A graduate of the University of Washington and a student at the Graduate School of Business at Seattle University, Muriel practiced financial planning in privately held firms before selling to US Bancorp.
She established and ran the Private Asset Management Group at US Bank. She has a Certified Financial Planner designation.
She served on the board of Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) in Lynnwood, Washington, including several years as treasurer. She also served on the boards of the Seattle Opera, the Seattle Symphony Foundation (currently), the Seattle Symphony and the YWCA of Seattle-King County, serving as the treasurer of the latter two organizations.
Sherry retired after a career in business where she served as a controller and executive focused on accounting and financial management responsibilities.
She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University in chemistry and later took courses in accounting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Sherry spent 19 years at BB&T Corporation and retired as Senior Executive Vice President & Corporate Controller. She was an auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co. She’s served and led on board committees focused on Audit, Risk, Compensation, Compliance and Corporate Governance.
Dr. Boss is a general internist at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), having received his clinical training at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
He has been chair of numerous UCSD School of Medicine and campus committees and served as Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at UCSD for 10 years and as Co-Director of the Internal Medicine third year clinical core clerkship for seven years.
Gerry has had a life-long interest in animal welfare, having fostered over 100 dogs and cats and serving on the board of a local low-cost spay-neuter organization. With his wife, he helps build houses in Mexico and supports adoption and care of Mexican dogs and cats.
A lifelong lover of animals, Ms. Griffin raised, fostered and cared for animals throughout her travels around the world.
She currently has a dog named Asher who she rescued from a shelter in Australia, and most recently she rescued a homeless Doberman found on the streets of Beijing and is preparing him for a home with her sister in New England.
Ms. Griffin is a member of the Senior Foreign Service and serves as Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. Her previous postings have included: U.S. Consul General in Perth; Regional Director, Western Hemisphere for the U.S. Commercial Service in Washington, DC; Commercial Counselor in Bangkok, Thailand; Regional Senior Commercial Officer for West & Central Africa based in Dakar, Senegal; and Regional Senior Commercial Officer for East Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Originally from Connecticut, Ms. Griffin speaks Mandarin Chinese and French, and is proficient in Thai. She holds a B.A. in Chinese & Asian Studies, from Connecticut College, and an M.A. and post graduate degree in China Studies from the Johns Hopkins University, Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and the Hopkins Nanjing Center. More recently, she studied Trade Policy at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education program.
Marian is one of the living legends in the animal movement, having been a full-time volunteer for the cause since 1967 when she founded The Fund for Animals with author and humorist Cleveland Amory.
In 1978, she and Cleveland founded the Black Beauty Ranch, which became the nation’s largest and most diverse animal sanctuary (in terms of species types).
When Cleveland Amory passed away in 1998, Marian became chair of the board of The Fund for Animals until 2018. She is a graduate of Northwestern University.
René grew up on small farm in rural Kansas, went to Kansas State, and then to Harvard Law School. A trial lawyer and a founding partner of Tatro Tekosky Sadwick LLP, Mr. Tatro specializes in complex commercial litigation, defense of consumer fraud class actions, business torts, environmental and exposure-based tort litigation (including mass torts and class actions), and contractual disputes.
He has been an outdoorsman for his entire life, and is deeply devoted to animal welfare, having testified on state legislative matters in his home state of Oregon and written frequently on the topic. He is owned by a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Two.
Wayne is the former president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, which he transformed into the largest global organization for animals.
He is the founder of Animal Wellness Action, a 501(c)(4) organization focused on animals in public policy and politics.
A graduate of Yale University, he is the author of two New York Times bestsellers, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them and The Humane Economy: How Innovators and Enlightened Consumers Are Transforming the Lives of Animals.
As an animal welfare advocate, policy expert and strategic change leader, Jennifer Ashton brings a record of success in driving industry reform, building high-impact coalitions, and shaping new, humane policies at the highest levels of business and government.
As the Center’s Senior Vice President for Corporate Policy, she collaborates with leading animal rights organizations and directs top strategic initiatives to end the exploitation of animals by corporations.
