Staff Bio

PETER KNIGHTS

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

After graduating from the London School of Economics, Peter Knights first worked on wildlife trafficking as an investigator and campaigner for the Environmental Investigation Agency. He specialized in global on-site investigations and campaigning against the trade in wild birds for pets, as well as consumption of endangered species in traditional Chinese medicine, such as bear gallbladder, rhino horn, and tiger bone. Peter’s investigations have been featured in the TV series “Animal Detectives.” On birds, this work led to over 150 airlines stopping the carriage of wild birds and to the Wild Bird Conservation Act, which cut imports of wild birds into the US from 800,000 to 40,000. As a director of the Global Survival Network, in 1996, he introduced conservation to the concept of demand reduction, that is now widely accepted as an important tool in solving trafficking problems.

While working across Asia, Peter created the first international program aimed at reducing demand for endangered species products. He received an Associate Laureate of the Rolex Award for Enterprise for this work. WildAid’s demand reduction program uses sophisticated advertising techniques, donated airtime, and celebrity spokespeople with the message “When the buying stops, the killing can too.” More than 100 globally-recognized actors, athletes, musicians and business leaders have appeared in WildAid campaigns. Peter is still
working with his first ambassador, Jackie Chan. Since then, WildAid ambassadors have included Yao Ming, Prince William, David Beckham, Leonardo DiCaprio and many other famous names. The organization has been active in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Canada, and the US. It now attracts more than US$289 million of donated media space annually, primarily in China.

As well as contributing to the protection of manta rays and whale sharks, WildAid’s shark campaign led by Yao Ming has contributed to a 50-70% decline in consumption of shark fin in China, and an 81% decline in shark fin imports over three years. It has also helped to secure fin bans in a number of US states. Peter has been awarded a regional Jefferson Award for public service in honor of his role in achieving California’s ban on shark fin. Peter has led campaigns that have resulted in the banning of ivory sales in China, a more than 60% decline in the price of ivory, and a more than 50% decline in the price of rhino horn in China and Vietnam. He created, produced and featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary “Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming,” and is currently producing and co-directing five documentaries for Chinese TV and two for Vietnam. He has also created and produced dozens of public service announcements. In 2000, Peter co-founded WildAid as has served as Executive Director and now CEO. In 2017, the organization works in 12 countries, has over 45 full time staff, a US$10 million budget leveraging over $289 million in donated media, and was recently given 100 out of 100 by Charity Navigator for transparency and efficiency.

JOHN BAKER

CHIEF PROGRAM OFFICER

John leads and manages WildAid’s global programs including program strategy, institutional fundraising, and international program management. Since 2013, John has helped expand WildAid demand reduction campaigns in Asia and managed organizational growth with a doubling in staff, funding and budget. He brings valuable expertise from 15 years of leading and managing conservation programs in Southeast Asia and 12 years at Point Blue Conservation Science. John’s entrepreneurial spirit and hands-on attitude have helped launch innovative rural development projects in Thailand with pre-eminent social entrepreneur Mechai Viravaidya, manage a conservation program for the largest protected area in Laos, and establish an award-winning family planning program for the Vietnam Women’s Union. He also researched and edited a guidebook to Thai national parks and a coffee table book on Thai flora and fauna. During one watershed moment in recent Thai political history, John seized the opportunity to write speeches for Thailand’s former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun. He speaks Thai, Lao and proficient Vietnamese.

MEAGHAN BROSNAN

MARINE PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Meaghan has worked for nearly 15 years to reduce illegal fishing activity around the world, and is an expert in domestic and international fisheries management, compliance, and enforcement. She spent four years at-sea enforcing fisheries law, and served as the deputy chief of the Coast Guard’s Living Marine Resources Enforcement program. Meaghan was also the lead manager of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ End Illegal Fishing Campaign. Additionally, she founded Exulans, Inc., a global consultancy providing compliance and enforcement solutions for ocean conservation to governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations. In these roles, Meaghan has worked in collaboration with senior government leaders and diverse public and private sector organizations in East Africa, Southeast Asia, the Western and Central Pacific, Central America and the United States. Meaghan continues to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, leading a department in the San Francisco Bay area. When she is not nerding out on ocean conservation topics, Meaghan can be found kayaking, hiking or camping with her family.

ANGELA KIRKMAN

SENIOR DIRECTOR, PARTNERSHIPS

Angela leads WildAid’s institutional fundraising and partnership development to support its work around the globe. She has been working in conservation since 2003, including 10 years at Conservation International in business development, program management and communications roles. Angela has extensive experience securing funds from governments, multilateral institutions and foundations. She has brokered partnerships with NGOs and the private sector for conservation and sustainable development projects across the Asia-Pacific region including Indonesia, China, Cambodia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Micronesia, as well as large scale marine protection initiatives in the Pacific. Angela has a Masters in Marine Science and Management from the University of New South Wales, Australia and is fluent in French. She is happiest near the ocean. A keen sailor, she spent 20 days cruising from the Galapagos Islands to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia. Angela ran a dive operation in the Tuamotu Islands and has logged over 700 dives.

