Our Team

Below is a list of team members at the Animal Welfare Institute. Click names to read bios.

Humane Education Program

Alexandra Alberg | Senior Graphic Designer

Alexandra Alberg Alex is responsible for managing AWI's brand and art direction, including the design and production of publications, websites, email marketing, and social media.

A DC-area native, Alex graduated from Marymount University with a major in graphic design and a communications minor. She worked as a graphic designer for a government contracting company before joining AWI in 2011.

Alex lives in Vermont with her partner, where she fills her free time with photography, home renovations, and enjoying the great outdoors of the Green Mountain State.

Tessa Archibald, MS | Policy Associate, Equine Program and Manager, Homes for Horses Coalition

Tessa Archibald Since 2022, Tessa has managed the Homes for Horses Coalition—an initiative cosponsored by AWI and dedicated to supporting equine rescue and equine advocacy. She joined the AWI staff in 2023, taking on an additional role as policy associate in the Equine program.

Tessa holds a BS in biopsychology from Tufts University and a master's in animals and public policy from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts. Before working with AWI, she supported wildlife policy work at WildEarth Guardians and spent many years working with horses, including at therapeutic and rescue organizations.

Tessa lives in Colorado with her cat, Meatloaf—a polydactyl tortie—and her retired horse, Chandler.

She loves to get out and enjoy the outdoors by hiking, biking, and skiing.

Nancy Blaney | Director, Government Affairs

Nancy Blaney Nancy, who has been with AWI since 2007, oversees AWI’s lobbying activities on behalf of animals. She also works with the law enforcement community to ensure that animal cruelty crimes are taken seriously.

Nancy came to the DC area from Pennsylvania to attend the University of Maryland, where she majored in government and politics. She worked on Capitol Hill and for other animal welfare groups before landing at AWI.

Nancy is married and her nonwork passions include Wedgwood, theater, and tea.

Claire Coughlin, MA | Director, Companion Animal Program

Claire Coughlin Coming onboard in 2023, Claire supports AWI’s Animals & Interpersonal Violence program and manages AWI's Safe Havens for Pets initiative.

Claire has a master’s degree in human development and family studies from the University of Missouri and extensive experience in both social services and animal advocacy. For over a decade, she specialized in evidenced-based education and support services for children and families impacted by abuse and neglect.

Claire is committed to protecting and improving the lives of both human and nonhuman animals, and she is particularly passionate about keeping people and their pets safely together. She is also a dedicated animal welfare advocate with experience as a volunteer for the Animal Protective Association of Missouri and Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.

She lives in St. Louis with her spouse and their four rescue pets (cats Birdie and Ralph and dogs Lucy and Max). Claire is actively involved in local animal rescue efforts, is an avid reader/book club member, adores board games, and enjoys any excuse to be outdoors.

Adrienne Craig, Esq. | Senior Policy Associate and Staff Attorney, Farmed Animal Program

Adrienne CraigSince joining AWI in 2022, Adrienne has focused on establishing protections for farmed animals in domestic and international transport, improving industry-backed welfare standards, and monitoring and strengthening state regulatory oversight of on-farm practices.

Adrienne spent her early career working hands-on with animals—at a companion animal rescue, a veterinary clinic, and a farmed animal sanctuary—where she grew to love and appreciate each animal’s individual personality. Wanting to make broader, systemic changes for animals, she earned her JD magna cum laude from Lewis & Clark Law School and joined AWI after serving as a judicial clerk for two years on the Washington State Court of Appeals.

She is a Colorado native who enjoys biking, hiking, and listening to good music. She also loves cooking delicious vegan food and crafting. Adrienne has a Chihuahua-Muppet mix named Ellis who takes his job supervising the AWI office very seriously.

Kate Dylewsky, MPA | Assistant Director, Government Affairs

Kate DylewskyKate, who joined AWI in 2017, works to advance policies protecting terrestrial wildlife at the federal, state, and local levels. She previously worked at Born Free USA, and for the past decade has lobbied on issues pertaining to wildlife.

