A Message from the President

Twenty years ago (midway through my career at AWI) I was appointed AWI president following the untimely death of our founding president (and my mentor), Christine Stevens. One year later, I met Susan Millward. At the time, AWI had two job vacancies: a marine mammal research assistant and an administrative position handling finances and bookkeeping. Susan came for an interview. She was bright, articulate, and impressive—and had the chutzpah to tell me she could handle both positions but only wanted payment for one! It was an offer I couldn’t refuse. And, yes, Susan deftly handled both positions.

I’ve worked alongside her ever since as she assumed increasing responsibility, eventually rising to the position of executive director. You can learn more about Susan in her bio on page 6. I’ll simply add that Susan’s dedication to the organization and deep connection to AWI’s mission are unrivaled, and I am grateful beyond words for the work she does and the spirit she brings to it. 

When I decided to retire this year, I recommended Susan to the board of directors as an ideal candidate to lead the organization. Following careful deliberation, and upon receiving the enthusiastic support of the board, I am pleased to announce that Susan will take over as the organization’s chief executive, effective January 1. 

Working at AWI has truly been my passion. My support of the organization, its staff, its board, its scientific committee, and—above all—its mission remains steadfast, and I look forward to continuing to help both as a member of the board of directors and as a consultant. My heartfelt thanks—to Susan for embracing her new role, to the board and staff, and to all of AWI’s supporters for all that you do to further our goal of preventing animal suffering and providing animals with a life worth living.

Cathy Liss