Staff Bios



Meaghan Brosnan is a renowned expert in global marine enforcement, with over 20 years of experience in reducing illegal fishing activity and empowering local communities to manage their marine protected areas (MPAs) and coastal fisheries sustainably. Meaghan’s knowledge of domestic and international fisheries management, compliance, and enforcement is unparalleled, making her a trusted advisor to senior government officials across the globe.

Meaghan served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, four of which were spent at sea enforcing fisheries law. She also acted as the deputy chief of the Coast Guard’s Living Marine Resources Enforcement program and led an emergency response team in San Francisco Bay as part of the Coast Guard Reserve for the last four years; she retired as a Commander.

In 2017, Meaghan joined WildAid as the Marine Program Director and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2023. During her leadership, WildAid developed a powerful ocean enforcement model to combat illegal fishing and protect MPAs, coral reefs, and blue carbon habitats. WildAid’s Marine Program has grown tenfold in the past five years and expanded to more than 16 countries. In November 2023, WildAid won Prince William’s prestigious Earthshot Prize in the “Revive Our Oceans” category.



John is a veteran wildlife conservation executive with over three decades of experience in program strategy, international program management, media and communications, fundraising, and impact evaluation.

John spent more than a decade in Southeast Asia during the 1990s, working in Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. He joined WildAid in 2013 and was promoted to Chief Program Officer, leading WildAid’s efforts to develop, direct, and manage sophisticated communications campaigns in China, Southeast Asia, and many African countries to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products, including elephant ivory, rhino horn, shark fin, and pangolin scales, and build public support for wildlife conservation.

John’s wealth of knowledge and experience in organizational development and conservation strategy, particularly in the context of rapid climate change, is exceptional. He has directed and managed highly impactful behavior change campaigns promoting low carbon consumption in China, creating billions of media impressions and reaching over 300 million Chinese consumers.



Leila is an accomplished executive with over 20 years of experience in strategic financial management, organizational management, and business administration. She brings deep expertise in developing annual operating budgets aligned with strategic goals, managing cash flow, payroll, accounts payable, audits, tax submissions, and financial statement reviews on a global scale to WildAid. Leila’s strong leadership and management skills extend beyond financial management. She also manages human resources, corporate insurance, information technology, and legal contract reviews.

Before joining WildAid, Leila worked in executive finance and leadership positions at for-profit and nonprofit organizations in various fields, spanning financial services, animal protection, hospitality, and education.



After previously leading WildAid’s climate campaigns on food and transportation from 2015-2018, Matt rejoined as Climate Program Director in 2022 where his responsibilities include program development, fundraising, and partner collaboration. As Disaster Preparedness Director at Give2Asia (2011-2015) and Development Director at Project Drawdown (2018), Matt connected corporate, foundation, and individual donors with some of the world’s most effective NGOs focused on local and global climate issues. When not addressing climate change, his roles have directly addressed disabilities justice as Executive Director at On-the-Move Community Integration (2019-2022) and Board Chair at the California Communications Access Foundation (2014-2019). Matt earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Chapman University and is now based in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys hiking, cycling, reading, scuba diving and cooking. He and his spouse can often be found dancing in the kitchen with their daughter to her favorite band, the Ramones.



Rachel Lee joined WildAid in 2022 to build relationships with donors on the East Coast. A seasoned fundraising strategist and leader with nearly 20 years of experience, Rachel Lee relishes the process of connecting supporters with opportunities to support work they are passionate about. In her previous roles she built development systems from scratch, fostered a culture of philanthropy among staff and volunteers, and exponentially increased revenue. Her efforts have served environmental and racial justice, economic systems change, poverty alleviation, community arts, voter mobilization, and international fair trade. In her free time she can be found exploring local farmers markets and parks with her young daughter.



Jennifer has been a fundraiser and advocate for environmental conservation for over twenty years; most recently with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Through this work, Jennifer has helped to protect terrestrial, freshwater, and ocean species and habitats; support sustainable agriculture and timber production; and provide environmental education and job training for youth.  She has successfully advocated for policy reform to improve government transparency and accountability, and to ensure the availability and appropriate expenditure of public funding for natural resource conservation.  Jennifer holds a Master of Arts in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, and Peacebuilding, and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology.  She enjoys hiking in the mountains, reading on the beach, and spending time with her husband, friends, and family.