Kate holds a BA in psychology from Georgetown University and an MPA from American University.

She has always cared deeply about the well-being of animals, and since childhood has been committed to efforts to reform our treatment of them. She has three cats—Milo, Lucy, and Olive. Kate enjoys playing softball and exploring all the amazing vegan food DC has to offer.

Melissa Edmonds, MEM | Scientist, Marine Biology, Marine Wildlife Program

Melissa Edmonds Melissa joined AWI in 2024. She is a member of the Marine Wildlife team, providing scientific input on issues pertaining to the conservation of marine mammals, sea turtles, and other marine species.

Having nurtured a deep love for the ocean since childhood, Melissa has always aspired to find solutions to the most urgent challenges facing our oceans. Before coming to AWI, she spent six years at the Southern Environmental Law Center as a science and policy expert. She received her master’s degree from the Duke University Marine Lab, where she studied the impacts of sea turtle tourism in the Caribbean. She also holds a bachelor’s in marine biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Melissa resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. She enjoys reading, cheering on Duke basketball, and traveling to national parks with her husband, Diquan. They share their home with Sydney, a rescue Aussiedoodle.

Maisy Englund, PhD | Scientist, Animal Cognition, Animals in Laboratories Program

Maisy EnglundMaisy joined AWI in 2023 to provide scientific expertise on animals in laboratories and conduct research on best practices for replacing, reducing, and refining the use of animals in laboratories.

Maisy attained her PhD from Georgia State University, where she studied choice behavior, suboptimal decision making, and cognitive biases in primates. She also served as the Animal Welfare Fellow at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, where she conducted research on choice behavior and contrafreeloading as welfare indicators in captive animals.

Maisy shares her home with Juniper, a joyful and snuggly pit-bull mix; Petra, an odd but loveable feline; and Andrew, her human husband. In her free time, she enjoys doing paint-by-numbers, running, playing obscure board games, and walking her dog.

Sue Fisher | Senior Policy Advisor, Marine Wildlife and Terrestrial Wildlife Programs

Sue FisherSue works with AWI's Marine Wildlife and Terrestrial Wildlife teams to advise on policy relating to the management and conservation of whales, dolphins, and other endangered species hunted or captured for trade. She started working with AWI in 2011 as a consultant, and served as acting marine policy director on international issues for a year before taking on her current role.

Sue hails from the United Kingdom, where she trained as a lawyer, but left private practice to work in endangered species advocacy for UK and US conservation and animal welfare NGOs.

She now lives in the United States, where she is “Mum” to two teenage boys—who share their parents’ love of animals and the outdoors—and to Flash the rescue dog. She loves fostering dogs coming from overcrowded shelters around the United States to a new life in the Pacific Northwest. For relaxation, she enjoys making 3-D art.

Marjorie Fishman | Public Relations Manager

Marjorie FishmanMargie is responsible for implementing external communications campaigns that educate and inform the public to advance AWI’s advocacy goals.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Margie worked as a print journalist for more than two decades, most recently as an investigative reporter for the USA Today network. Her previous roles have included editor, pet columnist, qualitative research consultant, and marketing content specialist for nonprofit and for-profit organizations.

Before coming to AWI, Margie volunteered with pet therapy programs, local animal shelters, and humane education projects. She enjoys dancing, reading, swimming, traveling abroad, nuzzling her dog, Ernie Pyle—a 17-year-old hound-mix rescue—in nature, and visiting animal rescues and sanctuaries.

Ericca Gandolfo, MS | Senior Policy Associate, Government Affairs

Ericca GandolfoAs a member of our Government Affairs team, Ericca collaborates with AWI’s Marine Wildlife and Terrestrial Wildlife teams to advance policies to protect marine mammals in captivity and in the wild and to reform the USDA Wildlife Services program.

Ericca is passionate about animals of all kinds and has been heavily active in animal welfare advocacy her whole life. This led her to pursue an MS in animals and public policy at Tufts University. Previously, she managed the volunteer program at Muddy Paws Rescue, an acclaimed foster-based dog rescue that has saved over 7,000 lives since 2017. Before starting at AWI, she spent most of her free time engaging with organizations and legislators in her community on state and federal policies.

