Our People



Carolyn Merino Mullin, Founder and Executive Director
Carolyn Merino Mullin has over 16 years worth of experience in the nonprofit sector, with special emphasis in children’s education (literacy, humane education, museums) through her years with the Miami Public Library System, AmeriCorps' Alachua County Reads!, Miami-Dade Park & Recreation, and the Miami Children's Museum. She has extensive experience in animal protection having served as the Miami-Dade and Alachua County Organizer for the historic "Yes on 10" ballot initiative with Floridians for Humane Farms which effectively banned gestation crates for pregnant sows on factory farms in 2002. In 2008, she coordinated the Northern California "Yes on 2" campaign, which banned gestation crates, veal crates and battery cages within the state of California through Californians for Humane Farms. In addition to her legislative work, Carolyn has been involved from the ground-up in animal advocacy, leading community groups such as Animal Activists of Alachua, for which she was President, and running the West Coast branch of Farm Sanctuary's Education Department. On the museum front, she has been involved in all aspects of museology (exhibition development and curation, education, events, registration, administration) with The Miami Science Museum, The Chico Museum, Casa Dolores (Center for the Study of the Popular Arts of Mexico), and the Miami Children's Museum. Carolyn earned her Bachelor’s in Religion Studies, with a focus in Religion & Nature, from the University of Florida and a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver, CO. Her writings have been published in several books - Mourning Animals (Michigan State University Press), Defiant Daughters (Lantern Books), The Art of the Animal (Lantern Books), magazines such as VegNews, and regularly online at Vegbooks.org. In 2016, she was awarded the Belton Mouras Grassroots Leadership Award from the National Council for Animal Protection.

Michelle Neff, Director of Online Marketing and Communications
If you're tweeting with the museum, you're talking to Michelle! Michelle graduated with her BA in Sociology/Social Psychology from the University of Maryland. She founded the first animal rights group at University of Maryland (VegTerps) and has worked for DC Vegan on local fundraising initiatives. For three years, she worked in PETA's online marketing department, focusing on social media strategies and content creation. Michelle currently lives in Asheville, NC with her animal companion, Callie, and does freelance online marketing while in graduate school. In her spare time, she maintains a vegan and animal rights blog: Until Every Cage and volunteers at the Asheville Humane Society.

Christine Kim, Research Writer
Christine Kim is a social worker at the intersection of homelessness, mental health, and substance abuse with a specialized interest in exploring the human-animal bond in her practice. Christine received her Bachelor of Social Work at New York University where she was also a researcher at the Environmental Health Clinic. During her time at the clinic, Christine studied the connection between the built environment and mental health and worked on projects that created mutually beneficial relationships between humans and non-human animals. Christine went on to receive her Master of Social Work at University of Pennsylvania and worked in Philadelphia as a case manager in one of the nation’s premiere housing first, harm reduction programs. Christine is currently living in New York City and continues her work within homelessness and housing.

Lisa Levinson, Exhibition Curator & Designer
Lisa Levinson explored the human-animal bond as the Founder & Director of Public Eye: Artists for Animals, teaching compassion for animals through the arts, and as Founder & Coordinator of the Toad Detour, protecting migrating toads as they cross busy roads. With Public Eye, Lisa produced several theater productions to raise awareness about animal issues for family and general audiences, performed at the annual Philly Fringe Festival. The Toad Detour received national media attention for protecting underserved wildlife, including an award-winning documentary bearing its name. With an MFA  in Museum Exhibition Planning & Design, Lisa brings her exhibit design skill to The Animal Museum.