Since joining the Center in 2019, McCausland has delivered key strategic wins, including an initiative that ended the state of Washington’s wolf eradication policy and a campaign that rescued more than 1,000 starving Thai elephants amid the pandemic and supported new ecosanctuary expansion. McCausland holds Masters degrees in both Public Policy & Administration and Innovation & Technology Law from Seattle University, and a Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence from MIT.
Scott has been deeply involved in educational, environmental and animal advocacy for over 30 years, leaving behind a career working with disadvantaged youth in alternate outreach programs in New York City, to pursue a law degree with a focus on environmental and community protection.
For the past two decades, Scott has worked tirelessly to advance and enforce our system of laws that safeguard our airways and watersheds.
Since 2000, he has also worked extensively to hold accountable our fundamentally inhumane and unsustainable factory farm method of meat production, where tens of thousands of animals are held in horrendous conditions, producing mountains of waste that are dumped indiscriminately on nearby fields, poisoning local rivers and streams.
In addition to a domestic body of work, Scott has also engaged on community protection internationally, working alongside activists in India, Bangladesh, China, Nepal, Mexico, Canada, Europe and elsewhere to further environmental protections. He has written numerous articles and blog entries and his worked has appeared in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and several other outlets, as well as making appearances on several news outlets, including Fox News.
Scott lives just north of New York City with his family and 3 dogs and, every summer, hundreds of endangered Monarch butterflies that hatch from the waystation he and his wife maintain in their backyard.
Since graduating NYU School of Law in 2015, Kate has aimed to build her career around using the law in aggressive and creative ways to give power and voices to those who have none. Prior to joining CHE, Kate was the staff attorney of the Animal Law Litigation Clinic, part of the Center for Animal Law Studies of Lewis & Clark Law School and the first law school clinic in the country to solely focus on farmed animals. Before that, Kate was an Assistant District Attorney for five years at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in New York City, where she specialized in investigating and prosecuting crimes against animals as part of the office’s Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit.
Kate is currently an L.L.M. candidate in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School, and was a 2011 magna cum laude graduate from Columbia University. Nowadays, after well over a decade in New York City, she has returned to her native West Coast. She currently lives in Washington State with her family, which includes an emergency medicine healthcare provider, two cats (one of whom is her greatest achievement: a former feral turned cuddlebug foster fail), and one dog.
After receiving his bachelor's degree from Utah State University and his JD from the University of Utah, Beckstead worked as an attorney in private practice on the central Oregon before going to work full-time in the animal protection sector. During that time he also served as the mayor of Waldport, Oregon from 2002 to 2007.
He became known for his special expertise in the field of animal law, and has taught that subject at the University of Oregon and Willamette University law schools.
In 2000, he co-authored Animal Law, the first casebook on the subject, and continues to teach animal law, wildlife law and policy, and Endangered Species Act as an adjunct professor of law at Willamette University.
Before coming to work for the Center and Animal Wellness Action, Beckstead served in a multitude of roles for the Humane Society of the United States, including Oregon state director, equine protection specialist, and Rural Outreach director. He also helped lead a successful ballot measure campaign in 2016 to ban the trade in endangered wildlife in Oregon.
Because of his close familiarity with horses, livestock, and farm animals, Beckstead provides training to law enforcement agencies on how to handle and work with those animals, and how to investigate equine and livestock cruelty and neglect.
Joseph Grove is a writer, journalist and editor whose involvement with the Center began in 2019, when he co-developed the Animal Wellness podcast for AWA. He continues to serve as host.
Grove is the recipient of multiple awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and a former media and communications advisor for The Arrow Fund, a Louisville, Ky.-based organization focused on rescuing severely abused and neglected animals.
He shares his life with an infamously misanthropic Chihuahua named Apple.
Karen Duarte guides the organization’s philanthropic efforts and is responsible for the oversight, planning, and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program. She comes to the Center with more than 34 years of fundraising experience serving in leadership positions at various animal welfare and health and human service organizations.
