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Staff and Board

Leadership

Kelly O’Meara

Executive Director

Kelly O’Meara is the Executive Director of PASA. Prior to joining the organization, she worked with Humane Society International for over 22 years, most recently serving as a Vice President. There, she had oversight of all international companion animal related projects, including the dog meat and street dog campaigns. She led the strategic planning and program implementation with a team of over a 100 people located on three continents. And, for over fifteen years, she participated in the leadership of HSI’s global disaster response and operations. She has traveled extensively in Asia and Africa where she engaged with local partners and worked with governments to adopt humane standards and protocols for animals. 

Ms. O’Meara holds a Bachelor of Science degree in natural resource studies and wildlife conservation from the University of Massachusetts. She has experience as a veterinary technician, holds certificates from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Large Animal Euthanasia, and from Bristol University, England, for Animal Welfare Officer Training. 

Programs Team

Kaitlyn Bock

Head of Programs 

Full Bio

Kaitlyn Bock is the Head of Programs at PASA. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from New College of Florida and developed a diverse professional background in international wildlife conservation, communications and partnership engagement. Kaitlyn leads a robust programs department, where she organizes global conferences and trainings for leaders in African conservation, and manages a portfolio of projects that cover education, animal rescue, and capacity building across the continent. Her passion for primates started with internships at the Center for Great Apes and Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. Before working with PASA, Kaitlyn lived in Indonesia where she served in a communications capacity for Orangutan Foundation International and Sun Bear Outreach, using her expertise in content creation to build bridges between field conservation projects and a global audience. Kaitlyn is most passionate about working across cultures and building alliances to secure a future for wild lands and animals. She feels honored to work on behalf of PASA’s diverse member sanctuaries and the animals under their care.

Iris Ho

Head of Campaigns and Policy

Full Bio

Iris Ho is the Head of Campaigns and Policy for the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA). A native of Taiwan and a naturalized American citizen, Iris Ho has over two decades of combined, diverse experience in campaign advocacy, animal welfare, wildlife protection, community outreach, and public policy. Before joining PASA in November 2021, Iris was wildlife policy director for one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the world, Humane Society International, where she worked for more than 11 years.

Iris has worked with governments and community advocates from around the world to promote social justice and animal welfare. She has designed and overseen outreach campaigns to protect elephants, pangolins, sharks, and rhinos in Africa and Asia, reaching millions of people and effectuating changes in policy and behaviors. She has testified in front of the U.S. Congress and state legislatures across the United States as well as parliaments overseas to advocate for stronger protection for imperiled wildlife. Iris has appeared in a BBC nature documentary narrated by Sir David Attenborough, CBS Morning Show, Al Jazeera, the Washington Post, and other media outlets. She represents PASA at multilateral environmental treaty conventions such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Iris is the happiest when she can view living wild animals in their natural habitats and connect with people who are dedicated to protecting them. She sits on the board of an African elephant conservation organization and is an advisor to a wildlife documentary.

Lilija Rapa

Program Specialist

Full Bio

As Program Specialist, Lilija works closely with PASA’s programs team and member sanctuaries to secure a future for Africa’s primates. Her passion for wildlife led her on a journey to pursue an academic and professional career in conservation. While obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Anthropology, she found her love for primates as a research assistant studying the social behaviors of rhesus macaques. Lilija has held various positions in the nonprofit conservation sector, including conducting biological fieldwork, fundraising, and outreach. Working in conservation has taken her across the globe, from the lush redwoods of the Marin Headlands in California to the peat swamp forests of Borneo, Indonesia, where she implemented and led wildlife camera trap programs. Lilija first got involved with PASA as a volunteer in 2020 and joined as a staff member in 2021 while obtaining her Master’s Degree in Conservation Biology. She is thrilled to combine her experience and love of primates in a programmatic role by supporting the places that exist to save them — PASA’s member sanctuaries and wildlife centers.

Development Team

Jenny Botting

Head of Conservation Grants

Full Bio

Jenny is the Head of Conservation Grants for the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. She is passionate about the welfare and conservation of primates and began volunteering for PASA’s Primate Care and Training program in 2020.