Julia McMeans, M.Ed., Director of Education
Julia McMeans has nearly 20 years combined experience in formal and informal learning and educational publishing. She is a former classroom teacher who holds multiple credentials in elementary education in both Pennsylvania and California, in addition to credentials in high school and middle school English and middle school social studies. Julia has authored over 15 books for the K-8 audience including titles on critical thinking and differentiated learning, in addition to producing educational content for the screen. She has developed curriculum for many leading educational publishers including Scholastic Library Publishing and Teacher Created Resources. As Assistant Director of Educational Programming at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum), Julia developed several award-winning programs for middle school students including Mummy Makers and Daily Life in Ancient Rome. As Lead Educator at San Diego’s School in the Park, Julia worked with museum educators across nine cultural institutions developing programs for students in 3rd through 7th grade. Julia is a life-long animal lover who shares her home with four cats.

Rafael Perea de la Cabada, Art Director
Award-winning artist Rafael Perea de la Cabada was born in Mexico City, received a degree from the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking in Mexico City and went on to earn his M.F.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has exhibited at many galleries and museums in Southern California including the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Contemporary Arts Forum, The Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, and the Hunsaker-Schlesinger Gallery in Santa Monica. He has also shown in New York, Washington, Tennessee, Texas, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Croatia, Spain, and Germany. His work is included in numerous public and private collections in Mexico, Switzerland, France, Germany, and the United States.

Rafael teaches Advanced Painting and Drawing in the Fine Arts Department at Santa Barbara City College and has served as a Master Artist for mentorship programs, master classes, and mural projects for both the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and The Arts Fund. He recently completed an important Public Art Commission with designer Richard Irvine on the West Beach Pedestrian Improvement Project for the City of Santa Barbara.

Chris White, Director of Video Production & Technology
Chris White is a filmmaker, writer, animal lover, and vegan. Chris received his BA in English from Bradley University, where he was active in student government, theatre production, and was twice published in the Broadside literary arts journal. After moving to Los Angeles in 1998, Chris earned his MFA in Film and Television Production from Chapman University. Since that time, he has worked on a wide variety of film and television productions. He has overseen post production on the award-winning documentaries “For Love Of Liberty: The Story Of America’s Black Patriots” and “Mr. K: A Common Man With Uncommon Vision”, as well as the popular television series “Californication”, “Heroes Reborn”, “Chance”, and “The Florence Henderson Show”. He has also served as producer on a number of independent documentary, feature, and short films. In 2014, Chris launched his own production company, Anabatic Entertainment, which is devoted to developing and producing enlightening, inspiring, and engaging entertainment. His work has earned him membership into the Producers Guild of America as well as the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Sasha Verleun, Director of Development

Board of Directors

Carolyn Merino Mullin, President

Ellen Lavinthal, Co-Chairperson
After graduating from USC Law School, Ellen Lavinthal assumed the presidency of Animal Alliance, a Los Angeles based animal rescue and advocacy non-profit organization that she has headed up for the past 20 years.  Under Ellen’s direction, Animal Alliance joined forces with several national animal welfare groups in opposition to puppy mills (helping to end the sale of puppy mill dogs in five LA pet stores), the fur trade and elephants in captivity. Additionally, through Animal Alliance, Ellen has instituted programs which help provide low income family pets with spay and neuter surgeries, and medical care, and has donated cat food and medical funds to caretakers of feral colonies throughout the city.  Animal Alliance was on the forefront of several major hoarding situations, re-homing animals who otherwise stood no chance of survival.  Ellen was one of the main organizers of the “Fur Free West Hollywood” campaign, aimed at bringing about a historic ban on the sale of fur, for which she received an award at LA Worldfest 2011.  She also was named "Activist of the Year" at Worldfest 2012.  Animal Alliance continues to bring attention to the issue of fur, through its on-going anti-fur campaign.

Ellen is an active board member of Social Compassion in Legislation which promotes laws that aim at reducing pet overpopulation.  One of their big wins was the mandatory spay-neuter bill passed by the Los Angeles City Council.  Ellen additionally has raised awareness for animal issues in the past through monthly columns in the Beverly Hills Times Magazine and LA Yoga and as the host of the webshow, "Animal Alliance", on www.Bigisgood.tv.

