Dr. David Jones is the founder/ Chairman of Wild Welfare. He is a veterinarian and zoologist by training and is Director Emeritus of the NC Zoo having run it for 22 years. He was previously CEO of the Zoological Society of London and has spent his entire career, 47 years, in the wildlife and Zoo management field. He is also board chair of Environmental Defence Fund North Carolina and chair of the newly formed Brooke USA. David has worked in more than 50 countries, mainly in Africa and the Middle East. He has been on the Councils of both World Wildlife Fund U.S. and U.K. and was a former Chairman of Fauna and Flora International, the world’s oldest conservation organization. Currently he is Chairman of Central Park N.C., the principal non-governmental economic development group for the rural counties of central North Carolina. David has a special interest in the need to make environmental concerns relevant to people’s everyday lives and to show the close connection between our environment and economy.
Dave is Wild Welfare’s Field Director. In 2002 he became the first professional Executive Director of the African Association of Zoos and Aquaria PAAZAB (Now PAAZA – Pan African Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and held this position for 10 years until 2012. Dave is a founder member of PAAZAB having attended the inaugural meeting of the Association in 1989. He has been intimately involved with this organization ever since and has held several voluntary ranks of office from Treasurer to Vice-Chairman. In 2004 Dave was awarded the Chairman’s Award for outstanding and meritorious service to the Association. In 2012 he was awarded the Chairman’s Award for the second time and also PAAZAB’s highest accolade, the PAAZAB Award for exceptional service to the community. In the same year the Animal Keeper’s Association of Africa (AKAA) further honoured him as the first time recipient of the AKAA Conservation Award.
As Executive Director of PAAZAB Dave has travelled extensively throughout Africa and has represented PAAZAB at various forums within the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and served on WAZA Council for 5 years. He was the Chairman of the WAZA Committee for Population Management (CPM) from 2007 to 2012 and also sat on the WAZA Conservation, and Ethics and Welfare Committees during this time. He has served on the Board of the International Species Information System – now Species360; is a contributing author to the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy; is a contributing author to the WAZA Zoo Animal Welfare Strategy; is presently on the Editorial Board of the International Zoo Yearbook and remains a member of the Strategic Committee of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the IUCN. In 2007 Dave was appointed life-time regent of the Animal Keepers Association of Africa (AKAA).
Dave is also an associate of the internationally-renown zoo consultancy group, Bernard Harrison and Friends based in Singapore and has worked on zoo-projects in Singapore, China, Pakistan, India, Zimbabwe, Morocco, Gabon, Azerbaijan, Qatar, UAE, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Georgina is Wild Welfare’s Project Director. Her experience focuses on bringing together a range of stakeholders and encourage the integration of global partners and peer organisations with both peripheral and tangible interests in animal welfare to work together. She has over fifteen years of experience working for animal welfare, research and conservation organisations including, Bristol University Research, The Natural History Museum, London, World Animal Protection and the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She is an experienced, strategic project director and campaigner with extensive experience in animal welfare issues (national and international). Her expertise includes partnership management and development, administration and budget control, trustee management, analysis and presentation on campaign progress, development of strategic enterprises, as well as oversee and manage key critical relationships for campaigns, both internally and externally. She has worked with organizations that have international dependencies, encouraging cross-functional working practices through the incorporation of all senior stakeholders, and prevention of silo working environment that can often result in a busy multi-faceted environment.
Georgina’s experience also includes fundraising development and campaign management and major donor grant applications. She is PRINCE2 trained and has overseen major statutory grand bids. In the past few years she has developed a range of educational and welfare resources, including specific welfare assessment methodology. She has developed and run international workshops in animal welfare training as well as in-house campaign strategy and community development training to smaller NGO’s.
Sophie Beckwith is a freelance journalist and a registered veterinary nurse. Working in the UK veterinary industry for nearly 20 years, she is committed to good animal welfare practices. Sophie is a volunteer and ambassador for the Animal Welfare Foundation UK as well as the lead nurse on an annual overseas neutering programme for stray cats. As well as her work with companion animals, previous experience includes nursing wildlife in South America and marine conservation in Greece. Sophie helps to oversee our social media, website and online presence and is our contact for all press and media enquiries.
Erin is an elephant welfare advisor for Wild Welfare. Erin is currently the Animal Management Supervisor for elephants at North Carolina Zoo. Before that, Erin was in Vietnam working on a project to improve the welfare of the animals at the Hanoi Zoo and Hanoi Wildlife Rescue Centre and acting as a consultant on an elephant management and welfare project within Dak Lak. Erin also successfully managed the transfer of Mila, an African elephant that had spent the majority of her life in a circus to be relocated from New Zealand to a rescue facility in the US. Through Wild Welfare, Erin will be continuing her work in Vietnam to improve the welfare for captive and wild elephants over there as well as facilitating elephant welfare projects in other countries.
Chris Lasher is an animal management supervisor at the North Carolina Zoo and has additional experience at providing welfare assessments of bears in North Carolina for profit parks and has been supporting our efforts in Japan to address the welfare of bears held in bear parks.
Hassan Syed is a global executive skilled at aligning business goals, organizational needs and technology to deliver high impact initiatives that facilitate growth. As our technology strategist, he brings 27 years of broad technology experience to the Wild Welfare Team. Hassan is well known within the Zoo community for his role in the ZIMS project. He led the global zoo community efforts in developing the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) from 2003 to 2011, delivering the first version of ZIMS software in 2010. Hassan has an exceptional track record of using technology for collaboration. He pioneered ISIS Community Portal to collaborate on the development of more than 300 standards for data collection on animal management and health, engaging 500+ subject matter experts from 37 different countries in the process.