Jenny holds a PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland and began her career examining the cognitive abilities of capuchins and lemurs. She then spent four years studying learning behaviours in wild vervet monkeys in South Africa, before working with orangutans and gorillas at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. She has published many scientific articles and book chapters on primate behaviour and cognition, and has volunteered at sanctuaries in the US and South Africa.

After a decade of working in primate research, her knowledge of the dire threats faced by most primate species led her to search for a role which more directly supported their welfare and conservation. She is delighted to bring her diverse skills to the PASA team and to support the incredible work of the member sanctuaries.

Alexandra Reddy

Development and Digital Fundraising Specialist

Full Bio

Alexandra (Alex) is the Development and Digital Fundraising Specialist for PASA. She initially joined PASA as a volunteer in 2020, and today finds joy in working with the team to unite efforts to safeguard Africa’s primates, empower local communities, and preserve their natural habitats.

Alex holds a Master of Science degree in biological anthropology, with a specialization in primatology, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a bachelor’s degree in biological anthropology from the University of Oregon. She has studied primate evolution, as well as the gestural communication utilized by great ape mothers and their offspring. Alex has worked with gorillas and orangutans at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, observed wild orangutans in their forest habitat in Central Kalimantan, and provided care for chimpanzees at the Save the Chimps sanctuary.

The awareness that has weighed heavily on Alex during her interactions with primates is the undeniable fact that all non-human great apes are either endangered or critically endangered. Motivated by this reality, Alex has been dedicated to promoting awareness and garnering support for the conservation of primates. She has worked with nonprofit wildlife organizations, concentrating her efforts on education, outreach, and development. Alex is honored to utilize her experience and passion for primates in order to contribute to PASA’s mission.

Communications Team

Ruby Vise-Thakor

Head of Communications

Full Bio

Ruby works to raise awareness of the threats facing primates in Africa through her role as Head of Communications for PASA. She earned a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Florida, specializing in Public Interest Communications, and she has a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology from the Oregon State University’s Honors College.

Ruby grew up watching nature documentaries and exploring the Pacific Northwest. She was inspired to work in the field of African conservation after studying wildlife management in Tanzania, where she traveled to rural areas and researched community knowledge and attitudes regarding zoonotic diseases. 

Her journey with PASA began in 2018 when she worked as an Administrative Intern over the summer. Ruby joined as a staff member in 2019 and has supported many areas of the organization since then. Now, she is thrilled to lead the communications strategy for PASA and build a stronger community for conservation. 

Kenisha Archer

Social Media and Outreach Specialist

Full Bio

Kenisha Archer is the Social Media and Outreach Specialist at PASA, bringing over 4 years of experience helping organizations build connections online. She’s also volunteered since childhood at several non-profits and is a huge animal lover.

By focusing on people and culture, Kenisha has been able to put her Anthropology studies to good use. Kenisha may spend her days crafting posts, but it’s helping people understand PASA’s mission that gets her up in the morning.

When she’s not at PASA, Kenisha is an avid traveller and is always planning her next trip.

Operations

Dani Keith

Finance and Operations Officer

Full Bio

As the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance’s Finance and Operations Officer, Dani oversees PASA’s accounting, financial planning and analysis, grants management, and organizational operations. She has over a decade of nonprofit financial experience, principally focused on environmental issues, and she is thrilled to share her expertise on primate rescue and the amazing mission of PASA.

Dani’s environmental passion started when she began her work with the NC Sierra Club, already a lover of her adopted home of North Carolina, the organization brought the opportunity to see all of the State’s natural and at times vulnerable beauty, which she continues to fight to protect and preserve.

When she is not working with PASA, Dani can be found with her husband and 2 dogs at the beautiful NC coast.

Board of Directors

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MICHELE STUMPE – Chair, Board of Directors

Michele Stumpe, Co-Chair of the PASA Board of Directors, is an attorney and partner in the Atlanta law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP. She began working with gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans in the 1980’s as a zoo volunteer in the nursery at the Gladys Porter Zoo. Early in her legal career, Stumpe set out to combine her professional talents with her passion for conservation and great apes. Since 1999, she has volunteered at various sanctuaries in Africa and the US. She has also served on advisory boards to the Dewar Wildlife Trust, the only gorilla sanctuary in the USA, and the Great Ape Project, International. In 2005, Stumpe became a member of the Dewar Wildlife Trust Board of Directors.

