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 has also served 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 one of Australia’s leading ethical investment companies, now trading as part of the Pengana Capital group. Peter was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 and is also a patron of the conservation group Wildlife Asia.

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

CEO + Founder — SalterMitchell PR

April is CEO and Founder of SalterMitchell PR, a public relations firm based in Florida. She provides strategic communications consulting to senior business and communications leaders, including Fortune 100 companies, government officials and policy leaders. She is executive producer of the podcast Fluent in Floridian.

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 Groups 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.

Margaret Moore

Development Officer

Maggie Moore has worked for IRF on and off since 2007. As Development Officer, she oversees IRF's fundraising activities. Maggie has nearly twenty years of experience in fundraising and project management with international NGOs.

Kelly Russo

Communications Manager

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Kelly manages external communications for the organization. She has over 15 years experience in non-profit digital marketing and communications and previously worked for organizations such as the Houston Zoo, IUCN Tapir Specialist Group and the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Follow her @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).

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

Benn Bryant

Senior Veterinarian at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Dr Benn Bryant graduated from Sydney University and has been working as a wildlife veterinarian for 20 years. He is currently Senior Veterinarian at Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, Australia where his responsibilities include the health management of 3 species of rhinoceros being managed in international cooperative breeding programs. He has been a veterinary consultant to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary (SRS) in Indonesia since 2007 and has provided veterinary support to the SRS team.

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.

Scott Citino

Senior Veterinarian, White Oak Conservation

Dr. Scott Citino graduated from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and has been a veterinarian for the White Oak Conservation Center since 1993. He is author or co-author of numerous publications, proceedings abstracts, and book chapters in various disciplines of zoo and wildlife medicine. His research interests include anesthesia, infectious and non-infectious diseases, and reproductive physiology of captive and free-ranging wildlife.

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.

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.

Sesha Kanthamraju

Executive Director – Corporate Communications and ESR

Sesha manages corporate communications and citizenship initiatives of Disney in Southeast Asia and India. He has been involved in environmental and various conservation awareness initiatives across Asia for over 25 years now.

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.

Leslie Darby

IRF Legal Counsel

Leslie Darby is a Intellectual Property partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman. She counsels nonprofit organizations on clearing, protecting, and licensing trademarks and copyrights. She is proud to assist IRF with various intellectual property agreements, rights of publicity matters, and trademark filings.

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.