Ericca was born and raised in New York City and spent many weekends exploring the Catskill Mountains. Her dog, Daisy, is a 4-year-old mastiff-Great Dane-pit bull mix from Animal Care Centers of NYC. She loves going for hikes, swimming, and convincing any strangers she and Daisy meet that rescue dogs are the best!

Allie Granger, MA | Policy Advisor, Farmed Animal Program

Allie GrangerAllie leads the AWI Farmed Animal team’s On Farm campaign and helps coordinate and carry out the team’s federal legislative strategy. She's been with AWI since 2019.

Prior to joining AWI, Allie earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s in environmental policy from Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. As a member and graduate fellow for the university’s Environmental Policy Clinic, Allie helped draft and lobbied for passage of the Elephant Protection Act that made New York the first state to prohibit the use of elephants in entertainment acts. She also worked briefly for former Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a long-standing animal welfare champion on Capitol Hill.

Allie shares her home with her beloved dog, Sunny, and her cat, Yogi. Outside of work, you can find her enthralled in a fiction book (preferably by a pool or ocean), at an Orangetheory class, or enjoying a glass of wine with loved ones.

Joanna Grossman, PhD | Director, Equine Program and Senior Policy Advisor, Farmed Animal Program

Joanna GrossmanJoanna joined AWI in 2014 and oversees the organization’s campaigns, litigation, and legislative advocacy pertaining to horses—both wild and domestic. She also lobbies on our farmed animal priorities.

Joanna holds an AB from Princeton University and studied as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Oxford before earning her PhD from Harvard University. While completing her doctorate, she worked on legislation impacting animal welfare at the Humane Society of the United States, at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and for Congressman Jim Moran, former chair of the Animal Protection Caucus.

Joanna has been a vegan for almost two decades (and a vegetarian for even longer). In graduate school, she wrote her dissertation on how Shakespearean drama advances an anti-speciesist outlook and emphasizes the kinship between humanity and other life forms.

Joanna shares her home with her husband, three kids, and three rescue dogs. Her hobbies include running, watching football, and maintaining an encyclopedic knowledge of animated sitcoms.

Johanna Hamburger, Esq. | Director and Senior Attorney, Terrestrial Wildlife Program

Johanna HamburgerJohanna works to safeguard endangered species and their habitats, combat cruel wildlife management methods, and improve regulation of the international wildlife trade. She's been at AWI since 2018.

Johanna earned her JD from the University of Colorado School of Law and received her bachelor's in economics and political science, as well as certificates in conservation biology and environmental studies, from Colorado State University. While in school, she clerked for Earthjustice, the Environmental Law Institute, the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, and the Environmental Defense Fund. Upon graduation, she served in the Civil Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, and then practiced water and natural resources law with Carlson, Hammond & Paddock.

Johanna is an avid hiker, enjoys wildlife watching, and loves to travel. She is passionate about giving a voice to all the wild animals with whom we share our planet, and protecting them from cruelty, exploitation, and extinction.

Georgia Hancock, Esq. | Director and Senior Attorney, Marine Wildlife Program

Georgia HancockGeorgia leads the Marine Wildlife team in its efforts to counteract the harmful impacts of international trade in marine wildlife, bycatch of marine wildlife in fishing gear, vessel strikes, shark finning, whaling, climate change, anthropogenic ocean noise, and marine pollution, as well as working to improve the welfare of captive marine wildlife.

Georgia started with AWI as general counsel in 2013. In 2017, she transitioned to working primarily as an attorney for the Marine Wildlife program, before becoming the program’s director. Georgia attended the University at Buffalo School of Law, where she concentrated in environmental law, and worked for Perkins Coie’s Environment, Energy & Resources practice group.

Georgia grew up in the Finger Lakes region of western New York, and has always had a deep appreciation for water, marine animals, and the outdoors in general. Her family always had a dog and/or cat growing up; her family now includes a rescue dog, Ozzy, and a rescue cat, Chloe.