As an entrepreneur who has created and run several successful companies, Stumpe is highly regarded in the legal and professional community for her integrity, insight and business sense. It was these qualities that led to her appointment in 2005 as the acting President of Great Ape Project, International – the umbrella organization for the Great Ape Project organizations throughout the world. In 2009, Stumpe and her husband started their own non-profit organization called Children of Conservation. This organization works closely with PASA sanctuaries and provides various benefits to the sanctuaries including a scholarship program that gives educational funding for the children of the sanctuary workers.

MICHELE STUMPE – Chair, Board of Directors

michele_stumpe_thumbMichele Stumpe, Co-Chair of the PASA Board of Directors, is an attorney and partner in the Atlanta law firm of Taylor English Duma LLP. She began working with gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans in the 1980’s as a zoo volunteer in the nursery at the Gladys Porter Zoo. Early in her legal career, Stumpe set out to combine her professional talents with her passion for conservation and great apes. Since 1999, she has volunteered at various sanctuaries in Africa and the US. She has also served on advisory boards to the Dewar Wildlife Trust, the only gorilla sanctuary in the USA, and the Great Ape Project, International. In 2005, Stumpe became a member of the Dewar Wildlife Trust Board of Directors.

As an entrepreneur who has created and run several successful companies, Stumpe is highly regarded in the legal and professional community for her integrity, insight and business sense. It was these qualities that led to her appointment in 2005 as the acting President of Great Ape Project, International – the umbrella organization for the Great Ape Project organizations throughout the world. In 2009, Stumpe and her husband started their own non-profit organization called Children of Conservation. This organization works closely with PASA sanctuaries and provides various benefits to the sanctuaries including a scholarship program that gives educational funding for the children of the sanctuary workers.

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REBECCA ROSE – Secretary, Board of Directors

Rebecca Rose, a Director on the PASA Board, is a 30-year veteran of the fields of wildlife conservation and education. As the field conservation manager for the Columbus Zoo, she oversaw the Zoo’s conservation grants program which awards more than $1 million annually to projects based in 30 countries.

In addition to the PASA board, Becky serves on the board of Friends of Bonobos – a U.S.-based support organization for the world’s only sanctuary for endangered bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She serves on the Board of the D.C.-based Center for Conservation Peace-Building, and works as a Conservation Liaison for the Ohio Wildlife Center. Becky is a founder of the Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation conference (ZACC) and a member of the steering committee for this biennial meeting which brings together zoo professionals and field conservationists to strengthen zoo support for wildlife conservation around the globe.

Rebecca began working with wildlife rescue organizations in the late 1980s when she met the founders of ARCAS – a group of dedicated Guatemalans who were determined to address the illegal wildlife trade in their country by building a rescue center to rehabilitate confiscated wild animals. Knowing the important connection between wildlife law enforcement and high quality rescue centers, Rebecca is dedicated to supporting the efforts of sanctuaries around the globe to stop the cruel and destructive illegal trade in wild animals.

REBECCA ROSE – Secretary, Board of Directors

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Rebecca Rose, a Director on the PASA Board, is a 30-year veteran of the fields of wildlife conservation and education. As the field conservation manager for the Columbus Zoo, she oversaw the Zoo’s conservation grants program which awards more than $1 million annually to projects based in 30 countries.

In addition to the PASA board, Becky serves on the board of Friends of Bonobos – a U.S.-based support organization for the world’s only sanctuary for endangered bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She serves on the Board of the D.C.-based Center for Conservation Peace-Building, and works as a Conservation Liaison for the Ohio Wildlife Center. Becky is a founder of the Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation conference (ZACC) and a member of the steering committee for this biennial meeting which brings together zoo professionals and field conservationists to strengthen zoo support for wildlife conservation around the globe.