Shelley Traywick, Co-Chairperson
Shelley Traywick earned her Bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, majoring in Business Management.  Shortly after graduating college, she moved to the Detroit area, where she spent the next 20 years. She has co-owned and managed multiple businesses over the years. Her expertise lies in business set-up, administration, bookkeeping, accounting, and management.  She moved to California in 2011 with her 2 teenage children. Since then, she has become very active in the animal advocacy movement and a proponent of compassionate lifestyle choices.

Gloria Butler, Vice President
Gloria Butler is the president of GB Management where she looks after a small roster of writers and musicians as well as manages the career of her husband; Terence "Geezer" Butler (co-founder of the rock band, Black Sabbath).  Gloria has been active in animal rescue for a number of years and has spearheaded numerous campaigns, protests, and been instrumental in shutting down various pet stores that supported puppy mills. Although Gloria is passionate about all animal causes, she finds herself particularly sensitive to spay & neuter issues, banning the sale of fur and shutting down puppy mills/breeders. Gloria presently sits on the board of The Animal Museum and on various committees servicing the animal community, children issues & City of Hope.

Gina Palencar, Secretary
Gina brings over 20 years of experience in communications, research, writing, development and management for political campaigns and nonprofits organizations. Gina spent six years as the communications director and spokesperson for several groundbreaking state ballot initiatives across the country, including California’s Proposition 36. She has appeared on radio and television news programs, including MSNBC and NPR. She currently leads communications and media for the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), an influential policy group which recently passed an ordinance to end the proliferation of landfills and incentivize and increase recycling in the City of Los Angeles. She is a long-time vegan and animal rights activist, and a vowed practitioner with the Kwan Um School of Zen where she gives occasional Dharma Talks. She lives with her husband in University Hills where they do feral cat spay-neutering and rescue.

Kameron Seagren
Kameron Nelson Seagren is a native Californian and long time animal lover. Growing up with dogs, horses, alligators, pigeons, parrots, koi carp, and monkeys she moved from blue ribbons at county fairs showing her beloved bantams to winning over 300 trophies at the National Equitation Championships showing horses. She rides Western and is currently learning English. She has appeared on numerous national magazine covers and in dozens of national commercials. She piloted a Cessna airplane across the United States for a Helena Rubinstein cosmetics magazine campaign and was their national spokeswoman. In addition to having had her pilot's license she is a certified scuba diver. Kameron was the hostess of a television show on KHJ, six days a week for 4 years and a weekend show one day a week for 4 years. She has also appeared in various movies and television shows. She owned and operated a Beverly Hills Travel Agency and has travelled all over the world. Kameron has also owned and managed art galleries in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach. She is currently Executive Editor and Partner of Entree, a travel publication, and continues to travel worldwide. She loves and writes about travel, hotels, spas, restaurants, food, and wine. Kameron has a passion for learning; most summers will find her studying history, literature, and art at Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Cambridge, the British Institute in Florence, the Sorbonne, or anywhere an interesting class is found. She speaks French and Spanish proficiently and is comfortable with conversational Italian. She is a lifetime animal lover, supporter, and advocate. She is happiest with and most proud of her daughter, Kirsten, granddaughter, Keaton, and son-in-law, Mike.

Dirk Conrad, CPA
Dirk Konrad has been vegan and a passionate advocate for animals for over a decade.  He graduated with a BS in Business Administration from CSU, Chico and has an active CPA license (California).  A native of Northern California, he moved south in 1999 to pursue a finance and accounting career in the entertainment industry.  In 2010, he shifted to consulting with a focus on financial systems.  He is delighted to serve on the museum's Board of Directors and contribute his wealth of experiences and skills with regards to financial matters.

Deborah Corday
Deborah Corday, a pioneer of the fitness movement, created and hosted fitness/entertainment programming which aired on ESPN Intl, Showtime Networks, and in international syndication. Currently a partner in a music management firm, she develops artists and creates branding opportunities for emerging as well as established artists.

