Meet our experts
Our US office has a team of experienced individuals with knowledge on a wide range of subjects. To find out more or schedule an interview, contact Heather Hunter (Director of Marketing and Communications) or Carla Pisarro (Communications Manager).
Alesia Soltanpanah, Executive Director
Since joining World Animal Protection in 2018, Alesia has directed all U.S. programs to end animal suffering. With several decades of international and domestic non-profit leadership experience, she provides strategic direction for the organization’s campaigns, communications, fundraising and finance.
Areas of expertise: Animal welfare issues, animal sentience, factory farming, exotic pet ownership, wildlife used as entertainment, World Animal Protection research and investigations.
Gerardo Huertas, Director of Disaster Management
Gerardo has worked at World Animal Protection since 1982. He has worked in some of the world’s fiercest disasters from warzones to natural, such as Haiti, the Japan tsunami and typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
Areas of expertise: Disaster risk reduction, preparedness, emergency response, humane education/slaughter, population control
Ben Williamson, Programs Director
As programs director, Ben oversees our four campaign areas: Wildlife. Not Entertainers, Exotic Pets, Pigs, and Chickens.
Areas of expertise: Animals in entertainment, exotic pets, factory farming, vegetarian/vegan issues, cruelty to animals, humane education
See Ben in the news...
Cameron Harsh, Farming Campaign Manager – Pigs
Cameron works to improves the lives of farmed pigs in the United States working with producers, farmers and suppliers to improve conditions. Prior to joining World Animal Protection in 2018 he worked on food safety policy.
Areas of expertise: Pig welfare, improvement of health, sustainability, and equity of our food system, food and farming policy
Ingrid Giskes, Head of Sea Change
Ingrid leads our global Sea Change campaign, protecting animals in our oceans, as well as assisting the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) by working with companies to understand the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear.
Areas of expertise: Ghost gear (lost and abandoned fishing gear), marine litter/debris, IUU fishing, whaling, fisheries, ocean policy at UN/EU level, climate change, general ocean inquiries