Rebecca began working with wildlife rescue organizations in the late 1980s when she met the founders of ARCAS – a group of dedicated Guatemalans who were determined to address the illegal wildlife trade in their country by building a rescue center to rehabilitate confiscated wild animals. Knowing the important connection between wildlife law enforcement and high quality rescue centers, Rebecca is dedicated to supporting the efforts of sanctuaries around the globe to stop the cruel and destructive illegal trade in wild animals.

SEBASTIAN LOUIS – Member, Board of Directors
Sebastian Louis was born 1958 in Hamburg, Germany, and studied business administration at the Technical University in Berlin, graduating with a master in business administration, specialising in marketing and finance.

After 11 years at AON, SL became in 2003 a managing partner and shareholder in the consultancy from RHL SL is a partner and managing director of several associated companies.

He had his first contact with primates in 1995 at Chimfunshi, Zambia, a sanctuary that his brother Stephan, a self-employed entrepreneur in Hamburg, Germany, substantially supported and which SL visited several times with him. Stephan was chairman of the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage T Trust (CWOT) When he died in 2011, Sebastian was elected as chair of CWOT as well as chair of Chimfunshi Germany e.V., a Non-profit Organisation for the support of chimpanzees. Since 2018, SL has been a member of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (Ngamba).

SEBASTIAN LOUIS – Member, Board of Directors
Franck Sebastian Louis was born 1958 in Hamburg, Germany, and studied business administration at the Technical University in Berlin, graduating with a master in business administration, specialising in marketing and finance.

After 11 years at AON, SL became in 2003 a managing partner and shareholder in the consultancy from RHL SL is a partner and managing director of several associated companies.

He had his first contact with primates in 1995 at Chimfunshi, Zambia, a sanctuary that his brother Stephan, a self-employed entrepreneur in Hamburg, Germany, substantially supported and which SL visited several times with him. Stephan was chairman of the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage T Trust (CWOT) When he died in 2011, Sebastian was elected as chair of CWOT as well as chair of Chimfunshi Germany e.V., a Non-profit Organisation for the support of chimpanzees. Since 2018, SL has been a member of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust (Ngamba).

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MEG GAMMAGE-TUCKER – Member, Board of Directors

Meg Gammage-Tucker currently serves CEO of the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota.

She has served in a variety of positions in her 34+ year nonprofit career. Organizations that have benefited from her staff leadership include The Rhino Trust, the Museum of Texas Tech University, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Zoological Society, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Wilds, and Zoo Atlanta. She also served as senior consultant for Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates and founded – and continues to serves as President & CEO – Build 4 Impact, Inc. in 2014. Build 4 Impact is both a nonprofit consulting firm serving clients in the fields of conservation, museums and cultural organizations, education, and social service agencies and, as a second line of business, builds traveling exhibitions for zoos and museums across the United States and Canada.

Dr. Gammage-Tucker completed her doctorate in political science and public administration at
Texas Tech University in 1996. She also maintains a bachelor of science in sociology from Illinois
State University, and masters of art and public administration, both from Texas Tech University.

In addition to being a faculty member of The Fund Raising School and adjunct faculty of the Lilly
School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, Dr. Gammage-Tucker has served in volunteer
leadership positions for the Association of Fund Raising Professionals and the American Alliance of
Museums as well as a number of other local, national, and international organizations.

MEG GAMMAGE-TUCKER – Member, Board of Directors

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Meg Gammage-Tucker currently serves CEO of the National Eagle Center in Wabasha, Minnesota.

She has served in a variety of positions in her 34+ year nonprofit career. Organizations that have benefited from her staff leadership include The Rhino Trust, the Museum of Texas Tech University, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Zoological Society, the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Wilds, and Zoo Atlanta. She also served as senior consultant for Johnson, Grossnickle & Associates and founded – and continues to serves as President & CEO – Build 4 Impact, Inc. in 2014. Build 4 Impact is both a nonprofit consulting firm serving clients in the fields of conservation, museums and cultural organizations, education, and social service agencies and, as a second line of business, builds traveling exhibitions for zoos and museums across the United States and Canada.

Dr. Gammage-Tucker completed her doctorate in political science and public administration at
Texas Tech University in 1996. She also maintains a bachelor of science in sociology from Illinois
State University, and masters of art and public administration, both from Texas Tech University.

