Meet our Board

Leading the way at WFA is our Board, ensuring we stay on course towards our mission. Composed of esteemed leaders from our founding members and regional networks, these remarkable individuals bring a wealth of passion, commitment, and expertise to the table.

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Chris Sherwood

President of the Board and CEO of RSPCA UK

Chris Sherwood has been the Chief Executive of the RSPCA since 2018. He has led the organisation through a major programme of transformation, which he set out in an ambitious strategy: Together for Animal Welfare. This strategy seeks to inspire everyone to create a better world for every animal. He has radically modernised the charity’s governance, organisational structure, senior team and brand. He has moved the RSPCA from long-standing substantial deficits into a sustainable financial position.

Through his leadership of the RSPCA, the organisation has recognised that animal welfare transcends national borders and repositioned the Society as an international organisation again and rebuilt international partnerships. He has also strengthened the charity’s campaigning work and refocused the organisation on prevention of animal cruelty and neglect.

During his time as CEO, the RSPCA with partners has secured significant new legislation which impacts the lives of millions of animals, including increased sentencing for animal cruelty offences, protections for farmed animals and a new Animal Sentience Bill to establish a wide-ranging cross-government committee to scrutinise all public policy. Chris has also led the organisation to the forefront of conversation on our relationship with animals – through foresight initiatives, policy provocations and state of the nation ‘Kindness Index’ research.

Chris has more than 20 year’s experience in the social sector having worked for leading UK charities including Relate and Scope. He’s spent time in central government working for the UK’s innovation agency Nesta and started his career in local government.

Chris is a board member of Eurogroup for Animals, NCVO, the main membership body for the social sector in England, and the Centre for Ageing Better. Chris also Chairs the UK’s Charity Awards and is a recognised commentator on animal welfare with his views frequently being carried by national and international media outlets.

Reineke Hameleers

Vice President of the Board and CEO of Eurogroup for Animals

Reineke Hameleers (MA) is the CEO of Eurogroup for Animals, the leading Pan-European animal advocacy organisation convening 70 members in the EU and all over the world. She is passionate about driving long lasting, positive change for animals by improving corporate practice and better legislation whilst ensuring optimal enforcement.

Reineke holds a Master’s degree in Arts and Science Studies from Maastricht University and specialised in the human-animal relationship. She has been active in animal advocacy since 2003 and worked before as Regional Director of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals. Reineke is a member of the Netherlands Committee for the Protection of Animals during Scientific Purposes. 

Last but not least, Reineke is happily living together with 4 rescue hens, 2 rescue rabbits and a cat.

Wim de Kok

Secretary of the Board and President of the National Council for Animal Protection

Wim was co-founder ­­­and President of World Animal Net, based in Boston, US. Originally from the Netherlands, where he grew up on a dairy farm, he joined a farm animal welfare organisation and applied his campaigning skills that he had honed as a rebellious high-schooler in the 1970’s. Working in animal welfare all his life, he founded several animal protection organisations and coalitions in the Netherlands and later internationally: most notably, the Anti-Fur Committee which ended fur sales and, helped by COVID-19, has been instrumental in closing all fur farms in the Netherlands.

He was also founder of the Dutch Animal Coalition assembling 20 prominent groups. Internationally he initiated the global NO FUR campaign (before the internet) with materials in 22 languages. Later he co-founded World Animal Net and the European Alliance of Rescue centres and Sanctuaries.

The formation of the World Federation for Animals together with others is his collaborative latest project. The Wim DeKok Animal Rights Collection at the Special Collections Research Center of the North Carolina State University Libraries consists of 13 metres of archives available for historical research.

Roly Owers

Treasurer of the Board and CEO of World Horse Welfare

Roly trained as a veterinary surgeon, lives with his family just outside Cambridge, and has been Chief Executive of the charity World Horse Welfare since 2008. 

He graduated from Cambridge University in 1992 and acquired his Master’s degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1997. His previous veterinary roles included with the Blue Cross and the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. Roly plays an active role in much of World Horse Welfare’s work supporting the horse-human partnership across four continents, including the charity’s work with veterinary universities, and also advises the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) and the British Horseracing Authority on horse welfare.

He is currently Treasurer of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), Chairman of the UK Equine Disease Coalition, a Director of the British Horse Council and a Board member of the European Horse Network.

