Board of Directors

Allan Picture

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 is currently Vice-Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University at Buffalo.  He 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.

KH Turbo3Kim 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.

Bill Nimmo, Treasurer

Billy-Caesar-sept15Bill Nimmo is founder and president of Tigers in America. Formed in 2012 to provide transportation, vet care and shelter for unwanted tigers retired from performing, exhibition at roadside zoos, or from owners unable to care for them. Prior to the establishment of Tigers in America Bill was Managing Director of Smith Barney and a member of the merger team that managed the acquisitions of Salomon Brothers, Shearson Lehman and other securities firms that culminated with the formation of Citigroup where he was Senior Vice President.

Bill graduated from Manhattan College with a degree in Electrical Engineering and began his career at General Dynamics at the Vandenberg AFB missile site as a Launch Control Engineer. He moved back east to work on computerized trading for the New York Stock Exchange and became their manager of National Market Trading. He currently resides in New York with his wife Kizmin and three rescued domestic cats.

Adam PictureAdam M. Roberts is CEO 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, and five cats.

Peter A. Bender is the President and Executive Director of the International Center for Earth Concerns. He has served on the boards of directors of The Humane Society of the United Peter Bio PicStates 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.

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 Sue Bio Picanimals in experimentation, has consistently supported sanctuaries that care for animals released from laboratories. Other Board appointments have included: 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.

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 Mike Bio PicHSUS 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.

Kirvil Skinnarland, Director

Kirvil is the managing trustee of a small private foundation dedicated to the protection of animals.

In addition to the field of animal protection, Kirvil has worked in a management capacity on issues related to the environment, natural resource management, and energy.  She has held management positions with Seattle City Light, Tacoma Power, the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority, and the City of Seattle.

Kirvil has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a Master of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Washington. She lives in eastern Washington with her husband, two dogs and two cats.


Executive Director

Heckman PR Photo combines her experience in research and nonprofit management to benefit animal welfare. Her experience in science focused on using evolutionary relationships to answer fundamental questions about natural diversity in primates and other vertebrates. Kellie began her professional transition from academia to the nonprofit world in PETA’s Corporate Affairs Department, supporting the animal welfare movement with hard science. She then co-founded FiXiT in 2009 – a nonprofit focused on using creative solutions to bring an end to pet overpopulation. As FiXiT’s executive director, she went on to lead the organization’s two programs, the Final Fix and, providing over 5000 free spay/neuters to targeted pet owners most at risk of contributing to the problem and remains on the Board of Directors.

Kellie received a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. She currently resides in St. Louis, MO.


Director of Accreditation – Africa and Asia

 works with primate and various other wildlife sanctuaries in the United States, and oversees GFAS’ accreditation program for sanctuaries and rescue/rehabilitation centers internationally. Jackie practiced law in the Washington, DC area for nearly two decades before entering the non-profit arena professionally. While still in private practice, she became involved as a volunteer for several non-profit organizations, and was recognized for her community service achievements. Prior to joining GFAS, Jackie worked as the executive director of a non-profit animal welfare organization, where her experience included membership outreach, program development, and grant administration. She has also served on the Board of Directors of a local non-profit organization.

Jackie holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. She resides in the Washington DC area.

Director of Accreditation – North America

is a wildlife veterinary nurse with over 25 years’ experience in animal husbandry and welfare and veterinary medicine. She has worked with a wide variety of animals including, domestic animals, farm animals, and a wide array of exotic wildlife species including great apes, elephants, birds and large cats.

A native of New England, Jeanne Marie spent her early career as a native wildlife rehabilitator and an exotic veterinary nurse in the U.S. including positions at International Crane Foundation and Zoo New England. However, she has spent the past 12 years working in Africa, including the Johannesburg Zoo in South Africa where she was able to focus on conservation efforts including the Wattled Crane Recovery Programme – a program she continues to support voluntarily. More recently, she managed an endangered primate NGO (West African Primate Conservation Action) in Ghana.  Over the past several years, Jeanne Marie has travelled throughout Africa providing staff training and mentoring to help improve the welfare of wild and exotic animals housed in animal care facilities in underdeveloped countries.

Director of Accreditation – Equine

serves in the role as Director of Accreditation-Equine for Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

Valerie is no stranger to the animal welfare and non-profit management fields.  She has spent time managing Humane Education programs for a local animal shelter, where she presented education and outreach opportunities to over 20,000 people annually.  Valerie also has over 15 years of experience working for, and overseeing, organizations providing Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. During this time, Valerie was afforded not only hands-on interactions with equines and clients, but also gained valuable skills such as fundraising and grant writing. In addition, for several years, she served in a volunteer capacity as State Director for an equine rescue in Oklahoma.