Having endless love and compassion for animals, she is a longtime partner in Animal Alliance, a non-profit animal advocacy group which has instituted many valuable programs including providing low income families with food, medical care, and spay/neuter surgeries for their companion animals. Another project near and dear is the plight of the millions of homeless/feral cats that live on the streets of Los Angeles. Animal Alliance exercised their creative spirit by designing and manufacturing a clothing line, “T-shirts with a conscience” where all proceeds benefit animals in need. They also authored a celebrity interview column in Los Angeles Confidential Magazine for several years aptly titled "Gimme Shelter" in which people of influence spoke out on behalf of animals/related issues as well as the impact that animals have had on their lives.

Deborah is thrilled to be on the board of The Animal Museum, a venue that will open the eyes of generations to come.

Catherine Monroe
Catherine Monroe is an interior designer originally from New York with a graduate degree in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design. Catherine spent the early years of her professional career working on store design for Polo/Ralph Lauren. Once she began to work on residential interiors, she expanded her resume to include work with Robert Stern and Naomi Leff. Catherine and her family relocated to Los Angeles in 2001. Before opening her own firm, she worked on the design staff at Michael Smith. Currently, Catherine has her own firm with projects that range in style from modern to traditional. She is happy and honored to be the designer for The Animal Museum.

Karn Myers
A former entertainment executive. Karn Myers is co-founder of FixNation, the first, full-time spay-neuter facility in Los Angeles in 2007, providing comprehensive TNR support including free spay/neuter services for homeless cats, TNR outreach and education, as well as affordable care for companion cats, and partnerships to facilitate adoptions. FixNation is a model for TNR and cat population management across the country. Since opening its doors in 2007, FixNation has sterilized over 130,000 cats in addition to its Catnippers program.

Beth Shaw
Beth Shaw, Visionary, Author & Entrepreneur is the founder & President of YogaFit Training Systems Worldwide. She is responsible for building the Yoga Market in the United States. As the largest yoga school in North America and the leader in Mind Body Education since 1994,   YogaFit has trained over 250,000 fitness and yoga professionals worldwide . Beth is the author of several books including the best selling  YogaFit (Human Kinetics) and YogaLean  ( Random House )  She appears frequently on TV , authors several collumns and is published in numerous fitness and business publications.   An international presenter and popular speaker, Shaw has lectured and taught on six continents.  An Anger Management Specialist and Meditation teacher, Shaw holds a degree in Business Management and numerous mind – body modalities.  She sits on the Board of Long Island University and many non profit animal rights organizations. Shaw is an outspoken animal advocate.  She is passionate about the transformation of others and has dedicated her life to helping people and animals.

Mark Smolin
Mark Smolin is a partner in a private equity firm that owns and oversees over 65 companies. Prior to this, Mark spent over 20 years as a senior executive in several of the world’s most prominent investment banks. Most importantly, Mark is a lifetime animal lover and dedicated to supporting animal causes. Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Management Engineering from Claremont McKenna College and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Stanford University and received his Masters Degree from Harvard Business School.

Suzanna Urszuly
Suzanna Urszuly has traveled the world and lived in several different countries working as a fashion model, before moving to Los Angeles 14 years ago. She has always loved animals and felt connected to them. After finding her first rescue dog, Ady, in the desert wounded by gunshots, she started researching and learning about the companion animal overpopulation issue, and their mistreatment in Southern California.

A few years later she helped create Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (START) who transport pets from high kill shelters, the streets of Los Angeles, Mexico and South Korea, and sends them to rescue partners in the Pacific Northwest. START also has a spay/neuter program. To date they have transported over 7500 companion animals and helped Spay/Neuter over 3000 dogs and cats.

Aside from helping rescue companion animals, Suzanna participates in protests, farm animal rescue and wildlife rescue. She has an informative vegan health and beauty blog which helps people find cruelty and toxic free products.