Georgia loves traveling, swimming, yoga/pilates, and a wide variety of music: she even volunteers as deejay for her boys’ swim team!

Katelyn Hanna-Wortley | Website Consultant

Katelyn Hanna-Wortley began working with AWI in 2019 to create and manage web development projects and oversee maintenance of the organization’s websites. Prior to working for AWI, Katelyn worked in web development and production at a publishing company. She holds a BA in graphic design from Lehigh University.

Katelyn is originally from Michigan and now resides in eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and a (very chatty) tortoiseshell cat. She enjoys travel, painting and drawing, yoga, reading, and spending time in nature.

Lisa Hoover, JD/MA/MLS | Senior Policy Associate, Animals in Laboratories Program

Lisa Hoover Lisa joined AWI in 2023 as our senior policy associate for the Animals in Laboratories program. She holds a juris doctor degree and master’s in political science from Syracuse University, as well as a master’s in library science from the University at Buffalo. She has been adjunct teaching on law-related topics for 10 years and recently served as a reference and instruction librarian at a university for six years.

Lisa grew up on a small family farm with livestock (cows and horses, later pigs) from a young age and always had pets (dogs and cats) around. She currently shares her home with Alexstrasza (Alex), an 8-year-old female puggle; Darth Tater (Tater), a 2-year-old male puggle; and Nyx, a 5-year-old female domestic shorthair cat.

Lisa is a voracious reader of historical fiction, fantasy, history, and biographies, and she enjoys video games and paint-by-numbers.

James Jacobs | Office Manager

James JacobsJames joined AWI in 2022 as our first ever office manager, where he oversees daily office operations and ensures AWI staff, contractors, tenants, and interns have what they need to perform their jobs effectively.

After spending five years as an airborne infantryman with the United States Army, he went back to school at The Ohio State University and received a BA in anthropology with a minor in history. He worked in archaeology and conservation for the National Park Service and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum before entering the world of nonprofits and joining AWI.

James has been a supporter of animal-focused nonprofits since he was a little kid donating his allowance and time as much as possible. As an adult, he has volunteered with many organizations helping to care for animals and the environment. He shares his home with his wife, Morgan, and their German shepherd, Sasha.

James loves to garden—with a focus on native plants providing ecosystems for local wildlife—bake, and hike.

Robin Jacobsohn, Esq. | General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer

Robin JacobsohnRobin joined AWI in 2022 and provides strategic advice and oversight for legal issues relating to AWI programs and operations.

Robin has devoted much of her career to public service, both in government positions and the private sector (where she built and participated in pro bono programs). Her roles have included law clerk on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; partner at Williams & Connolly; deputy assistant attorney general (defending tort suits against the United States) and associate deputy attorney general (advising leadership on national security, litigation, and legal policy issues) at the Department of Justice; deputy general counsel at the Department of Defense (managing department-wide litigation and complex legal issues); and general counsel at the Office of Personnel Management (managing aftermath of data breach). She has tried cases, argued appeals, testified before Congress and a UN committee, counseled senior officials, helped draft legislation and regulations, and crafted creative approaches to uncharted areas of law. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

Robin's work at the Justice Department included overseeing environmental and natural resources matters and service on the animal cruelty working group. A lifelong animal lover and photographer, most of her travel has focused on animals, including volunteering at an African wildlife sanctuary. She shares her home with three rescue kitties—two devilish but adorable kittens (Bandit and Mia) and a 16-year-old “big brother” (Bailey) who tries his best to keep them in line.

Joanna Makowska, PhD | Director and Senior Scientist, Applied Animal Behavior, Animals in Laboratories Program

Joanna MakowskaJoanna leads the Animals in Laboratories program in its efforts to improve the lives of animals used in research.

Joanna received her PhD and MSc from the University of British Columbia’s Animal Welfare Program, with a focus on the welfare of rodents in research. She received a BSc in biology with a psychology minor from McGill University. She currently serves as adjunct professor at UBC in the Applied Animal Biology department.