Valerie’s educational background includes a degree in Equine Studies, as well as two certificates in the Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies field.  She is a life-long horse owner and rider, and believes rescued animals are simply the best!  Valerie lives with her family in Wichita, KS.

Information & Technology Manager

previously worked as Education and Technology Manager for PetSmart Charities for eight years, and prior to that, worked in Human Resources in municipal government.Robin Mason  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.

Regional Representatives

Europe Representative

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.

Indonesia Representative

 is a lecturer at the University of Indonesia since 2010. She teaches global environmental politics and diplomacy for undergraduate students in the International Relations Department. Concerned for the wellbeing of animals in her country, Kinanti also runs the Indonesian Society for Animal Welfare. Previously, she worked as a professional communications consultant and had also been ProFauna’s international representative in 2007. Kinanti holds an undergraduate degree in international relations from the University of Indonesia and a master’s degree in communication studies. She was awarded a Peace Scholarship by IDP Australia in 2006 for a study abroad semester at Flinders University where she took courses in Political Ecology, Environmental Studies, and Sustainable Development. Kinanti currently lives with her husband and two children in Tangerang, Indonesia.

Central America Representative

is the Regional Director for Humane Society International-Latin America (HSI-LA), and she runs the regional offices located in San Jose, Costa Rica. Ms. Dent joined HSI in 2004, instrumental in establishing the groundwork for the initial programs as a program coordinator. She is responsible for the development and implementation of a wide span of programs focusing on animal welfare, including wildlife, companion animals and farm animal programs.

Ms. Dent helped develop a rescue center study in 2008, in which key institutions responsible for dealing with illegal wildlife of Central America were interviewed. The report examined each of the DR-CAFTA countries, possible trade routes in each and their CITES implementation, including a close examination of rescue centers available in each country. Ms. Dent works with the rescue centers identified in the report to improve their capacity and processes, in order to deal with the great amount of animals they receive.

Recently, Ms. Dent is leading the effort of new programs in conjunction with the Costa Rican government against dog fighting and puppy mills. As a part of her regular responsibilities, Ms. Dent liaises with government representatives in Central American countries in order to improve animal welfare for farm animals, wildlife, marine mammals and cats and dogs.

Prior to joining HSI-LA, Ms. Dent worked in DDB Advertising Agency in Costa Rica, as an account executive, with a varied client list, including American Airlines and Scott Paper Co. among others. She studied Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing at ULACIT University in Costa Rica.

is program coordinator for Humane Society International, Latin America and provides capacity building to improve wildlife welfare in Central America and the Dominican Republic. Ms. Delgadillo works actively with wildlife rescue centers and governments improving animal welfare standards in the management of confiscated and rescued wildlife in the region. In addition, Ms. Delgadillo coordinates initiatives and networks focused on marine animal welfare and assists governments and local NGOs with the implementation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Southern Africa Representative

is the Campaigns Manager for the Southern African Office of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) working on the Elephant and Animal Rescue Programs areas in the Africa region.

Since joining IFAW in 2003, where he started as a Campaigns Officer his assignments have included the repatriation of gorillas to Cameroon; elephant relocation projects to mitigate Human/elephant conflict in both Malawi and Cote D’ Ivoire, and assisting in the establishment of the Liwonde Elephant Habitat Protection Project in Upper Shire region of Malawi. Neil has also been the Animal Rescue representative in charge of assessing and informing internal strategy for the Animal Rescue Program within the region.

Prior to joining IFAW, Neil worked as a wildlife rehabilitator for WildCare where he was assisted in the management of the centre in the rescue and rehabilitation of numerous and varied wildlife species. Neil was also seconded to the Endangered Wild Trust’s (EWT) Raptor Conservation Group as Project Manager responsible for the establishment of a national Birds of Prey rescue and rehabilitation network to assist with injured and poisoned raptors and vultures.

Thailand Representative

is the Founder and Director of Blue Tail Animal Aid International, a French-based NGO focusing on providing trainings and capacity buildings to animal professionals in developing countries. She has been working with captive wild animals as well as stray cats and dogs in Africa and Asia for the past 10 years. Based in Thailand since 2009, she closely works with local NGOs and government to improve welfare standards of shelters and rescue centres, including governmental wildlife confiscation facilities. Originally a vet nurse, Delphine is now doing a Master degree in Anthrozoology with the University of Exeter, to better understand human-animal interactions and strengthen relationships between cultures and species.