Board of Directors
Adam M. Roberts, President
Adam M. Roberts is former 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. 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.
Kim Haddad, DVM, Vice President
Kim K. Haddad, DVM currently works as Medical Director for VCA San Mateo and San Carlos Animal Hospitals. She has been providing veterinary medical care for dogs, cats and a wide variety of wild and exotic animals for more than 20 years. Prior to joining VCA, she owned and managed three small animal hospitals and an Emergency Hospital in the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as a dog daycare, professional pet grooming salon and boutique for high-quality foods and pet supplies. Dr. Haddad also provided veterinary care for California native wildlife at Coyote Point Museum, an AZA Accredited facility and served as a relief veterinarian at the San Francisco Zoo for many years. She also worked as a small animal veterinarian at the Jacksonville Zoological Gardens. Dr. Haddad 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 also served as an advisor to the American Zoological Association Animal Welfare Committee, and as a member of the Animal Welfare Committee of the American Association of Zoological Veterinarians. She maintains membership in the American Veterinary Medical Association, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association. She currently serves as the GFAS Vice Chair of the Board and Chairs the GFAS Accreditation Committee.
She received her undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, San Diego and her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1997 from the University of Florida. Dr. Haddad is a San Francisco native and resides in the Bay Area with her two rescued dogs, Finn and Ferb.
Bill Nimmo, Treasurer
Bill 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 on 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.
Allan E. Kornberg, M.D., Secretary
Allan E. Kornberg, MD, MBA is a pediatrician who has practiced both primary care and emergency pediatrics. He’s served as Vice-Chair and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine, at the University of Buffalo, and as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Brown University. He co-founded a pediatrics practice in Western New York and served as the Chief of Emergency Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. He advocated on behalf of survivors of child abuse and sexual assault, and was the co-editor of a textbook ‘Child Abuse and Neglect-a Medical Reference,’ along with writing peer review articles on child abuse and emergency pediatrics.
Allan served as medical director with managed care organizations, provider institutions, and advocacy groups, frequently focused on population health for the underserved, in Georgia, New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He was the Medicaid Medical Director for Rhode Island, and was Chief Medical Officer and subsequently CEO for Network Health, a managed care organization that serves impoverished families in Massachusetts.
Dr. Kornberg served as the executive director for the United States for World Animal Protection, and as the executive director for Farm Sanctuary, a not-for-profit focused on providing lifetime care for abused farm animals, educating the public, advocating on behalf of better treatment for farm animals, and in the promotion of plant-based diets.
He received his B.S in Biology from MIT, M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and M.B.A. from the University of Rochester.
Peter Bender, Director
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 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.
Sue A. Leary, Director
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 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.
Mike Markarian, Director
Mike is Chief Operating Officer of The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization. Additionally, as President of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, he oversees the lobbying and political activity of that affiliated organization. In 2004, as President of The Fund for Animals, Markarian and Wayne Pacelle (president and CEO of The HSUS) helped engineer a corporate combination of the two groups, and The Fund for Animals is now an affiliate of The HSUS providing direct care, food, and medical treatment to thousands of animals each year at its wildlife rehabilitation centers and animal sanctuaries. In 2007, “Campaigns & Elections” magazine named Markarian one of its “Rising Stars in Politics,” largely for his work on animal protection legislation and political campaigns, and in 2012, “Ad Age” magazine named Markarian one of its “Media Mavens,” an award that celebrates creative thinking and innovation in advertising, branding, marketing and communications.
Katie Moore, Director
As IFAW’s Program Director-Animal Rescue, Katie is responsible for developing and directing IFAW’s animal rescue vision and planning together with the VP of Programs and International Operations, animal rescue team, country offices, and program staff. She identifies, develops and oversees the implementation of strategies to globalize animal rescue programs and establish IFAW as the premier animal rescue and relief organization worldwide.
Before taking on her current role, Katie was the manager of IFAW’s Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team of six scientists and responders and more than 350 volunteers. Previously, Katie had led the Cape Cod Stranding Network (CCSN), since its inception in 1998 until the organization merged with IFAW in 2007.
Jill Nicoll, Director
Jill Nicoll was the Executive Vice President of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Her responsibilities included strategic planning, member services, revenue generation, marketing, media partnerships and social media communications.