For over sixteen years, Emily Owen has worked internationally with communities, governments, researchers, and civil society to find collaborative and innovative conservation solutions that support both people and the planet. Prior to joining WildAid in 2022, Emily managed The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Protecting Coastal Wetlands and Coral Reefs project, which helps countries protect coastal ecosystems to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Emily started her career in Chile, where she worked for 10 years on community-based conservation efforts, first in Southern Chile with World Wildlife Fund and then on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) with Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus in Conservation Biology from Middlebury College and is a Wild Gift Fellow. Emily enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and scuba diving and lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two sons.



Christina researches, develops and oversees WildAid’s species campaigns, having designed and led the pangolin campaign since inception. As the Wildlife Program Director, her responsibilities include managing project implementation in coordination with the international teams, 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 waste management and single-use plastics reduction, loves hiking and photography, and spends much of her time chasing remote sunrise views on backpacking trips in the mountains. 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 and is a 2021 graduate of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program.



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 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.



Kaylyn joined WildAid in 2022 as Senior Social Media Manager, bringing with her over 7 years of experience in social media management, digital marketing, and storytelling. From providing on-the-ground crisis communications during active disasters while at FEMA, to leading social strategies for a global team at IFAW advocating for imperiled wildlife, and working to shift society’s perception of farm animals and our modern food system at Farm Sanctuary, Kaylyn has seen the power in online communities to create positive change. She is passionate about animals and environmental conservation. In her spare time, she enjoys eating vegan food, hiking, and exploring Los Angeles.



Growing up along the coast of Southern California, Marissa’s curiosity about nature grew into a deep passion for the protection and sustainable use of our ocean and its life. Marissa holds a B.A. in environmental studies from California State University, Monterey Bay, and is a recent graduate with an M.A. in international environmental policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. It was in her graduate studies that she focused on ocean and coastal management to further her knowledge and experience in fisheries policy and the transition to sustainable practices to support coastal communities being most affected by IUU fishing and overfishing. In her free time, she can be found training for her next swim meet, exploring wild places, or enjoying a movie while cuddling with her cat, Olive.



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.



Vanessa provides support as WildAid’s assistant video editor. Before joining in 2022, she spent a few years as a freelancer videographer/editor, helping startups and small business boost up their media game through social ads, promos, and long-form video content. Vanessa enjoys using her skills to share stories and strengthen connections within communities. As a lover of sea turtles with a great appreciation for all things mother nature, she wanted help be the voice for wildlife and continue that conversation between people and the world. Vanessa graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Media Arts. During her off time, Vanessa enjoys finding new trails with her dog to walk on, going to theme parks, and traveling the world with family and friends.



Alyssa works on our wildlife programs team, specifically in the areas of program communications and grant writing. Alyssa’s first career was in veterinary medicine, working with a variety of species from rabbits to whales. Wanting to focus on animal advocacy, Alyssa 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, Alyssa is excited to bring her skills to her true passion: animal welfare and environmental conservation. When she is not researching conservation, Alyssa spends her time running, hiking, and working with the Adolescent and Young Adult program at UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.



Born in a coastal Mediterranean town in Southern Italy, Aldo Simone has nurtured a lifelong bond with the Ocean. His early years were influenced by his father, an adept craftsman of sailing boats, which fostered Aldo’s early interest in sailing. Graduating from the Italian Naval Academy as an Officer in 2005, Aldo’s naval career was distinguished by roles in maritime operations and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). He also holds master’s degrees in International Studies and Military Leadership and Security.

After many years spent serving on the Ocean, he decided to devote himself to serving the Ocean. Aldo is married and lives with his wife, his stepson, and two big orange cats in Rockville, Maryland. He loves painting, cooking, sailing, dancing Lindy Hop, playing D&D, enjoying time at the beach, and practicing traditional Japanese martial arts.



Nelson is the junior accountant at WildAid and is responsible for supporting the accounting team. Prior to joining WildAid Nelson was working at a non-profit organization in the bay area. Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Francisco State University. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, working out, and in general being outdoors.