In addition to being a faculty member of The Fund Raising School and adjunct faculty of the Lilly
School of Philanthropy at Indiana University, Dr. Gammage-Tucker has served in volunteer
leadership positions for the Association of Fund Raising Professionals and the American Alliance of
Museums as well as a number of other local, national, and international organizations.

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TORIE CURR SMITH – Member, Board of Directors

Torie Curr Smith is the Head of Wildlife Rehabilitation at Lilongwe Wildlife Trust. She started her animal journey in Sydney Australia as a youth volunteer at Taronga Zoo for 8 years working with the animal care teams as well as in environmental education. She first made the move to Africa in 2012 where she volunteered at an exotic monkey rescue center in South Africa for a year. At the end of this year, she decided she wasn’t done with her African primate journey and moved to the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) for a further year working as a rehabilitation coordinator. She then briefly returned to Australia to study to be a veterinary nurse working predominantly with dogs and cats. In 2017 she decided to move back to Africa and took up the role of Animal Manager at the Vervet Monkey Foundation- A PASA center in South Africa specializing in vervet monkey rescue and rehabilitation. In 2019 she reached out to the LWT for a 6-month position to train the team on veterinary clinic management. Now 5 years later, she is the Head of Wildlife Rehabilitation for the trust and runs all the animal care programs.

TORIE CURR SMITH – Member, Board of Directors

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Torie Curr Smith is the Head of Wildlife Rehabilitation at Lilongwe Wildlife Trust. She started her animal journey in Sydney Australia as a youth volunteer at Taronga Zoo for 8 years working with the animal care teams as well as in environmental education. She first made the move to Africa in 2012 where she volunteered at an exotic monkey rescue center in South Africa for a year. At the end of this year, she decided she wasn’t done with her African primate journey and moved to the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) for a further year working as a rehabilitation coordinator. She then briefly returned to Australia to study to be a veterinary nurse working predominantly with dogs and cats. In 2017 she decided to move back to Africa and took up the role of Animal Manager at the Vervet Monkey Foundation- A PASA center in South Africa specializing in vervet monkey rescue and rehabilitation. In 2019 she reached out to the LWT for a 6-month position to train the team on veterinary clinic management. Now 5 years later, she is the Head of Wildlife Rehabilitation for the trust and runs all the animal care programs.

Stephen Ngulu

STEPHEN NGULU – Member, Board of Directors

Dr. Stephen Dicko Ngulu is responsible for overseeing the management of the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, an esteemed facility dedicated to the well-being of great apes. Situated within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, this sanctuary serves as a haven for orphaned chimpanzees in need of rescue and care. The sanctuary goes to great lengths to ensure that these chimpanzees are provided with optimal care in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat. Beyond its role as a refuge, Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary plays a crucial role in raising awareness and advocating for the preservation of chimpanzees in their wild habitats.

Dr. Ngulu, a skilled veterinary surgeon, possesses a specialization in the immobilization, capture, rescue, care, and rehabilitation of wildlife. With over a decade of professional experience, his expertise spans various domains, including biodiversity and conservation, scientific research, business development within the conservation field, and capacity building. His proficiency extends to project and program management, underpinning his holistic approach to safeguarding wildlife and advancing conservation efforts.

STEPHEN NGULU – Member, Board of Directors

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Dr. Stephen Dicko Ngulu is responsible for overseeing the management of the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, an esteemed facility dedicated to the well-being of great apes. Situated within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, this sanctuary serves as a haven for orphaned chimpanzees in need of rescue and care. The sanctuary goes to great lengths to ensure that these chimpanzees are provided with optimal care in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat. Beyond its role as a refuge, Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary plays a crucial role in raising awareness and advocating for the preservation of chimpanzees in their wild habitats.

Dr. Ngulu, a skilled veterinary surgeon, possesses a specialization in the immobilization, capture, rescue, care, and rehabilitation of wildlife. With over a decade of professional experience, his expertise spans various domains, including biodiversity and conservation, scientific research, business development within the conservation field, and capacity building. His proficiency extends to project and program management, underpinning his holistic approach to safeguarding wildlife and advancing conservation efforts.