Our Team

Board of Directors

Rick Barongi

IRF Vice President for Africa Programs

Formerly director of the Houston Zoo, Rick is actively retired and consulting on zoo design and conservation strategies, a passion for more than 40 years. Rick has served as IRF’s Africa programs vice president since 1998. Prior to Houston Zoo, he was instrumental in developing Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Lee Bass

IRF Treasurer

Lee is a life-long conservationist, serving 12 years on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. He is one of the founders of the International Rhino Foundation. His South Texas ranch is home to the most successful breeding program for Black Rhino in North America.

Evan Blumer

OsoMono LTD

In 2011, Evan formed OsoMono LTD, a consultancy practice focused on Wildlife, Habitat and Energy Conservation Strategies, with an international focus. He has worked for over 25 years to integrate wildlife, habitat and energy conservation strategies with new, sustainable development models.

Patrick Condy

Executive Director — Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Pat is the executive director of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Prior to joining Fossil Rim, he was director of the Johannesburg Zoo, and was a founder of the Pan African Zoo and Aquarium Association. Dr. Condy also served as director of South Africa’s National Antarctic Research Program.

Heather Eberhart

Animals, Science, Environment Director — Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

Heather is currently director of animals, science, and environment for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, leading a department that has responsibility for strategic planning and integration, animal records and regulatory affairs, standards, safety, communication and talent management.

Michael Fouraker

Executive Director — Fort Worth Zoo

Michael is the executive director of the Fort Worth Zoo, which manages two species of rhino: black and Indian. He is also the past president of the International Elephant Foundation and also serves on the board of the Turtle Survival Alliance and Caribbean Wildlife Foundation and Alliance.

Lewis Greene

Vice President for Animal Care and Conservation — Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Lewis is senior vice president for Animal Care and Conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He previously was CEO/Executive Director of Fresno Chaffee Zoo and Director of Prospect Park Zoo (WCS). He also serves on the AZA's Wildlife Conservation Management and Honors and Awards committees.

Peter Hall

Executive Chairman and Chief Investment Officer — Hunter Hall International Limited

In 1993 Peter founded Hunter Hall Investment Management which has grown to become Australia’s largest dedicated ethical investment company with $1 billion of assets. Peter was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 and is also a patron of the Asian Rhino Project.

Cameron Kerr

Director and Chief Executive — Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Cameron is director and chief executive of Taronga Conservation Society Australia. He has over 15 years’ experience in marketing and communications roles across a range of industries. Taronga is actively involved in black, white and greater one-horned rhino breeding programs.

Diane Ledder

(Retired) Director of Community Relations — Walt Disney World Co.

Now retired, Diane served as director of community relations for Walt Disney World Co., leading charitable giving and community relations strategy. She has also held leadership positions at the San Diego Zoo’s Safari Park and the Zoological Society of Florida, and serves on IRF’s Communications Committee.

John Lukas

IRF President

John is conservation manager at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. For 30 years, he lead the development of White Oak Conservation Center into a base of conservation efforts for threatened and endangered species that are part of breeding, research, training and re-introduction programs.

Olivier Pagan

Executive Director — Zoo Basel

Olivier is director of Basel zoo. Basel zoo supports a project for the conservation of Sumatran rhinos and he is responsible for the Indian rhino EEP, the European captive breeding program for this species. He is the vice-president of VDZ (the association of German, Austrian and Swiss zoos).

Randy Rieches

Henshaw Curator of Mammals — San Diego Wild Animal Park

Randy is the Henshaw curator of mammals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, where he has worked for over 35 years. He is also vice-chair of the AZA Rhinoceros Taxon Advisory Group, species coordinator for the AZA Greater one-horned rhino SSP, and a member of the IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group.

Terri Roth, PhD

Director — Cincinnati Zoological Gardens, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Terri is director of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife and the Zoo’s VP of Conservation and Science. Her work led to the successful breeding of a Sumatran rhino and the first Sumatran rhino calf produced in captivity in 112 years.

April Salter

President & COO — Salter>Mitchell

April is president and COO of Salter>Mitchell, an advertising and public relations firm with offices in Washington, DC, Tallahassee and Orlando. She has provided senior business and communications counsel to Fortune 100 companies, government officials and policy leaders for the past 30 years.

Director Emeritus

Don Farst

Director Emeritus — Gladys Porter Zoo

Don is director emeritus of the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas. Before retiring, he served for many years on the AZA Rhino Taxon Advisory Group as the Black Rhino Species Coordinator. He currently lives in the Texas Hill Country, but does periodic relief work for two veterinary practices.

Staff

Susie Ellis

Executive Director

Susie has been IRF's Executive Director since 2006. She oversees IRF’s administration, fundraising and management of field conservation programs in Africa and Asia. She is a member of the IUCN Conservation Breeding, Penguin, African Rhino, and Asian Rhino Specialist Group and is the Red List Authority for the latter. Follow her @rhinogoddess.

CeCe Sieffert

Deputy Director

CeCe joined IRF as deputy director in 2016. Previously she worked at WWF, focusing on combatting the illegal wildlife trade and demand for illegal wildlife products in the U.S. and Asia, while also managing community based conservation projects in East Africa. Follow her @cecesieffert.

Gloria Goeres

Operations Manager

Gloria attended the University of South Carolina where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in education. She later worked as an elementary school teacher before deciding to embark on a new adventure: she traded in her students for rhinos.

Kelly Russo

Communications Advisor

Kelly is director of online media at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and has consulted with IRF and other wildlife conservation organizations for over 15 years providing communications and marketing support. Follow Kelly on Instagram @kellyjrusso

Raoul du Toit

African Rhino Program Coordinator

A native Zimbabwean, Raoul has coordinated conservation initiatives that have helped develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe. He also advocates on the internationally for rhino protection and has helped reintroduce rhino populations in Botswana and Zambia.