Prior to the AZA, Jill was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the National Park Foundation where she oversaw fundraising— including a multi-million dollar corporate partnership program—grant-making, marketing, events and Board relations.
Jill was a recipient of the 2017 Silver Stevie Award winner/Non-Profit Executive.
She resides in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband, Dan and dog, Moe. She currently volunteers with Kyra’s Rescue, a dog rescue organization for stray dogs in Turkey, and Food & Friends, a weekly food delivery for the home bound. She is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College.
Melissa Rubin, Director
Melissa Rubin has an extensive background in animal protection including animal care, rescue, sanctuary, advocacy, welfare, and wildlife rehabilitation. She serves as the Senior Vice President of Animal Response, Care, and Sanctuary at the Humane Society of the United States. She is responsible for The HSUS’s four animal care centers, The HSUS Animal Rescue Team, Pets for Life, and the Rural Area Veterinary Services. She also serves on the board of directors of The Fund for Animals and the South Florida Wildlife Center.
In her capacity at The HSUS she is responsible for the direct care programs, which provide intensive care to over 30,000 animals each year. This includes wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, animal sanctuary, veterinary services in rural communities, rescue and confiscation of suffering animals on large scales from cruel and neglectful situations, assistance to law enforcement agencies in prosecution efforts, and permanent placement of such animal victims upon successful conclusion of these criminal cases.
In 2009 she assumed a leadership role for the Animal Care Centers, and has made tremendous strides in professionalizing and improving the operations at all The HSUS’s animal care facilities. The centers now serve as premier animal care facilities. She has built a strong leadership team at the centers, created operational protocols, established relationships with external partners, and significantly enhanced the centers’ capabilities in providing effective care and sanctuary for animals.
Melissa has led The HSUS through many natural disasters, including Hurricanes Floyd, which triggered the third largest evacuation at that time in US history, Charlie, a category four hurricane which destroyed 12,000 homes in Central Florida, Frances, a category two hurricane that battered Florida’s east coast, and Katrina, which sustained winds over 175 mph and reached category five hurricane status.
Melissa is an attorney who joined The HSUS over 25 years ago as the assistant general counsel. Her involvement in animal protection began in 1983 when she founded Students for Animal Welfare, the first collegiate animal protection organization at American University. Rubin received her degree in environmental science from American University, and went on to obtain her Juris Doctor from the Washington College of Law. She has a certificate in non-profit business and management from Johns Hopkins University.
Executive Director – Lisa Avery, JD, MBA
Prior to joining GFAS, Lisa practiced law and was an executive management consultant working in space systems development and in the renewable and alternative energy technologies industries. She has an academic background in business and employment law, children’s rights, and in animal law advocacy. Lisa is a published author and a life-long animal advocate. She has volunteered thousands of hours to improve animal care and protections from hands on care to effective legislative advocacy. Lisa provided pro bono legal services to the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office – Animal Protection Unit, the City of Los Angeles, Social Compassion in Legislation, LA Lawyers for Animals, the Legal Aid Society of San Diego and the Veterans Legal Resource Center.
A strong supporter of spaying and neutering to prevent unwanted and homeless animals, Lisa drafted the first California State legislation for mandatory spay and neuter and co-drafted the Mandatory Spay and Neuter Ordinance for the City of Los Angeles. She is also a Founding Board member for the California Spay and Neuter License Plate Fund, Inc. Fees generated from license plate sales reached over $1.1 million and are used to provide free and low-cost spay and neuter programs to help animals in severely impacted California communities.
Program Director – Africa and Asia
Jackie Bennett has worked with primate and various other wildlife sanctuaries for GFAS since 2012 and oversees the accreditation program for sanctuaries and rescue/rehabilitation centers in Africa and Asia. 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.
Program Director – Equine
Valerie Taylor joined GFAS in the role as Director of Programs-Equine for Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries in 2016.
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.
Robin Mason has been with GFAS since 2010 after previously working 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 meet Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer of Microsoft. Robin has a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona State University.
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 Ph.D. at the University of Bristol on the implementation of legislation and assessment of animal welfare in zoos. He has worked for several animal welfare organizations 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.
Delphine Ronfot 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.
Kinanti Kusumawardani Taufik-Wicaksono 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 well-being 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
Grettel Delgadillo is the 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.