Prior to joining AWI in 2018, Joanna was a consultant for the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where she contributed to the development of their AnimalKind Dog Training Standards for humane dog training.

A resident of British Columbia, Joanna admits that she misses the vibrant culture and charm of her hometown of Montreal, though she is grateful that she gets to experience daily hikes through a rainforest with her mixed mutt dog, Coco.

Paul Marchione | Chief Operations Officer

Paul MarchionePaul manages the day-to-day operations of the organization and oversees AWI's Communications, Development, and Operations staff.

Paul joined AWI in 2023, having spent the previous 10 years in executive positions at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and NETWORK Lobby. He also worked in advocacy, communications, and organizing at Independent Sector, Brady, and Common Sense about Kids and Guns.

Paul is joined at home by his lab-coonhound rescue, Hunter, two formerly feral cats, Blackwell and Panther, and his wife Gráinne. 

Wendy Swann McNally | Donor Relations Manager

Wendy handles all things related to donations and membership. She started at AWI in 1999 as a research associate, worked from 2010 to 2013 as an outreach coordinator, and has been our development lead since 2022.

Wendy graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in sociology. At AWI, she is able to blend her professional life with her personal love for animals.

Wendy lives in Virginia with her family, which includes two cats, Fluffy and Berry, and two dogs, Arya and Lola. Wendy credits her first pet, Pepsi, a sheepdog, for instilling in her at a young age the values of compassion-based relationships, empathy, and a commitment to help the voiceless.

Kim Meneo, MA | Digital Engagement Manager

Kim MeneoKim joined our Communication team in 2021. She manages AWI’s social and digital media presence by creating content and developing strategies to engage, educate, and inform individuals about animal welfare issues; increase advocacy; and showcase AWI’s work.

Kim holds bachelor’s degrees in English and environmental science from Connecticut College and a master's in communication from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining AWI, she worked for several conservation-focused nonprofits in New England, as well as for an advertising agency as a content strategist.

Growing up on the coast with a plethora of pets, Kim has a lifelong appreciation for all animals—both on land and in the sea—as well as a deep commitment to improving their welfare. These values fueled her professional studies and personal passions, which meld together in the digital space, allowing her to use her skills to help increase public awareness of the issues affecting animals and inspire widespread action.

Kim enjoys spending time at the beach near her home in Rhode Island, kayaking, and hiking trails throughout New England.

Susan Millward | Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

Susan Millward Susan was appointed chief executive officer of AWI in January 2023, having served in various roles at the organization since 2003, including director of the marine animal program and executive director.

Animals have been a big part of Susan’s life since her childhood in England—first in rural Cheshire and then along the southwest coast—with rescued cats, hamsters, rabbits, goldfish, and a dog. After obtaining a BSc in environmental health and an MBA from the University of Wales, Susan worked for the US Navy to oversee environmental compliance with EU regulations at its UK bases. Upon emigrating to the United States, she worked with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researching and drafting its first Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan, and later for environmental engineering firms on a variety of projects, while volunteering at animal shelters, at a bird sanctuary, and on beach/river clean ups.

Susan has represented AWI in numerous meetings at the United Nations and meetings involving the negotiation and refinement of international wildlife protection agreements such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the International Whaling Commission, and the Convention on Biological Diversity. In addition to being AWI’s executive director and CEO, Susan serves on the boards of Monitor Caribbean, which works closely with AWI to preserve the biodiversity of the Wider Caribbean region, and the Species Survival Network, which works to strengthen wildlife protections established through CITES.

In her downtime, Susan birdwatches, follows the activities of a local beaver family, fosters cats for a Northern Virginia shelter, and volunteers with her son Andrei’s scout troop.

Kate O'Connell | Senior Policy Consultant, Marine Wildlife Program

Kate began consulting for AWI in 2011. She represents AWI at key international forums involving marine wildlife protection and applies research and analysis, as well as fluency in multiple languages, to advance AWI’s campaigns to end commercial whaling and reduce bycatch of cetaceans and other nontarget marine species by commercial fisheries.