Britta Riis

Britta Riis

CEO of Dyrenes Beskyttelse

Britta Riis is the former President of WFA and has been the CEO of Dyrenes Beskyttelse, Animal Protection Denmark, since 2009. She is an experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organisation management industry.

Her career has been centred around voluntary NGOs (professionalising NGOs/change management), leadership and organisational development. In her daily job as CEO Britta has doubled Dyrenes Beskyttelse in size and professionalised the organisation, always keeping a close working relationship with Eurogroup for Animals as a board member, VP, and President, until 2020 when her attention was directed more internationally towards working on establishing the World Federation for Animals.

She truly believes in working together for greater impact.

Having worked with boards for over 20 years, she is a highly experienced board member, having also served on the Board of the National Olympic Committee in Denmark. Britta has a Master’s in Political Science and an Executive Board education from Copenhagen Business School.

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Linda Edwards

Chief Executive of the Society for the Protection of Animals
Abroad (SPANA)

Linda has been the Chief Executive of SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) since 2021. A distinguished leader, she has successfully worked across the animal welfare, international development, humanitarian and private sectors.

Linda has previously worked as Chief Executive of the charities United Purpose (an organisation she successfully merged with Self Help Africa) and Build Africa. She also served as Executive Director of Operations at The Donkey Sanctuary and Regional Director at MSI covering the Asia Pacific region. Linda has also Chaired NCCI (a charity focussed on coordinating response in Iraq) and a number of trustee roles in healthcare, carbon management and animal welfare.

A large portion of Linda’s career has been spent living and working across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Central America. Having spent most of her career working internationally, Linda has gained a strong insight and understanding of some of the barriers we need to address to ensure a more equitable world, with a strong focus on the critical nexus of animals, humans, and the environment.

When at home, Linda spends time on the water on her paddleboard alongside her four-year-old rescue dog.

Glenys Oogjes

CEO of Animals Australia

Glenys Oogjes grew up on a northern Victorian dairy farm in Australia, before leaving for university and realising a broader perspective of our relationship with animals. She is an experienced animal advocate, having contributed to numerous national reviews of Codes of Practice/Standards and animal welfare laws in each State and Territory, served as an instigator of the (former) Australian Animal Welfare Strategy, and has represented the animal movement on the Australian Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (and similar bodies). 

Glenys is the long-standing CEO of Animals Australia, a prominent animal advocacy NGO that conducts investigations, exposes entrenched cruel practices, seeks to raise community awareness, and lobbies to press for a better life for all animals. Animals Australia and its global arm, Animals International, maintain a focus on farmed animals and transforming our food system towards a kinder and more sustainable world.

Josef Pfabigan

CEO of FOUR PAWS

Chief Executive Officer Josef Pfabigan heads up the management of all worldwide activities of global animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS and ensures the effective realisation of the organisation’s visions and strategies with the highest possible impact on animals and animal welfare.

Having been involved with FOUR PAWS since its founding days in 1988, he was hugely influential in the organisation’s growth and its development on an international scale. In 2003 he co-founded FOUR PAWS International and assumed the position of Chief Financial Officer on the management board in 2006, until he was appointed CEO after the sudden death of FOUR PAWS founder Heli Dungler in 2020.

Pfabigan comes from Lower Austria and has a background in music as well as finance. As of 1987, he was self-employed in sales, advertising, and marketing. Additionally, at the University of Vienna, he gained experience in the field of agriculture at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, as well as in journalism and communication science.

Josphat Ngonyo

Executive Director of the Africa Network for Animal Welfare

Josphat is the Executive Director of Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), the largest Pan-African NGO promoting humane treatment of animals. He co-founded ANAW–USA and champions the integration of animal welfare, wildlife, and environmental conservation into policies and strategies for the achievement of sustainable development goals. 

Josphat serves on the Boards of ANAW–USA and Compassion in World Farming, and is an Honorary Warden with Kenya Wildlife Service. Previously, he served in a national steering committee to review Wildlife Conservation and Management Act of Kenya (cap 376) and develop a wildlife policy; as a member of Ministerial Task Force on Animal Welfare Policy Development and Cap 360 review committee spearheaded by Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries in Kenya; and as an Environmental Advisor to Vision 2030 of the Government of Kenya.

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Steve Glassey

Co-Founder of Animal Evac New Zealand

Dr Steve Glassey is one of the world’s leading experts on animal disaster management, having completed his PhD in the topic area at the University of Portsmouth and published chapters in the Routledge Handbook on Animal Welfare and Oxford Research Encyclopedia.

