Abubakar Abba Abubakar - Abba, as he is fondly called, is the Group Supervisory Director at Priam Group, a diversified holding company with interests in food, beverages, plastics, animal feeds, media, hospitality, and banking. With a vast experience in the finance sector, Abba worked with Helios Investment Partners, London and has delivered services to several leading banks in Nigeria. He led the acquisition of Food Merchants International Investments Limited, which holds the master franchise rights for Nigeria of Chicken Cottage UK – a fast growing UK halal fast food chain. Abba is a board member of Adama Beverages and the plastics manufacturer, Adama Plasts. He was also a board member of Rico Gado Nutrition, an Animal Feed Company with roots in Portugal. Abba is a graduate of BCU in UK, and received an MBA from ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain.
Gerrard Allam - Gerrard is an American Lebanese urban planner and urban designer. Born in Salt Lake City, Gerrard lives between the United States and Lebanon and is currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area; he is currently pursuing his Masters of Urban Design in the College of Environmental Design at U.C. Berkeley. His work focuses on the intersection of empathy, resilience, and urban design. Gerrard is passionate about creating dynamic urban places that are sustainable and which provide a model for the growth of the built environment. In his four years of professional practice, Gerrard has championed the role of urban design in place making, place keeping, community engagement, and planning. His work includes mixed-use infill projects, regional and specific master plans, and resilience based design pertaining especially to water. Gerrard is passionate about sustaining the life of all kinds of animals, especially the majestic elephant, and looks for innovative ways to use his knowledge and expertise in urban design and urban planning to assist various animal welfare organizations such as The Elephant Project.
U Win Aung - Win spent much of his early career engaged in forestry work in Myanmar's extensive forests, and this work enabled him to develop a deep understanding of Southeast Asian ecology as well as the various tribal groups that make their home in the country's dense forests.
Over the last two decades, he has witnessed vast swaths of wilderness disappear in Myanmar and other Asian countries. He founded Myanmar's premier eco-tourism company, Woodland Travels, so he can promote ecotourism as one of the few industries that values wilderness and local culture in their original forms. In addition to ecological protection efforts, Win Aung has also been heavily involved in social and humanitarian work throughout Myanmar including areas hit by the 2008 Cyclone Nargis as well as remoter areas in Chin, Naga, and Kayin States.
Carmen Berg – Carmen is a leading specialist in luxury real estate with Sotheby’s International Realty having worked previously with Rodeo Realty and Joyce Rey’s distinguished team at Coldwell Banker Previews International in Beverly Hills. She is a graduate of the renowned World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa and is one of the few licensed female auctioneers in the country. Carmen is well connected within cross-cultural communities and has extensive experience representing prestigious property transactions on behalf of Turkish and Middle Eastern clients. Carmen is very active with animal welfare issues, participating in charity events, fundraising activities and volunteer work.
Sarah Blaine - Sarah is the co-founder and CEO of Mahouts Elephant Foundation; a UK registered charity dedicated to improving the lives of Asian elephants and the people who coexist with them in Thailand. The foundation develops industry disrupting community driven models for elephant safari tourism, working collaboratively with local stakeholders to ensure all parties benefit, illustrating the foundation’s philosophy that captive elephant’s welfare is dependent on their mahouts and their living conditions. Both of the charities projects, Walking with Elephants (WWE) and Living in the Forest with Elephants (LIFE) work in vast areas of forest and enable elephants to live naturally whilst tourists come in small groups to simply observe from a safe and respectful distance. Alongside developing innovative solutions to complex issues on the ground, the foundation facilitates research into the behavioral ecology of elephants living in their natural habitat, to better inform conservation and management practices.
To fulfil the charities broad remit, Sarah spends time internationally raising awareness and educating stakeholders on the important issue of elephant welfare and a considerable amount of time on the ground at both of the charity’s field sites directing project development and growth and gathering research on the overall industry as it continues to evolve.