Sectionov Inov

Indonesia Program Coordinator

Inov has been with IRF since 2006, and he has worked in rhino conservation for over 15 years. He was a program officer for Indonesia of Rhino Friend from 2000 until 2006. Inov is also involved Sumatran rhino research and he assists Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (YABI).

Hanif Muhammad

Indonesia Liaison

Hanif has 13 years experience as a Risk Management specialist at Indonesian Derivatives Clearing House. His first exposure to rhino conservation was when he assisted the Rhino Foundation of Indonesia (YABI) in September of 2015 to evaluate Rhino Protection Unit (RPU) data. He hopes that he can contribute to the future of rhino conservation.

Natasha Anderson

Zimbabwe Rhino Monitoring Coordinator

Natasha is IRF’s Zimbabwe rhino monitoring coordinator. Though born in Australia, she has been based in the South East Lowveld in Zimbabwe for 16 years. She helps manage the Lowveld Rhino Trust’s education program and also monitors a population of rhinos in Bubye and Save Valley Conservancies.

Bibhab Kumar Talukdar

Asian Rhino Program Coordinator

Bibhab serves as IRF’s Asian Rhino Program Coordinator, overseeing our work in Indonesia and India. He is Chair of the IUCN SSC Asian Rhino Specialist Group, and Secretary General of the Indian NGO Aaranyak. He has been involved in rhino research and conservation in Asia since 1996.

Rahul Dutta

Intelligence Specialist

Rahul Dutta coordinates IRF's anti-poaching and wildlife crime monitoring work in Assam, India. Working closely with the forest department, police and other enforcement agencies as well as Indian Rhino Vision 2020 partners.

Advisory Board

Clare Campbell

Director — Wildlife Asia; Chairperson — Asian Rhino Project

Clare is the director of Wildlife Asia, chairperson of the Asian Rhino Project, president of the Silvery Gibbon Project, and treasurer and conservation fund committee member of The Orangutan Project. She is also a member of the IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group.

Cathy Dean

Director — Save the Rhino International

Cathy is director of Save the Rhino International, a UK-registered charity working closely with IRF to conserve rhinos in Africa and Asia. Cathy is a member of the IUCN SSC African and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups, and is also Conservation Advisor to the EAZA Rhino Taxon Advisory Group.

Mike Dee

(Retired) General Curator — Los Angeles Zoo

Mike was instrumental in establishing a rhino breeding program at Los Angeles Zoo. He served as the SSP coordinator for the Greater One Horn Asian Rhino for 21 years. In 2008, Mike retired as general curator from Los Angeles Zoo, where he is an honorary docent and continues to volunteer.

Adam Eyres

Hoof stock Curator - Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Adam has been at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center for almost 30 years and was involved in the original importation of southern black rhinos from Zimbabwe in 1992—the origination of the IRF. He is the population manager of the IRF’s Southern Black Rhino Sustainability Program and the white rhino SSP Coordinator for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He serves on the steering committee of the Rhino Advisory Group.

Gina Ferrie

Research Manager and Population Biologist — Disney's Animal Kingdom

Gina is research manager and population biologist at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She also serves on the AZA’s Rhino Advisory Group Steering Committee, and as the studbook keeper for both the global ex situ population of Southern black rhino and the North American population of Eastern black rhino.

Jim Fouts

Tanganyika Wildlife Park Director

Jim Fouts has been in the zoo industry since 1972. In 1978, he began importing birds and animals from all over the world for zoological collections, and in 1985, he opened bird import stations in Los Angeles. In the same year, Jim began developing a holding/breeding compound in Goddard, Kan. Jim is also the Vice Chairman of the Zoological Association of America.

Maggie Lawrence

Communications Advisor

Maggie plays an active role in changing minds for the better as a public affairs project manager with Salter>Mitchell. She leads and supports integrated marketing communications campaigns for high-profile governmental, nonprofit and corporate clients, including the International Rhino Foundation.

Patty Peters

Vice President of Community Relations — Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Patty is the vice president of Community Relations for the Columbus Zoo and the Wilds. She serves on the AZA Professional Development and Public Relations, and on IRF’s Communications Committee.

Steve Shurter

Executive Director of Conservation — White Oak Conservation Holdings

Steve is executive director of White Oak Conservation Holdings and oversees the organization’s wildlife management and conservation education programs. He has been involved with the captive management of 4 of the 5 living rhino species. He is currently chairman of the AZA Rhino Advisory Group.

Volunteers

Amira Cook

IRF Accounting Support

Amira is a native Texan and an accounting graduate of the University of North Texas. She has provided accounting support to IRF since 2011 and has enjoyed watching the organization grow in public support. She looks forward to seeing IRF achieve even more in its rhino conservation efforts.

Laura Hess

IRF Accounting Support

Laura Hess is a CPA in Fort Worth, Texas who has provided the accounting support for the International Rhino Foundation since 2002.

Dana Stayton

IRF Legal Counsel

Dana is an attorney in Fort Worth, Texas who also represents numerous nonprofit organizations. She has represented IRF since 2000 when she joined Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP. She works with IRF staff to draft and review contracts for services and grant awards and assists with other legal matters.

Dee Steer

IRF Legal Counsel

Dee Steer serves as the head of the Estate Planning, Probate and Nonprofit Organizations practice group of Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, a Fort Worth, Texas law firm. HE has represented IRF as its legal counsel since 1991 when IRF was originally incorporated as The International Black Rhino Foundation.

Ibby Stratton

IRF Shopkeeper

Ibby Stratton is the IRF shopkeeper. She was an English, creative writing and drama teacher for more than 20 years. She stays busy with the rhinos, “flutterbys,” kids and grandkids.