CORIE KNIGHTS

SENIOR DIRECTOR MAJOR GIFTS, EVENTS

Corie manages individual philanthropy as chief fundraiser for WildAid and is responsible for raising millions of dollars to enable the organization’s programs. Corie also leads event planning, ambassador relationships, corporate partnerships and donor trips both domestic and abroad. She has produced dozens of events ranging from corporate talks and donor hosted parties to WildAid’s annual star-studded gala evening. WildAid’s most recent gala at The Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles raised $2.4 million dollars for WildAid’s programs. Our 2019 Gala will take place at The Beverly Wilshire on Saturday, November 9th. For the past 10 years, Corie has been a guide and host on WildAid’s annual whale shark trip where supporters are able to experience conservation first hand by swimming with these rare ocean giants. Our 2019 trip will take place July 17-21st. In May Corie is leading a trip to the Galapagos on “WildAid’s Passion”. This June and September Corie will bring donors to partner program sites in Africa to witness the conservation impact of WildAid’s work.

JEN LEUNG

CLIMATE PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Jen leads WildAid’s Climate Program, which encourages climate-friendly food and transport choices, with a focus on the China market. Prior to that, she lived in Greater China for a decade as a lawyer and legal development specialist, and led the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative in China. There, she managed multi-million dollar legal assistance programs that focus on improving rule of law and access to justice, including specific programs on environmental protection, women’s rights, and criminal justice. Jen is a New York licensed attorney, with a J.D. from Berkeley Law and a B.A. in Fine Arts and Economics at Williams College. Traveling (and eating strange foods on those travels) is her great passion, and she recently took a year-long road trip in an Airstream to explore all the National Parks in the continental United States.

LUCY-CLAIRE SAUNDERS

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Lucy-Claire manages earned media and strategic communications. She has more than 10 years of communications experience, including serving as a media relations practitioner on the agency side, a social media strategist at a nonprofit, and a wire reporter at the United Nations. She joined WildAid in August 2018 after more than two years at The Marine Mammal Center, where she managed social media content creation, community management, and Facebook fundraising. Lucy-Claire previously worked for five years in New York for an international public affairs firm, where she specialized in public relations and crisis communications. She has also worked as a journalist, including at China’s Xinhua News Agency. She lives in Oakland

JACLYN SHERRY

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Jaclyn leads Operations at WildAid, overseeing a broad array of tasks to drive organizational efficiency and effectiveness, and acts as the production manager for PSA and documentary shoots. Her work includes managing the organization’s annual work plan process, administering WildAid’s small grants program, and working closely with the Board of Directors. She joined the team in 2014 as the Executive Aide to founder and CEO Peter Knights. Prior to WildAid, Jaclyn was the Global Director of Operations/VP Special Projects at a tech recruiting start up in San Francisco and Berlin. She is passionate about exploring, active citizenship, and protecting the planet and its species (especially sharks). With a longstanding interest in both social and environmental sciences, she holds a B.S. from Cornell University.

GARY YIP

DIRECTOR OF VIDEO PRODUCTION

Originally from Hong Kong, Gary joined WildAid in 2010 after working for several years on numerous video campaigns for schools and non-profits as a freelancer in the US. Gary has worked with Jackie Chan, Yao Ming, Prince William, David Beckham, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o and many others to create some of WildAid’s most memorable PSAs, behind the scenes clips, and mini-documentaries. Gary also filmed the Emmy-nominated Animal Planet documentary “Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming”, CCTV’s “The End of The Wild”, and Shanghai Media Group’s “Celebrity Explorers” — the latter a five-part documentary series for Chinese television. Gary speaks, reads, and writes in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. He enjoys all things technology (leading to his default designation as Head of IT), video games and movies, and loves to travel to arctic climates to photograph polar bears and the northern lights.

CLAIRE ALTIER

CONTROLLER

Claire joined the team in April of 2018 and is responsible for all financial reporting, forecasting, and audit preparation for WildAid’s US and international offices. She has 10 years of accounting experience and has held head of accounting roles with three different companies, each in unique areas of the for profit sector. While this is her first foray into non-profits, Claire has been a life-long wildlife advocate and supporter of conservation efforts and is thrilled to make the jump into a more mission-driven atmosphere. She attended the University of Vermont, majoring in International Business, minoring in Studio Art, and concentrating in Animal Sciences. Outside of the office, Claire is an avid scuba diver and loves experimenting with underwater photography.