He is the Patron of Animal Evac New Zealand, the country’s only dedicated animal disaster management advocacy charity and has a background in animal welfare ranging from being an animal protection inspector, animal control officer and humane society CEO. He works internationally in disaster management and public safety, promoting a ONE RESCUE approach that promotes an animal-inclusive approach to building
community resilience.

He is a former senior executive across government including the Country Fire Authority (Victoria, AUS) and Ministry for Social Development (NZL). He has been on numerous boards of directors for non-profits such as the International Technical Rescue Association, Wellington SPCA, Manawatu RNZSPCA, RedR New Zealand, Safer Australasia Foundation to name a few. With climate change, the impact of disasters on animals is increasing and having an expert with related governance experience will add value to the vision of WFA.

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Philip Lymbery

CEO of Compassion in World Farming

Philip Lymbery is the Global Chief Executive of Compassion in World Farming, Visiting Professor at the University of Winchester and President of Eurogroup for Animals, Brussels.  He’s an award-winning author, ornithologist, photographer, naturalist and self-confessed animal advocate. 

Philip has played leading roles in many major animal welfare reforms, including Europe-wide bans on veal crates for calves and barren battery cages for laying hens. He has directed global engagement with over 1,000 leading corporations, resulting in commitments to better lives for over 2 billion animals a year.

Philip works extensively on issues relating to industrial agriculture, including its impact on animal welfare, wildlife and the environment. He is a recognised thought leader and media spokesperson on these issues, as well as a renowned public speaker, having spoken on platforms in over 20 countries globally.

Philip’s first book Farmageddon: The True Cost of Cheap Meat was listed as one of The Times Writers Books of the Year and his awards include Eurogroup’s ‘Outstanding Campaign’ award and the 2015 ‘International Golden Dove’ peace prize in Rome.

Lorène Jacquet

Campaigns and Advocacy Manager at Fondation Brigitte Bardot

With a master degree in business law and intellectual property, Lorène worked as a project manager in a digital company. In 2013, she embarked on a professional career in animal protection and species conservation, driven by a visceral need to take care of animals and improve their welfare.

Lorène worked in Guinea and Gabon with NGOs fighting endangered species trafficking. When back from Africa, she managed a dog shelter within the network La SPA in France, and participated in numerous projects to improve the reception and adoption of abandoned animals.

In 2018, Lorène joined the NGO Welfarm as campaign and advocacy manager, focusing on farmed animals’ welfare. In February 2021, she joined the Brigitte Bardot Foundation’s team, as campaign and advocacy manager, and Deputy Director of the Animal Protection Division. She works on animal protection issues, relying on the expertise of the FBB’s teams which acts to protect all animals worldwide. She also represents FBB in the Boards of international coalitions such as Eurogroup For Animals and Species Survival Network.

Lorène is also the happy human of 3 great rescued dogs.

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Carolina Galvani

Executive Director of Sinergia Animal

Carolina is Brazilian and has 20 years of experience in research, investigation, strategic planning, mobilization, communication, and movement building.

She has worked in over 30 different countries as an investigative journalist for several leading NGOs and her work has been covered by some of the world’s most prominent media, including the BBC, The New York Times, The Guardian, Channel 4 (UK), and Le Monde.

Between 2013 and 2018, she worked at different organizations in Brazil and was responsible for negotiations and campaigns that led some of the largest food companies in the world—such as Cargill, Bunge, McDonald’s, Burger King, JBS, BRF, Subway, and Kraft Heinz—to announce animal welfare policies in their Latin American supply chains. Carolina is a graduate of Unicamp in Brazil (in economics) and has a master’s degree in International Journalism from City University, London. In September 2017, Carolina founded Sinergia Animal.

Michelle Thew

CEO of Cruelty Free International

Michelle joined Cruelty Free International in 1999 and has overseen the implementation of the organisation’s most ambitious and innovative strategies for creating positive change for animals in laboratories. She spearheaded the organisation’s historic decade-long campaign to successfully end cosmetics testing on animals in Europe.

Michelle is known for her dynamic, passionate, innovative and determined approach to ending animal testing, and is one of the most respected and accomplished individuals in the animal protection movement.