Sarah’s impeccable reputation for being able to work in ethical partnership with small rural communities has helped the foundation become a sought after partner by many Karen communities in the region. Sarah has broad expertise on Thailand’s elephant tourist industry, and is sought after to consult and advise on tourism policy by industry stakeholders, governments, and other NGOs. Sarah is passionate about working together and facilitating partnerships with others in the industry.
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce - Ben serves in the Nigerian National Assembly representing Bayelsa East. He is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatization and Vice-Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Publicity.
Ben is the Founder and Group Chairman of the Silverbird Group, a diversified multi-media company with holdings in radio, television, real estate and cinemas. Silverbird is the largest cinema chain in Nigeria and the third largest TV network and is the holder of the Nigerian franchise for the Miss World Pageant which produced the first African Miss World in 2001. He is also the Founder and CEO of Dream Magic Studios in Los Angeles.
From 1999 to 2003 he was the Director General of Africa’s Largest Television Network, the Nigerian Television authority. He was chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria from 2011 to 2014. He has also served as an Executive Director with Black Music Association of America with Quincy Jones, Dick Griffey, and Stevie Wonder and was the Executive Director of the Coalition for a free Africa with the Late President Samora Machel of Mozambique and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Ben has served as a member of the National Arts Theatre management board, the Federal Film Censors board, the Board of the Nigerian Film Corporation, National Film Distribution Company, Nigerian anti- piracy action committee. He is a recipient of one of the highest Nigerian National Honours, the Officer of the Order of the Niger.
David Casselman – David is a Los Angeles trial lawyer with a passion for animals and conservation, worldwide. He has been particularly focused upon saving elephants, both in captivity and in the wild, for decades. Apart from his busy litigation practice, he has championed the cause of animals in a variety of ways. One of his more significant legal victories involves an 8-year pro bono litigation against the City of Los Angeles to stop the abuse of elephants at the L.A. Zoo. His victories at trial and through the Court of Appeal have opened the door for future legal challenges against public entities which are similarly abusing their animals.
David is also the creative force behind, and a co-founder of, the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary. It is a one-million-acre jungle sanctuary, located one hour north of the world famous Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia. The Sanctuary receives volunteers weekly, who help develop the facilities and work with the four elephants the Sanctuary has already saved from oppressive conditions. The Sanctuary is a fully functioning facility, working with the local community, growing its own food, and protecting a wide range of indigenous species, with an emphasis on Asian elephants.
David is also fully committed to developing many more sanctuaries across the globe. He recognizes the urgent need to protect the rapidly diminishing wild spaces which now remain and the animals that call them home. With his legal background and experience in animal and conservation causes, he is excited about teaming up with The Elephant Project to help make our mutual dreams a global reality.
Ghada Cheikh - Ghada is an architect based in Beirut, Lebanon. She graduated from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Lebanon, in 2009 with an M.A. in Architecture, which followed her bachelors in the same discipline. Her work focuses on the role of architecture and design in sustainable social development. Her active participation in environment-friendly workshops in Lebanon and Spain has strengthened her conviction regarding the responsibility of architects to their local communities and to the planet. She is a strong advocate for projects that grasp the importance of emotion and art where form and function blend together seamlessly in order to avoid overly commercial and “cookie-cutter” projects. Animal welfare and protection issues are also high on her list of priorities, and are what drew her to The Elephant Project. She hopes to be able to provide solutions through atypical design and architectural projects. When not working as an architect, Ghada takes comfort in painting, where she is able to reflect on her work from another angle and in which she takes great comfort.
Allen Johnson Jr. – Allen is an emeritus member of the board of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United and is the writer of an award-winning series of novels for youngsters of all ages - Blackwater novels. Allen and his wife Jill are life-long supporters of animal protection issues. They currently live on Mercer Island, Washington with their two dogs: Chloe and Piccolo.
Michael Y.M. Kau, PhD – Michael is a Senior Fellow at Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, a non-profit national think tank devoted to the study and promotion of democracy and human rights. Previously, he served as Taiwan’s Representative to the European Union, and was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and founding President of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy.