Kate studied languages and international relations, receiving a BA in international relations and French from Eisenhower College, and a master’s in bilingual/bicultural relations at the University of Connecticut. Her academic career has included time at Cambridge University and the University of Puerto Rico.  She began her 4+ decades of work on behalf of marine wildlife with the Long Term Research Institute (LTRI) in Latin America. At LTRI, she helped draft the Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) Protocol—a key regional agreement administered by the UN Environment Programme—and helped develop the protocol’s protected species lists.

During her down time, Kate enjoys watching Nordic-language detective shows and playing the bodhrán, a traditional Irish drum. She is currently trying to learn to better speak and understand Dog, with the help of the family's beloved rescue Sasha, a five-year-old Swedish vallhund-shiba inu mix.

Lauren Ponder | Accounting Manager

Lauren, who has been with AWI since 2021, handles AWI’s day-to-day accounting.

She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and has worked in a variety of challenging roles in accounting, bookkeeping, and benefits administration.

As a child, her parents encouraged empathy for animals in their daily lives, which led her to volunteering at rescue organizations over the past 25 years and to joining AWI and helping to support the organization’s mission to reduce animal suffering caused by people.

She and her family share their home with two cats (brothers) from a local rescue.

Mary Lou Randour, PhD | Coordinating Consultant, Center for the Study of Animal Cruelty Data

Mary Lou Randour Mary Lou is a psychologist who received her PhD from the University of Maryland, was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institute of Mental Health, and was a Harvard Medical School Clinical Fellow in Psychology at Cambridge Hospital.

She is the author of handbooks such as A Common Bond: Child Maltreatment and Animals in the Family and has published articles in numerous professional journals. Her latest publication, “Intentional cruelty vs. neglect: New insights on animal cruelty crimes and implications for policy,” co-authored with Dr. Lynn Addington, was recently published in Criminal Justice Policy Review. Previous articles by Mary Lou have appeared in the journals Violence Against Women, Trauma, Violence & Abuse, and the Journal of Emotional Abuse, and she has authored chapters for edited volumes.

In her career, Mary Lou has worked for a federal research-funding agency and enjoyed a private practice for almost 20 years. She now devotes her knowledge of psychology to advance animal protection and its connection to human welfare.

Gwendy Reyes-Illg, DVM, MA | Scientist, Veterinary Medicine Consultant, Farmed Animal Program

Gwendy Reyes-IllgGwendy has worked for AWI as a consultant since 2021. Her primary work is with the Farmed Animal team to help harness the latest veterinary and animal welfare science in service of our efforts to influence policy related to rearing, transport, and slaughter of animals in agriculture.

Gwendy holds a bachelor's degree in zoology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Florida, and a master's degree in philosophy from Colorado State University. She's practiced as a veterinarian for more than 15 years with a wide range of species in diverse settings, including emergency hospitals, general practice, and sanctuaries.

She began volunteering in the field of animal advocacy as teenager, and has always been sensitive to the suffering of animals—particularly when caused by humans—and felt compelled to prevent and alleviate it as much as she could.

In addition to her partner and three kids, Gwendy shares her home with two rescue dogs, Henry and Cooper. In her free time, she gardens with native plants around a small stream that runs through her backyard and listens to the birds attracted to this magical little place.

Naomi A. Rose, PhD | Senior Scientist, Marine Mammal Biology, Marine Wildlife Program

Naomi A. Rose Naomi is the marine mammal scientist for AWI, addressing captive marine mammal welfare, responsible whale watching, whaling, and small populations of endangered marine mammal species, and providing scientific input wherever needed within the marine team.

Naomi worked for the Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International for 20 years before coming to AWI. She received her PhD from the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she studied the social dynamics of male orcas.

Naomi has been in love with wildlife since she was in grade school and knew she wanted to study dolphins by the time she was 13. She believes that individuals—human and nonhuman—matter in the greater scheme of things and works to ensure that the welfare of all marine mammals, in captivity and the wild, is considered when society makes decisions related to them.