Karen served as the Executive Director at the American Heart Association where she oversaw all fundraising events and initiatives along with board development and recruitment. Karen also held leadership positions at United Cerebral Palsy in NYC and United Way of Tri-State.
Karen earned a B.A. in Political Science from Pace University in NYC. She lives North of New York City with her family including two foster-fail cats, Justin and Jolene.
Natalie earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Legal Studies, Administration of Justice, French, and Mathematics. She received her master’s degree from The George Washington University in Secondary Mathematics Education. After working as a collegiate mathematics instructor for over a decade, Natalie is proud to take her passion for animal welfare full-time with Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy
Currently residing in Pittsburgh, Penn., Natalie helped found Humane Action Pittsburgh, a grassroots organization advancing animal protection through education, policy, and community action. She has helped pass dozens of local laws, including Pennsylvania’s first ban on circus animal performances.
Natalie has several awards and accolades, including the 2023 City & State PA Power 100, 2019 Incline’s “Who’s Next” Animal Advocates, and PUMP’s and Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 honorees. She was awarded a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship in 2023.
Tamara’s 30-year career included founding and running a successful nonprofit and working in busy, high profile law firms. She was also a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and EMT instructor.
Drake coordinates research regarding regulatory testing methods for new product development, monitors agency rule-making changes, and drafts guidance policies.
Drake also coordinated litigation in Center for Responsible Science v. Norman E. Sharpless, MD, in his official capacity as Acting Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration in DC District Court and the United States Court of Appeals, for the District of Columbia.
Jennifer Skiff is an award-winning journalist, author, and animal advocate. Her best-selling inspirational books, The Divinity of Dogs and God Stories, are published in seven languages. Her latest book, Rescuing Ladybugs, has received three 1st place literary prizes including a Gold Nautilus.
For more than a decade Jennifer traveled the world working as an investigative environmental correspondent for CNN.
Her independently-produced programs about animals have aired on The Discovery Channel and other networks globally. Among other honors, she’s received the prized Environmental Media Award.
Jennifer has more than 25 years of experience leading animal welfare organizations and she leads by example. After witnessing the torture of Asiatic bears in 1998, she initiated and led the successful campaign to build the first bear sanctuary in the country of Laos. Today that sanctuary is home to 22 bears. While on vacation in Indonesia, she witnessed extreme neglect of animals at a hotel zoo. She negotiated with management, facilitating the release of twelve chained monkeys into their natural habitat. Her intervention was credited for shuttering the zoo six months later. She is a trustee of the Dogs’ Refuge Home in Australia and an advisor to Animal Aid USA and the Institute for Humane Education.
Most recently, in 2019, Jennifer was appointed Director of International Programs for CHE & AWA in Washington, D.C. She specializes in public policy, treaty enforcement, and corporate reform initiatives to benefit animals and people globally.
In her aforementioned book, Rescuing Ladybugs, Jennifer coined the phrase “The Compassion Movement.” She defines it as “the collective quest to alleviate suffering for all forms of life.” Teachers around the world are using the book to inspire students to create lasting change.
Graduating with his veterinary medicine degree and doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Keen has 30 years of experience in veterinary and biomedical research, with a specialty in livestock infectious disease issues, public health and more recently, industrial farm animal protection and advocacy. Dr. Keen spoke publicly about abusive treatment of animals at the USDA Meat Research Center in central Nebraska in 2015 gaining worldwide attention.
He is currently a visiting fellow in Harvard Law School’s Animal Law and Policy Program, focusing on laws and policies that can reduce the use of livestock, dogs, cats and primates in federally funded in-house research programs.
Julie Marshall has more than 30 years of experience in print journalism and was the opinion editor for the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper before joining Animal Wellness Action and the Center in May 2022. She started her career as a city and police news reporter on staff for the Orange County Register in Southern California, and later worked as a features staff writer (and pet columnist) for the Camera.
Marshall also worked as a public information officer for Colorado’s Division of Wildlife.