Between 2003 and 2006 Michelle was Chief Executive of the Animal Protection Institute in California, and prior to working for Cruelty Free International, Michelle was Director of Services and Deputy Chief Executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Sirjana Nijjar

Asia for Animals Coalition

Sirjana Nijjar is Director of Programmes at Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations (FIAPO), the apex animal rights body in India. Her core areas of interest are policy change, implementation of existing laws, and influencing government to improve animal welfare legislations. She also has deep interest in human-animal welfare, livelihoods, disease surveillance, and scope of veterinary services for animal welfare. 

Sirjana holds a bachelor’s degree in science after which she pursued law from University of Delhi and holds licence to practise in India. She is an ardent animal lover and started her journey from rescuing animals on streets. Sirjana’s work with different national and international animal welfare organisations focussed on administration, planning, monitoring and evaluation with special emphasis on advocacy.

She stays in Delhi with her three rescued dogs and enjoys cooking and travelling in leisure time.

Sue Leary

President of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS)

Sue Leary (B.S., Biology; M.S., Nonprofit Management) has been President of the American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) and the Alternatives Research & Development Foundation (ARDF) since 1995. Aligned with AAVS’s mission and vision to end the use of animals in science, the ARDF funds and promotes the development of non-animal alternative methods for use in biomedical research, product testing, and educational demonstrations. Sue’s career has focused on coordination of programs and services; education and advocacy; administration and planning; and membership development in nonprofit organizations. Sue is the Executive Editor of the AV Magazine, and has served on a number of boards, including the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries since 2008.

Sue also serves as Chair of the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics, which operates the Leaping Bunny Program certification of U.S. and Canadian cosmetic, personal care, and household product companies that do not test on animals.

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Benny Andreson

CEO of Project 1882

Benny Andersson has been involved in the animal advocacy movement since the late 1990s. In 2000 he left a future career in the bank sector to become a grassroots coordinator at Djurens Rätt, the leading animal advocacy organization in Sweden. After a decade of working with public and corporate campaigns, plant-based outreach, digital communication and fundraising he became the CEO of Djurens Rätt, now called Project 1882.

Based in Gothenburg, on the west coast of Sweden, he has been one of the driving forces to get Project 1882, founded in 1882, aligned with the new millennium. Being early adopters in using social media channels to reach out and make a difference for animals, Benny and his team have put Project 1882 on the national social media map in Sweden being ranked as one of the most powerful players in social media in all categories. Impact-driven and with a steady growth of supporters, Project 1882 has taken animal issues more into the mainstream.

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Steve McIvor

CEO of World Animal Protection

In 2016, Steve was appointed as CEO of World Animal Protection.

In the past, he was also Deputy Director of Compassion in World Farming where he ran their corporate engagement programme, including the high-profile Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards.

Steve has also held positions as Chief Executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, where he led successful campaigns to ban cosmetic testing on animals in the European Union (EU) and to end the use of ex-racing greyhounds in research.

As a member of the Executive Board at The Body Shop International, Steve ran award-winning campaigns on issues as diverse as endangered species, domestic violence and the promotion of human rights.

Steve has four children, who are now young adults. In his spare time, Steve’s training for a half marathon, likes cinema, walking up mountains and is also an avid reader. He supports Liverpool and Chester (the city he grew up in) and his favourite holiday spot is the Dolomites.

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Jürgen Plinz

Treasurer of Deutscher Tierschutzbund

Born in 1963 near Cologne, I began my journey into animal welfare during the late 1980s, in my local animal shelter in Düren. During my growth of experience and knowledge, I incorporated my professional expertise in the media and marketing industry, to the benefit of protecting animals. In 1994 I took the position of Vice-President in my local shelter, and in 2018 I was elected President. My shelter is one of the largest in Germany, homing an average of 400 animals at any one time. I started out cleaning cages and worked my way up the ladder, absorbing and learning, turning my passion into my career. In 2007 I was elected Treasurer of Deutscher Tierschutzbund (The German Animal Welfare Association), a German umbrella organisation, with more than 700 member associations and over 530 animal shelters. I am proud to have had a significant influence on the financial development of the company since being in my job.

Since 2017, I am also responsible for the Foundation of Deutscher Tierschutzbund as Managing Vice President and enjoy to represent Deutscher Tierschutzbund, since the summer of 2020, on the Board of Eurogroup for Animals.

Therefore, it is an honour for me, together with all the other animal protectors from WFA and its team, to share my knowledge and experience to create a better future for the defenceless animals worldwide waiting for our help.

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