Diane Warren
Diane Warren is considered to be one of the most prolific and successful contemporary songwriters of our time. A quick glance at her list of Top 10 Hits reveals a range of musical genres and styles so diverse it's difficult to believe the songs could have come from the same person; yet, they did. In fact, Diane continues endlessly to pour forth songs that keep climbing to the top of the charts. Her philanthropy supports animal rights and protection, enriching lives of the elderly and people suffering from life-threatening illnesses, along with music related charities.

Annie Winner
Animals are at the heart of Annie Winner’s philanthropy, which spans 30 decades. She is delighted to be on the Board of Directors for The Animal Museum, which she believes is a much-needed institution to change hearts, minds and lifestyle choices where animal welfare is concerned.

Emeritus Trustees:

  • Eric Greene

  • Michelle Schwegmann

  • Noah Smalls

Honorary Board of Directors

  • Carol Adams, author of “The Sexual Politics of Meat”

  • Mikko Alanne, screenwriter

  • Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary

  • Lucie Berreby-Greenbaum, The Greenbaum Foundation

  • Dianne Burnett, producer, author & entrepreneur

  • Geezer Butler, Black Sabbath bassist and founding band member

  • Christina Cho, recipient of PETA's "Activist of the Year" award

  • Jan Creamer & Tim Phillips, Animal Defenders International

  • The Honorable John D’Amico, West Hollywood City Council

  • Ellen DeGeneres, comedian, television host, actress, writer, and producer

  • Portia de Rossi, actress, model and philanthropist

  • Chris DeRose, Last Chance for Animals

  • Alison Eastwood, actress, film director, fashion model and designer

  • Jackson Galaxy, Host of Animal Planet's "My Cat from Hell"

  • Tamar Geller, celebrity dog trainer

  • Elaine Hendrix, animal advocate, co-star of "Parent Trap", "What the #$*! Do We (k)now!",  the new FX series "Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll" and many more!

  • Alex Hershaft, Farm Animal Rights Movement

  • Kat Kramer, "Kat Kramer's Films That Change the World"

  • The Honorable Paul Koretz, Los Angeles City Council

  • Joanna Krupa, animal advocate, “America’s Next Top Model”, co-star of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Miami”

  • Cindy Landon, animal advocate

  • Heidi Jo Markel, producer of "Lovelace" and "Playing for Keeps"and many more!

  • Jack Maxwell, Host of The Travel Channel’s “Booze Traveler”

  • Armaiti May, DVM, host of weekly animal issues radio show

  • Jo-Anne McArthur, award-winning photographer and author of “We Animals”

  • Bryan Monell, animal advocate

  • Ingrid Newkirk, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

  • Alexandra Paul, actress/activist, co-star of "Baywatch", "Melrose Place" and many more

  • Minoo Rahbar, educator and animal advocate

  • Simone Reyes, activist, co-star of Oxygen’s “Running Russell Simmons”

  • Lionel Richie, singer-songwriter

  • Eliza & Eric Roberts, co-star of "The Dark Knight", "Expendables", "Star 80", "Pope of Greenwich Village" and many more!

  • Matt Rossell, animal advocate

  • Nathan Runkle, Mercy for Animals

  • Rene Ruston & Steve Spiro, START Rescue

  • Steve-O, actor and comedian

Advisory Council

Jonathan Balcombe, PhD
Jonathan Balcombe was born in England and raised in New Zealand and Canada. He studied biology at Canada's York University and Carleton University before earning a PhD in ethology (animal behavior) from the University of Tennessee. He has written over 50 scientific papers and book chapters, and many lay articles on animal behavior and animal protection. He is the author of Pleasurable Kingdom: Animals and the Nature of Feeling Good (Macmillan, 2006), Second Nature: The Inner Lives of Animals (Palgrave, 2010), and The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure (University of California Press, 2011). Balcombe is currently the Department Chair for Animal Studies with Humane Society University, in Washington, DC, where he teaches courses in Animal Behavior, and Animal Sentience. He is also currently writing a book on the inner lives of fishes, and recently completed a survey on attitudes to fishes.