Born and raised in Taiwan, Dr. Kau studied political science at National Taiwan University and earned his PH. D. degree in comparative politics and international relations at Cornell University. He had a long and distinguished academic career in the United States, before returning to Taiwan to serve in government. He was a Professor of Political Science and Director of the East Asian Security Program at Brown University for over thirty years, during which he also served as faculty advisor to various East Asian programs /centers at Columbia, Cornell, and Harvard Universities.
David F. Klein - David is a litigation partner located in Pillsbury's Washington, DC, law office. His practice focuses on resolving disputes with insurance carriers through litigation and negotiations. David is experienced in matters involving general and excess liability, pollution legal liability, first party/business interruption, fidelity/crime, directors and officers and errors and omissions coverage. David has been a lifelong animal lover and devotes a significant portion of his time to pro bono activities including those that protect animals from inhumane treatment.
William Kristol – Bill is founder and editor at large of The Weekly Standard, he appears frequently on all the leading political commentary shows. Before starting the Weekly Standard in 1995, Mr. Kristol led the Project for the Republican Future, where he helped shape the strategy that produced the 1994 Republican congressional victory. Before that, Mr. Kristol served in senior positions in the Reagan and Bush Administrations, and taught at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
Dr. Scarlett Magda - Scarlett 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 Belize Zoo 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. Working with dogs as an emergency clinician in New York made Scarlett a wonder about the role dogs play in human health in other parts of the world. This curiosity led her to participate in a rabies prevention project in Todos Santos, Guatemala which is led by our local partner, the Global Alliance for Animals and People (the GAAP).
Having a love for the arts, Scarlett was a visionary in using film and art as a medium to raise awareness for wildlife conservation, and acted as Executive Director for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, responsible for bringing it to NYC in 2012. In 2013, in an effort to raise awareness about local conservation issues and the plight of the ocean, she co-hosted an event screening of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Planet Ocean in her local Hamptons community. She is also a huge advocate for oyster growing given they are the most sustainable animal to grow, and was responsible for bringing East Hampton’s first public oyster garden program in partnership with the East Hampton Town Shellfish Hatchery, and the South Fork Natural History Museum to life this past May.
Spending years researching and networking she realized there was a need to unite the strengths of the United States into a single network of veterinary health professionals which could provoke and support a national and global health platform for change. With a passion for raising awareness through multiple platforms, emphasizing collaboration, and a strong belief in “not reinventing the wheel” Scarlett wanted to create an organization that emphasizes enhancement of sound international animal projects that lack funding and support.
Scarlett also practices emergency veterinary medicine in numerous specialty hospitals across New York State, offers house call services with Dr. Cindy Bressler, and works as an associate at South Fork Animal Hospital, in Wainscott, NY.
Nomi Prins - Nomi is a renowned investigative journalist, author of six books and international speaker. Her new book, Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World will be out May, 2018 and explores the rise of central bank power and influence in the global financial, economic and geopolitical hierarchy. Her last book, All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances that Drive American Power is a groundbreaking narrative about the relationships of presidents to key bankers over the past century and impact on domestic and foreign policy. Her other books include the historical novel, Black Tuesday, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street, Other People’s Money: The Corporate Mugging of America and Jacked.
She is a frequent TV commentator, having appeared on channels including the BBC, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, CSPAN, Fox and PBS. She has appeared in numerous documentaries globally. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Fortune, Newsday, Mother Jones, The Guardian, The Nation, NY Daily News, and other publications.
Her advice on financial and banking issues is sought by governments and policy institutes throughout the world. She has delivered key-note speeches at a wide variety of venues including for the Federal Reserve / IMF / World Bank, Purdue University/Sinai Forum, University of Wisconsin/Eau Claire Forum, Ohio State University Law School, Columbia University, National Consumer Law Center, NASS Spinal Surgeons Conference, the Mexican Senate, UFRGS in Brazil, Tokyo Stock Exchange and other places. She was a member of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Federal Reserve Reform Advisory Council, is listed as one of America's TopWonks. and is on the advisory board of ExposeFacts.