She is the author of “Making Burros Fly: Cleveland Amory, Animal Rescue Pioneer” (Big Earth, 2006), which could not have been written without help from the Center’s board member Marian Probst, with the foreward written beautifully by Wayne Pacelle.
She lives in Colorado, where she was born and raised, with her family that includes a husband and two teenagers, who are constantly recognized even wearing masks, for being featured in Netflix’s film “Unwell” about the lucrative wellness industry. The Marshalls have three cats (Minka, Tanjiro and Nezuko – from the anime “Demon Slayer”) and two dogs (Leo and Bella). Marshall rightly acknowledges that she has only named her pets.
Thomas Pool, MPH, DVM, earned his Masters in Public Health (tropical medicine) degree from Harvard University, and doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Oklahoma State University. He is a 30-year diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine. He spent 26 years in the US Army, and served as commander of the US Army Veterinary Command, a worldwide, tri-service command. He also graduated from the US Army War College
After running a graphic design studio in D.C. for non-profit organizations for 12 years, Jana received her M.F.A. in Film and Media Arts with a focus on Digital Media from American University. She has worked in Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia in film post-production and advertising as a 3D and visual effects specialist.
An expert in web development and design, Jana has supported organizations and content teams with her technical and creative skills.
As a life-long animal companion and animal-lover, she is proud to be part of Animal Wellness Action’s team and mission.
Originally from Wisconsin, Tina moved to Phoenix in 2000 and very soon after found herself rescuing dogs, volunteering for rescues and for the last six years serving on the Board of a local all-breed dog rescue.
Advocating for dogs and learning about their plight seemed to naturally lead to an awareness and examination of the unfortunate issues that other animals like farmed animals and wildlife also face.
A love for all animals and the desire to work on their behalf with other determined advocates is what draws her to an organization like the Center. Tina shares her life with her husband and four dogs, two chihuahuas a pit bull, and a boxer.
Zaher Nahle is an interdisciplinary executive scientist. He served in senior positions at U.S. medical foundations, including as Chief Scientific officer, Vice President for Research, and Chief Executive Officer. Earlier in his career, he served on the faculty at major research universities where he led scientific teams and published groundbreaking work in top journals like Nature.
Dr. Nahle earned many recognitions, most recently as a Dean's Scholar at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, a merit award “For outstanding academic achievement, demonstrated leadership abilities, and commitment to Carey’s values of relentless advancement, boundless curiosity, unwavering humanity, and collaborative leadership.”
Dr. Nahle is a staunch exponent of credible modeling in science, including the New Approach Methodologies (NAMs). He is a frequent organizer and speaker at international conferences in the U.S. and Europe, and served on specialized workgroups at federal agencies like the NIH and the CDC. For years, he has been making the case for change through written professional publications, contributions to committees and panels, engagement with health officials, and impactful advocacy on Capitol Hill. He is the founder of IVYCTORY Group.
Dr. Nahle earned his Master's degree in Public Administration (MPA) alongside a certificate in Public Policy & Management from Harvard University, where he was a Mason fellow. He received his PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from the Stony Brook University/Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) joint programs. He was a pioneer in developing and manufacturing high-throughput technologies like microarrays. His doctoral work uncovered new mechanisms for viral oncoproteins in genomic instability, cellular toxicity, and cancer
Dr. Brandon Burr is a practicing optometrist in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to helping patients, Brandon serves as a consultant to Clear Conscience, a cruelty-free eye care brand.
Growing up with his beloved Staffordshire Bull Terrier in the Chicago suburbs, Brandon developed an early understanding of the sentience and intelligence of all animals. It was only natural for him to make animal advocacy his Personal Legend, as inspired by The Alchemist.
Brandon’s role as Director of Food Policy is to engage local and state governments and corporations about their food policies, and inspire change, to protect farm animals, wildlife and their habitats, and our planet’s fragile biodiversity. His dream is to create a humane economy with a shift towards a plant-based culture.
In his free time, Brandon enjoys practicing yoga, playing tennis, hiking, reading, traveling, and spending time with his companion animals.