Steve Baker, PhD
Steve Baker is Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Central Lancashire.  He has been writing about the cultural significance of the representation of animals in art and popular culture for more than twenty-five years, and his books include Artist|Animal (2013), The Postmodern Animal (2000), and Picturing the Beast: Animals, Identity, and Representation (1993/2001).  His recent artwork has been included in the major animal-themed museum exhibitions Ecce Animalia (Museum of Contemporary Sculpture, Poland, 2014) and Arche Noah: Über Tier und Mensch in der Kunst (Museum Ostwall, Germany, 2014-15), and has also been shown in the UK, USA and Australia.

Diane Beers, PhD
Originally from Pennsylvania, Diane Beers graduated summa cum laude from Hood College in Maryland and earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history at Temple University in Philadelphia. While at Temple, she studied and researched social justice movements. This research evolved into her first book, For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States, published by Ohio University Press. Her work has been praised in Publishers Weekly, receiving a starred review, and Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee described her book as “illuminating, authoritative, and highly readable.” Diane has made numerous public appearances including The New York Public Library, and was featured on National Public Radio.  But more than anything, she loves being in the classroom with her brilliant Holyoke Community College students. In 2011, the students and college honored her with the Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair in Teaching Excellence Award.  When she is not teaching, she enjoys hanging out with friends and hiking with Baxter the Wonder Dog.

Marc Bekoff, PhD
Marc Bekoff is Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado and a former Guggenheim Fellow. In 2000 he was awarded the Exemplar Award from the Animal Behavior Society for major long-term contributions to the field of animal behavior and in 2009 he was presented with the Saint Francis of Assisi Award by the Auckland (New Zealand) SPCA. Marc has published more than 500 scientific and popular essays and twenty-three books including Minding Animals, The Ten Trusts (with Jane Goodall), The  Emotional Lives of Animals, Animals Matter, Animals at Play: Rules of the Game, Wild Justice: The Moral Lives of Animals. The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint, Ignoring Nature No More: The Case For Compassionate Conservation, Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears, and two editions of the Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare, the Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, and the Encyclopedia of Human-Animal Relationships. In 2005 Marc was presented with The Bank One Faculty Community Service Award for the work he has done with children, senior citizens, and prisoners as part of Jane Goodall's Roots & Shoots program. His websites are marcbekoff.com and, with Jane Goodall, www.ethologicalethics.org.

Lynn T. Brittner
By education, professional experience, and personal passion, Lynn is a dedicated museum professional with more than two decades of experience in all phases of museum development and operations. As the former Executive Director of the Southern Ute Cultural Center and Museum (SUCCM) where she has been for almost thirteen years), she has led and represented SUCCM in the development of its new $38 million dollar, 52,000 sq./ft. cultural center and museum campus located in Ignacio, Colorado.  Earlier in her career, she brought her extensive knowledge and skills to diverse museum roles including collections curator, manager, and registrar at several Santa Fe, New Mexico institutions including Institute of American Indian Arts Museum, the School for American Research—Indian Arts Center and the Georgia O‘Keefe Museum.

Laney Fichera

Che Green
Che Green is the founder and Executive Director of the Humane Research Council, a nonprofit research organization with the goal of empowering animal advocates to be as effective as possible. Che is a former analyst, investment banker, and research manager with significant experience developing and implementing research projects of all kinds. In addition to his for-profit experience, Che has worked and volunteered for animal advocacy groups at both the local grassroots and national levels. As HRC's lead researcher, he brings a unique and informed perspective to the problems facing animal advocates. Che has a BA in business administration, with a concentration in finance. He founded HRC in 2000 to empower animal advocates through research.