Naomi shares her home with her husband, Chris, and their three cats: Wesley, Darcy, and Ellie. She is a self-proclaimed geek who loves sci-fi and fantasy books, television, and film—as well as historical fiction and nonfiction—and enjoys working in her garden.

D.J. Schubert | Senior Scientist, Wildlife Biology, Marine Wildlife and Terrestrial Wildlife Programs

D.J. works with AWI's Marine Wildlife and Terrestrial Wildlife teams to conduct research, analyze documents, and prepare substantive comments, briefings, reports, press releases, and other materials to advance our collective efforts to strengthen protections for, improve the management of, and reduce the suffering of wild animals both domestically and internationally.

Before joining AWI in 2005, D.J. served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Burkina Faso, a biologist for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, an investigator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a researcher/investigator for the Fund for Animals, a scientist/paralegal for Meyer & Glitzenstein, and a ranch manager/scientist for the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch.

D.J. and his wife are the human companions to several rescued cats and a rescued dog. In his free time, D.J. is engaged in various home maintenance/renovation projects and volunteers with local cat protection organizations to trap feral cats throughout southern New Jersey to create trap-neuter-return cat colonies, thereby preventing future births and reducing suffering.

Zack Strong, Esq. | Acting Director and Senior Attorney, Farmed Animal Program

Zack StrongZack started with AWI in 2020 on our Terrestrial Wildlife team and currently serves as a senior attorney and assistant director with AWI’s Farmed Animal program.

Prior to joining AWI, Zack practiced civil litigation with a small law firm, then worked as a senior staff attorney and wildlife advocate with the Natural Resources Defense Council. Zack obtained a BA in environmental studies from Dartmouth College and a JD from the University of Montana School of Law.

Zack is a cofounder and member of the Montana State Bar Animal Law Section and enjoys training for ultra-distance mountain trail running and Nordic ski races. He has been wholly plant powered since 2013.

Zack lives in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, Lindsay, and their 95-pound rescued bloodhound-mix Ella May.

Regina Terlau-Benford | Coordinator, Humane Education Program

Regina Terlau-BenfordRegina has been with AWI since 2008. In 2021, she took on the role of coordinator of AWI's Humane Education program, where she works to facilitate animal-friendly education, including promoting dissection alternatives, providing books and lesson plans that teach compassion and respect for all living beings, and connecting directly with students via our scholarship program.

Regina grew up in the mountains of Colorado, surrounded by natural beauty, and spent many weekends camping, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors. She was motivated to bring her financial background to AWI when she learned about the cruelty inherent in industrial farming. She has a BA in psychology with a child development specialization and is a certified humane education specialist.

She is a member of the Island Women Literacy Committee—working to promote reading and a love of learning for people of all ages—and is a court advocate volunteer for foster children. She shares her home with two rescue pups: Marcel, a Bouvier de Flandres who has become a certified therapy dog, and Rosie, a German shepherd and dedicated neighborhood watchdog.

Dave Tilford | Senior Writer/Editor

Dave TilfordDave joined AWI in 2010 and is responsible for reviewing, editing, and/or revising all of AWI’s publications and other public communications. He has been wielding a red pen for various environmental sustainability and animal welfare nonprofits for over 25 years.

Previously, Dave abandoned a nascent career as a corporate lawyer in Los Angeles to become a national park ranger in Alaska and Florida. He holds a BA in psychology from the University of Louisville, a JD from Pepperdine University, and an LLM in international environmental law from the University of Washington. He stubbornly clings to his State Bar of California membership.

Dave, Monique (spouse), and two daughters (now partially fledged) lived many years in Takoma Park, MD, before relocating to Louisville, his hometown. They have two dogs and a cat (formal names: Roscoe Rooster, Jayber Crow, Ignatz Mouse). Dave enjoys being in nature, attending concerts, and watching Coen Brothers movies and David Attenborough documentaries. He also reads fiction, history, rock & roll biographies, comic strips, and books about how the brain works and how it all began (life, the universe, and everything).