, a medical degree from Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester.
Sue Leary brings extensive experience in management of nonprofit organizations. Since receiving her B.S. in Biology in 1976, her career has focused on coordination of programs and services; education and advocacy; administration and planning; and membership development. Since 1995, she has served as President of American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) and its affiliate, the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation. AAVS, which opposes the use of animals in experimentation, has consistently supported sanctuaries that care for animals released from laboratories. Other Board appointments presently include: Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines, Gray Panthers, National Council for Animal Protection, and International Assoc. Against Painful Experiments on Animals.
Ms. Leary served on the Planning Committee for the Sixth World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences and continues to serve on the ALTWEB Project Team, based at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, Johns Hopkins University. Sue lives just outside Philadelphia, PA with her husband, Rob, and assorted furry friends.
Patty Finch has worked in local, national and international humane organizations including nine years at The Humane Society of the United States, where she served as Vice President Youth Education, Executive Director of the National Association of Humane And Environmental Education, and as a founding Vice President of EarthKind and Humane Society International. While with HSUS, she advanced KIND News from a fledgling publication to a flourishing humane education program, which educated more than 200 million youth. KIND News remained one of the most successful social enterprises in this field for just short of 30 years, when it was replaced with a magazine format. KIND News funded the vast majority of operating expenses for the HSUS youth education division, still using the marketing plan devised and implemented by Patty.
Patty has also served on five humane organization boards. Her grant experience includes serving as a main author of a successful $9.2 million grant from the US Dept. of Education; designing and overseeing two grant award programs for the Think Tank at Maricopa Community College District; serving as a bi-state grant manager for the University of California at Fullerton; and conceptualizing the forerunner of the current grants program at PetSmart Charities, overseeing up to 375 active grants annually and evaluating up to 600 applications per year. She also initiated and guided development of the webinar offerings of PetSmart Charities, where she served in several positions, including Director of Charitable Giving and Programs, overseeing the distribution of more than $10 million in annual grants. Patty has a Master’s Degree, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University.
Jeannine Alexander previously served as a program manager for PetSmart Charities, primarily responsible for spay/neuter grants and for the equine grant program which increased by over 300% in grant dollars awarded. While working for the Arizona Humane Society, she managed two AAHA accredited high-volume spay/neuter clinics and a mobile unit, achieving over 10,000 surgeries annually. She also helped lead Disaster Response for AHS. She also previously managed Public Programs for Maricopa County Animal Care & Control, including community spay/neuter, TNR, humane education, the pet food bank and the volunteer program. Prior to her career change to animal welfare she was a high school language teacher and coach. She holds a degree in Secondary Education and a Master’s degree in Counseling. In her personal life, she is an avid Pit Bull advocate, disaster response junkie and is mom to a brood of dogs, cats, horses, pot-bellied pigs and chickens.
Deputy Director, Great Apes and Regional Accreditation
Jackie Bennett practiced law in the Washington, DC area for nearly two decades before entering the non-profit arena professionally. As an attorney, she represented and advocated for her clients in hearings, trials, and negotiations. While still in private practice, she became involved as a volunteer for several non-profits, and was recognized for her community service achievements by a local bar association. She has also devoted considerable time to animal rescue and transport, and has spent many weekends driving animals from rural animal shelters to approved receiving rescue organizations. After deciding to make a career change, she worked as the executive director of a state-based non-profit animal welfare organization, where her experience included budget and financial report preparation, membership outreach, and grant administration.
Jackie holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center. She resides in the DC area, and serves on the Board of Directors of a local non-profit organization.
Robin Mason previously worked as Education and Technology Manager for PetSmart Charities for eight years, and prior to that, worked in Human Resources in municipal government. While working for PetSmart Charities, she assisted in developing and managing the free online educational program for animal welfare organizations across North America. Robin has a passion for utilizing technology to assist non-profit organizations in developing efficiencies to assist these organizations in meeting their mission. She has developed and managed several databases and developed strategies to improve and streamline processes. Robin’s experience also includes reviewing and processing of grant applications.
Robin was also a beta tester for Microsoft software which afforded her the opportunity to met Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft. Robin has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona State University.
Josephine Martell has worked in the animal welfare field for over 8 years with a primary focus on exotic animals in captivity, specifically big cats. Josephine has served as a national spokesperson and has appeared in numerous media outlets, including Animal Planet, Larry King Live, 20/20 and the Today Show. Before joining GFAS as Program Director, overseeing the Captive Wild Animal Protection Campaign, Josephine worked at the International Fund for Animal Welfare for six years on national and international legislation and policy. She has written multiple reports as well as conducted an undercover investigation into poor welfare practices for big cats in captivity. She is currently working on research examining the motivations behind big cat ownership in the US.
Josephine holds a MS in public policy from the Center for Animals and Public Policy at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her husband and their daughter Florence, where she runs avidly and serves as the Vice President of Action for the RI Chapter of the National Organization for Women.
Chris Draper is the Senior Scientific Researcher for the Zoo Check programme of the Born Free Foundation in the UK, where he investigates the welfare of wild animals in captivity. He is also studying for a PhD at the University of Bristol on the implementation of legislation and assessment of animal welfare in zoos. He has worked for several animal welfare organisations on issues involving laboratory animals, farmed animals and wildlife. He previously worked as an animal keeper at a facility in the USA with a range of wild animals, and primarily with 50 retired laboratory chimpanzees. Chris is a chartered biologist, with a degree in zoology and a Master’s degree in primatology. He lives in West Sussex, UK.