Laura Hobgood-Oster
Laura Hobgood-Oster is Professor of Religion and Environmental Studies at Southwestern University where she holds the Paden Chair and has served on the faculty since 1998. Her main area of research and teaching is the field of animals and religion. Laura is the author of two books in this area - The Friends We Keep: Unleashing Christianity's Compassion for Animals  and Holy Dogs and Asses: Animals in the Christian Tradition - as well as numerous articles and chapters. She was an executive editor for The Encyclopedia of Religion, Nature and Culture and contributed several chapters to The Earth Bible.  Her current work focuses on the cultural history of humans, dogs and religion. She is currently President of the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture and serves on the Humane Society of the United States' Faith Advisory Council. In addition to her professional focus on animals and religion, Laura coordinates dog rescue efforts for the Williamson County Animal Shelter and for Georgetown Animal Outreach, both in central Texas.

Colleen Holland
Passionate about publishing and business, Colleen Holland is the co-founder of VegNews. From the company's humble beginnings in 2000, she and business partner Joseph Connelly grew the publication into an award-winning, full-color glossy magazine read in 38 countries. A graduate of UCLA and one of just six people to have been elected into both the Vegetarian Hall of Fame and the Animal Rights Hall of Fame, her background in food, marketing, and brand-building has helped create an internationally renowned media company complete with digital properties, events, and global vacations. Named one of the Top 40 Media Professionals by Folio Magazine, Colleen is an 18-year ethical vegan and is honored to join the Advisory Council of The Animal Museum.

Robert C. Jones
Robert C. Jones is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at California State University, Chico. He received his PhD in philosophy from Stanford University where his doctoral research was on the moral significance of nonhuman animal cognition. His professional research investigates the substantive cognitive properties that bear on the ethical treatment and moral considerability of both human and nonhuman animals. In addition, his interests includes food ethics, environmental ethics, mind and cognition, species studies, and the question of what it is to be human. Robert has been a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University and a visiting researcher for the Ethics in Society Project at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, and most recently a Summer Fellow at the Animals & Society Institute. He has given numerous talks on animal ethics at places such as Stanford, Yale, Wesleyan, UCLA, Pepperdine, and the University of Auckland. He also blogs with Lori Gruen at Ethics and Animals.

Linda Kalof
Linda Kalof is Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of MSU’s interdisciplinary graduate specialization in Animal Studies. She has published more than 40 articles and book chapters and ten books including Making Animal Meaning (MSU Press, 2011), Looking at Animals in Human History (University of Chicago/Reaktion 2007), A Cultural History of Animals in Antiquity (Berg 2007), The Animals Reader (Berg 2007), and The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values (Earthscan 2005). She has served as General Editor for the multi-volume A Cultural History of Animals (which received the 2008 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title), and she is currently editor of The Oxford Handbook of Animal Studies (Oxford University Press) and The Animal Turn book series (Michigan State University Press). Kalof was named a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in 2008; appointed to the Advisory Board for the Detroit Zoo’s Center for Zoo Animal Welfare in 2010; appointed in 2011 to the Steering Panel of the Dama International Project, University of Nottingham, UK, to examine the European fallow deer as a medium for understanding the evolution of European Society 6000 BC to AD 1600; and recently appointed to the National Academy of Sciences’ National Research Council Committee to review the US wild horse and burro management program. She is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women and Who’s Who in the World.

Brett Mizelle
Brett Mizelle is Professor of History and Director of the American Studies Program at California State University Long Beach. His publications include articles, book chapters, and reviews in the fields of nineteenth-century American history and the history of human-animal relationships. His most recent article tells the story of James Capen ‘Grizzly’ Adams and his role in both the construction of knowledge about and the destruction of grizzly bears in California and the American West. His book PIG (Reaktion Books, 2011) charts how humans have shaped the pig and how the pig has shaped us, focusing on the unresolved contradictions between the fiction and the reality of our relationships with pigs. He is also a co-founder and current editor of the H-Animal Discussion Network (http://www.h-net.org/~animal/) and the recipient of the Humane Society of the United States’ “Animals and Society Course Award” for his class “Animals in American Culture.”