Nomi received her BS in Math from SUNY Purchase, and MS in Statistics from New York University, where she completed all required coursework for a PhD in Statistics. Before becoming a journalist, Nomi worked on Wall Street as a managing director at Goldman Sachs, ran the international analytics group as a senior managing director at Bear Stearns in London, and worked as a strategist at Lehman Brothers and analyst at the Chase Manhattan Bank.
Adam M. Roberts - Adam has spent the past quarter century working for animal protection and wildlife conservation around the world. He has significant expertise working on issues of international wildlife trade and captive wild animals and serves on the board of directors of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. He is also the founder of The $10 Club, a micro-philanthropic organization funding poverty alleviation projects in developing countries.
Daniel Schily – Daniel is a member of the Supervisory Board of Voith, one of the largestbusiness conglomerates in the world. Daniel is very active in efforts to bring greater democracy to government institutions. He is a co-founder of Democracy International and in 1988 he helped establish the German democracy organization, Mehr Demokratie. Since then he has dedicated his life to realizing more democracy and citizens' participation in Germany and at global level. Daniel, along with his wife and four children, have been strong supporters of animal issues globally. He studied philosophy and mathematics at the University of Bonn, Germany.
Stevi Stoesz – Stevi is the Executive Director of the Indianapolis City Market and a twenty-two year veteran of public market, event and program management. She founded the Original Farmers Market in 1997 in downtown Indianapolis and was a featured speaker at the Project For Public Spaces’ 4th and 9th International Public Markets Conference in Seattle, Washington and Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, respectively.
Stevi is a member of the Humane Society of the United States’ Indiana State Council. She is active in animal welfare issues and has planned several fund raising events for regional animal welfare nonprofit organizations. Stevi volunteers for many of those groups including German Shepherd Rescue Indy, Indianapolis Animal Care & Control, Humane Society of Indianapolis and Mobile Mutts, a canine transport group that pulls death-row dogs from high-kill shelters in the South to the safety of screened and approved foster-based rescues throughout the Midwest. She is also a member of Indiana Animal Rights Alliance and Mercy For Animals. Stevi is an avid motorcyclist and founded an all-female motorcycle club in Indianapolis called the Circle City Soft Tails in 2013.
Joe Trippi - Joe was heralded on the cover of The New Republic as the man who “reinvented campaigning,” and has been at the forefront of movement politics for nearly 30 years. Joe began his political career working on Edward M. Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980 and has worked on numerous presidential, gubernatorial, senate, and congressional campaigns in the United State and around the world since - many within Africa. In 2008, Joe helped Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change receive the most votes, and helped garner international media attention to Robert Mugabe’s democratic subversion and violence which led to a ‘unity’ government and Tsvangarai becoming Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. In 2010, Joe was a senior strategist and media consultant in Jerry Brown’s successful run for California Governor. He is the author of "The Revolution will not be Televised: Democracy, the Internet and the Overthrow of Everything," which chronicles his revolutionary use of the internet in political campaigning. Joe has consulted on animal welfare issues all over the world and maintains his own animal sanctuary in Maryland.
The Honorable Connie Harriman Whitfield - Connie was appointed by President George H.W. Bush as Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks for the Department of Interior where she oversaw both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. As Assistant Secretary, she played a key role in the American ban and also the worldwide ban on the trade in elephant ivory. She was subsequently appointed director at the U.S. Export-Import Bank of the United States. Previously, she had served as Associate Solicitor at the Department of Interior, at the department of Justice and as a private practice attorney in Los Angeles. A longtime volunteer in animal protection work, Harriman-Whitfield also served on the board of the Stephen Decatur House, the Friends of Nemours Wildlife Foundation, and the Women's Committee of the Washington National Opera. Connie is a Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude graduate of Stanford University and holds Bachelors and Master’s Degrees from Stanford University, a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of California at Los Angeles, and a Master's Degree from Georgetown University in International Law.