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 retired as 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

Zoo Professional (Retired)

Now retired after 42 years in the zoo profession, Lewis served as senior vice president for Animal Care and Conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds, CEO/Executive Director of Fresno Chaffee Zoo and Virginia Zoo, and Director of the Prospect Park Zoo (WCS). He served on the AZA's committees for Wildlife Conservation Management and Honors and Awards, and on the Board of Ethics.

Peter Hall AM

Private Investor and Environmentalist

In 1993 Peter founded one of Australia’s first ethical investment companies and in 2005 helped to found the Asian Rhino Project. Peter was awarded Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 and is a director of Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (UK). He lives in London.

Cameron Kerr

Director and Chief Executive — Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Cameron is Director and Chief Executive of Taronga Conservation Society Australia. His early career was in animal health research in agriculture and later moved into business, communications and education roles in various industries. Taronga runs two conservation zoos and is actively involved in black, white and greater one-horned rhino breeding programs and very engaged in Sumatran.

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. Diane also serves on the board of the Lemur Conservation Foundation.

John Lukas

IRF President

John is president of Wildlife Conservation Global which works to conserve okapi in the rainforests of the Congo. He is a cofounder and vice -president of Wildlife Conservation Network. John works out of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens where he manages the conservation program for the Zoo.

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 the European captive breeding program (EEP) for this species since 1972. The successful breeding history in Basel Zoo began in 1954 when “Rudra” was the first rhino ever to be born in a Zoo. He is past president and board member of VDZ (the association of German, Austrian and Swiss Zoos).

Randy Rieches

Director of Collections Husbandry and Science — 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 42 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 and IUCN Deer Specialists 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.

Rick Schwartz

Nashville Zoo President and CEO

Rick has been active in conservation for almost thirty years, recognized for his expertise with clouded leopards. Since 1989, he has been the director and primary architect of Nashville Zoo - building facilities, designing exhibits and working extensively with other zoos to develop the outstanding collection of species represented at Nashville Zoo.

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

Nina Fascione

Executive Director

Nina joined IRF in May of 2020 as its Executive Director. She has been a wildlife conservation professional for more than 30 years. She previously held positions as vice president of philanthropy and vice president of field conservation at Defenders of Wildlife, and was executive director at Bat Conservation International.

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.

Emily Reynolds

Operations Manager

Emily works as the IRF Operations Manager from the program office in Strasburg, Virginia. After obtaining her bachelors degree at the College of William and Mary, Emily began working in the non-profit sector, first, as an English teacher at an alternative education school for at-risk youth, and then as a Program Coordinator for an educational farm. Emily has served her local community as a member of the Strasburg Town Council since July 2018.

Regina O'Brien

Administrative Assistant

Regina joined program office team in Strasburg, VA in 2018. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of the Youth Development Center in Winchester, VA for many years where she worked as a mentor for at-risk teens while managing a 6-acre campus dedicated to youth. Those experiences gained will now be reassigned to excitement for endangered rhinos!

Margaret Moore

Development Director

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

Christopher Whitlatch

Communications Director

Chris joined as Communications Director in 2019. He has more than twenty years of nonprofit and corporate experience, including serving as the first CEO of the Mon Valley Alliance, an economic and community development nonprofit. With a passion for storytelling and new technologies, he is excited to help save the world’s rhinos.

Stacy Strother

Communications Associate

With a background in behavior analysis, Stacy has been a zookeeper for 10+ years and has trained and taken care of many rhinos in that time. She is currently completing her Masters in Environmental Law and Policy and has been assisting with IRF's digital marketing and communications since June 2018.

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

Executive Director — Wildlife Asia

Clare is the Executive Director of Wildlife Asia, an Australian based not for profit supporting holistic wildlife conservation in key landscapes of high biodiversity across Asia. With a long-standing passion for rhinos, Clare has been involved in rhino conservation for over 15 years and 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

CEO— Save the Rhino International

Cathy is the CEO 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.

Susie Ellis

Former IRF Executive Director

Dr. Susie Ellis was IRF's Executive Director from 2006 to 2020. 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. Dr. Ellis continues to work with IRF as an advisor. Follow her @rhinogoddess.

Adam Eyres

Director of Animal Care - Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Adam has been at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center for more than 30 years and was involved in the original importation of southern black rhinos from Zimbabwe in 1992—the origination of the IRF. He is a member of the executive committee of the IRF/C2S2 Southern Black Rhino Sustainability Program and the white rhino SSP Coordinator for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). He is also the AZA Rhino Taxon Advisory Group Chair and the management advisor to the Rhino Research Council.

Gina Ferrie

Science Operations Manager and Population Biologist — Disney's Animal Kingdom

Gina is science operations manager and population biologist at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. She also serves on the AZA’s Rhino Taxon Advisory Group Steering Committee, and is the studbook keeper for both the global ex situ population of Southern black rhino and the North American population of Eastern black rhino. Gina also serves on the Husbandry and Propagation Advisory Board for the Sumatran Rhino Rescue Project.

Jim Fouts

Tanganyika Wildlife Park Director

Jim has been in the Zoo industry since 1972. He is a specialist in import/export logistics having supplied birds and animals to zoological collections all over the world since 1978. He is the Past Chairman of the Zoological Association of America (ZAA), the owner of International Zoological Services LLC and the Director of Tanganyika Wildlife Park and Foundation.

Sesha Kanthamraju

Chief Identity Officer

Sesha manages the global marketing and communications for Clermont Group. Prior to this, he worked with Disney Asia on the ESR initiatives in conservation and hospitals. He has been involved in environmental awareness programs across Asia for the last three decades.

Laura Maloney

Principal - Adisa

Laura specializes in executive and leadership development, team and organizational effectiveness, and aligning organizations to deliver its strategy. She’s a member of Forbes Coaching Council and serves on the board of Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Patty Peters

IRF Communications Committee

Patty spent 40 years in the zoo and aquarium profession, most recently as Vice President of Community Relations for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds. She serves on the AZA Professional Development and Public Relations committees and as administrator for the association’s Managing for Success courses. Patty is a member of 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 management of 4 of the 5 living rhino species. Steve serves on the board of the Ongava Research Center focusing on rhino conservation in Namibia.

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.

Yvonne Day

IRF Accounting Support

Yvonne has been a supporting staff member for the accounting department in Fort Worth, Texas and has been involved with IRF since 2015. Yvonne enjoys working with the IRF staff and is proud to be a part of the IRF organization.

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.