Maria Robson

Gary Steiner, PhD
Gary Steiner is John Howard Harris Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell University, where he has taught since 1987. He is the author of Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism (2004); Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents: The Moral Status of Animals in the History of Western Philosophy (2005/2010); and Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status, and Kinship (2008). His newest book is Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism.

J. Keri Cronin, PhD
Keri Cronin is an Associate Professor in the Visual Arts Department at Brock University. She is also a faculty affiliate in Brock's Social Justice & Equity Studies graduate program and the editor of The Brock Review. She is the author of Manufacturing National Park Nature: Photography, Ecology and the Wilderness Industry of Jasper (UBC Press, 2011) and the co-editor of  Imagining Resistance: Visual Culture & Activism in Canada (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2011). Her current research is an exploration of how early animal welfare activists incorporated art and visual culture in their campaigns.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, PhD
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is a bestselling author living in New Zealand. He has published 26 books, many of them dealing with the emotional lives of animals, including When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love, and The Pig Who Sang to the Moon.  He and his family live on a beach with Benjy (about whom he wrote The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving), 3 cats (about whom he wrote The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats), and 2 rats (about whom he wrote Raising the Peaceable Kingdom). Jeff and his wife Leila (a pediatrician) are vegans, and their sons are vegetarian. He wrote about this too (is there anything he doesn’t write about?) in The Face on Your Plate. He is currently writing Apex Predator, a book concerning the superior ethics of orcas.

Landon Pollack
Landon Pollack is an entrepreneur of 25 years. Landon has been, at different times, an athlete, an entrepreneur, a herpetologist, inventor, investor and sports manager, as well as animal and environmental advocate. Landon has had a lifelong passion for animals and nature. That passion led to his, co-founding Zoe, an integrated media organization for a mainstream audience that cares about animals and the world of nature, and StubbyDog, a transmedia organization focused on changing public perception of pit bulls. Landon has been a founder of, or founding investor in, more than two dozen companies, with exits ranging from IPOs to being acquired by Fortune 50 companies to private sales. He is Managing Partner of Ignite Venture Partners, a company that brings together consulting and capital under one organization. In addition to his experience as an entrepreneur and investor, he has served as a consultant to some of the most recognizable brands in the world and some of the most innovative of start-ups.

Leila Sadeghi

Kathryn Shevelow, PhD
Kathryn Shevelow grew up in southern Ohio in a home shared with her parents, three sisters, and an assortment of cats, dogs, hamsters, gerbils, and goldfish. She is the author, most recently, of For the Love of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement. In this book, she combines her life-long concern for animal welfare with her expertise in eighteenth and nineteenth-century English culture to tell the story of how society's changing attitudes towards animals enabled some extraordinary people, working over many years, to pass the world's first animal welfare law and to found the SPCA, the world's first animal protection society.  Kathryn is Professor of British Literature and Culture at UCSD, and lives in Solana Beach with her husband, Edward, and three cats, Graham, Maxine, and Suky.

Zoe Weil
Zoe Weil is the president of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE) which offers the only M.Ed. and M.A. programs in comprehensive Humane Education linking human rights, environmental preservation and animal protection. IHE also offers online programs and workshops for teachers, parents, and change agents, as well as an award-winning free resource center. She has given several TEDx talks including her acclaimed TEDx talk “The World Becomes What You Teach,” and is the author of Nautilus silver medal winner Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and Meaningful Life; Above All, Be Kind; The Power and Promise of Humane Education, and Moonbeam gold medal winner Claude and Medea about 7th graders who become clandestine activists in New York City.  Zoe is the recipient of the Unity College Women in Environmental Leadership award and was a subject of the Americans Who Tell the Truth portrait series. Zoe created and performs a 1-woman show, “My Ongoing Problems with Kindness: Confessions of MOGO Girl” which explores humane issues through comedy and storytelling.

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