SILVIA BOR

MARINE PROGRAM OFFICER

Silvia works on WildAid’s marine team to reduce illegal fishing and poaching in some of the world’s most biodiverse places. Her work includes project planning and implementation, fundraising and grant writing, and sharing marine successes with the community. She also managed the development of the Nexus Blue marine portal to increase awareness for marine conservation, provide tools for marine practitioners, and facilitate regional collaboration. Silvia has a BA in Communication from Stanford University and an MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She loves traveling, yoga, and exploring California with her husband and two Huskies.

NATALIE LAKE

PROGRAM OFFICER AND SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

Natalie works with both the programmatic and communications teams in our San Francisco office. Attending Northwestern University as an undergrad, she completed a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and research on coral reef bleaching susceptibility in coordination with the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium. After graduating, she moved to Perú to build sustainable community-based environmental infrastructure alongside her Peace Corps community of Pacasmayo. In Perú, she started a network of eco-schools, a town-wide recycling program, a plastic bag upcycling program, built and installed wind turbines, PV solar systems and biodigesters and much more. She joined the WildAid team in 2016 and enjoys hiking, climbing, traveling, cooking, photography, and crafting.

JAZMINE LIU

STAFF ACCOUNTANT

Jazmine is the staff accountant at WildAid and is responsible for the day-to-day upkeep of the ledger and financial index, and for supporting the senior accountant in executing the monthly close and yearly audit. Prior to that, she had a few accounting roles in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, where she gained some great accounting experiences. Jazmine holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Management Economics with an emphasis in accounting from the UC Santa Cruz. She is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. Outside of office, Jazmine is a foodie and loves to explore different Asian restaurants in the Bay Area.

FLORA MASSAH

VIDEO EDITOR

Flora produces engaging social media content, video shorts and PSAs. She also creates animated graphics and manages the video library. Flora joined WildAid in spring of 2019 after four years living abroad in New Zealand and Iran. She has a passionate history working in the nonprofit sector, and believes video is a powerful tool for social change. Flora holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Princeton University. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, cooking and hiking.

ANGELA RICHARDS

WILDLIFE CAMPAIGNS GRANT ASSOCIATE

Angela works on our wildlife programs team, specifically in the areas of program content and grant writing. Angela’s first career was in veterinary medicine, working with a variety of species from rabbits to whales. Wanting to focus on animal advocacy, Angela returned to college and earned two master’s degrees, in Museum Studies and in Business Administration, with an intent to help science museums and non-profits. After years of focusing on museum funding, Angela is excited to bring her skills to her true passion: animal welfare and environmental conservation. When she is not researching conservation, Angela spends her time running, hiking, and working with the Adolescent and Young Adult program at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

MOLLY SHANE

MARINE PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Molly Shane, Marine Program Coordinator – Molly currently serves as the Program Coordinator on WildAid’s Marine Team. Her work includes fundraising, event planning, and logistical coordination for WildAid Marine’s new Regional Leadership Hub program. Prior to WildAid, Molly served on the Marketing & Communications team at Fair Trade USA and has extensive experience working with non-profits on marketing and branding, wildlife conservation, sustainable tourism, and environmental education. Molly holds a BA in Sociology / Anthropology from Middlebury College and a MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She also works as a barre fitness instructor and loves to hike, bake, and travel.

CARRIE SULLIVAN

DEVELOPMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Carrie Sullivan is WildAid’s Development and Administrative Assistant. Carrie comes from a long background in non profit administration, recently at UpStart. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, she spends her free time taking ballet classes, riding bikes, reading and walking dogs for the SPCA.

CHRISTINA VALLIANOS

PROGRAM AND GRANTS MANAGER

Christina helps research, develop and oversee WildAid’s species campaigns, having designed and led the pangolin campaign since inception. Her work includes managing project implementation in coordination with the international team, campaign planning, creative content development, grant writing, and authoring of WildAid’s published reports. Before joining the team in 2013, she designed enrichment programs for river otters at the Oakland Zoo, taught ecology to youth at summer camps in Massachusetts, and worked in account management at a design agency in San Francisco. She is passionate about sustainable food projects, loves hiking and photography, and has backpacked throughout South America and Europe, most recently completing the Tour du Mont Blanc. She is a dedicated environmentalist who believes wild places and animals deserve protection, and joined WildAid to support its conservation efforts. Christina holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.

ANDREW WEGST

VIDEO PRODUCER

A 2017 News and Documentary Emmy Award winner, Andrew produces global media projects for WildAid. He joined the organization in 2015 after twenty years as an independent producer, cinematographer and editor. He considers it a privilege to have traveled to all seven continents and over forty countries in pursuit of compelling images. Clients ranging from major networks and corporations to non-profits and small companies have trusted him to bring their story to life. When not writing about himself in the third person or taking selfies for his website, he loves to spend as much time outdoors photographing his favorite subject, the world. Andrew has a passion for animals and donates time and energy to helping them find forever homes.