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Staff and Board


Board of Directors

Wim DeKok

Wim is World Animal Net's president and co-founder, based in Boston. He is also the Director for Southeast Asia of Four Paws International, board member of the Species Survival Network (SSN), President Emeritus of the National Council for Animal Protection (NCAP) and board member of the European Alliance of Rescue centres and Sanctuaries (EARS). His national work in the Netherlands included leading roles in farm animal welfare campaigns and the globally successful 'No Fur' campaign. Wim has helped to establish and grow many animal welfare organizations while focusing on building coalitions and networks.

Janice Cox, MBA

Janice is co-founder and a director of World Animal Net. She has held a variety of management and advocacy roles in the international animal welfare movement over the past 25 years. Janice focuses on WAN’s work on advocacy, development and education/training. Based in South Africa, she has assisted with regional strategic planning for animal welfare on the continent, including working with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE)'s Southern African office for one year. Janice was the recipient of the Humane Society International 2014 award for “extroardinary commitment and achievement for animal protection”.

Barbara Dias Pais

Based in Strasbourg (France), Barbara has worked for international animal welfare organisations such as Eurogroup for Animals, Four Paws International and Compassion in World Farming. She has helped to establish and grow the European Coalition for Farm Animals (ECFA) and managed it for 10 years. She ensured the participation of 32 groups in 25 countries in Compassion in World Farming's EU-wide campaigns to improve legislation for better farm animal welfare, coordinating their work in the successful campaigns which led to EU-wide bans on barren battery cages for laying hens and narrow sow stalls. Barbara is a native Portuguese speaker and is fluent in English, French and Spanish.

Stephen Ronan

Stephen, who lives in Boston, has served as a director of World Animal Net since its inception. He has worked as a chef (including owning/operating a vegan catering service), farm worker, managing editor, network administrator, social worker, and nonprofit administrator. He has been a founding board member of several nonprofits, including Waltham Fields Community Farms and Boston Area Gleaners, and has assisted in the management and operation of both local and international animal protection organizations.



Jessica Bridgers cropJessica Bridgers, MS

Jessica is the Executive Director at World Animal Net. Having received a B.S. in biology with minors in chemistry and anthropology from the University of New Mexico, she combines a scientific background with a passion for animal protection. She completed her M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University and internships with Humane Society International, Animal Protection of New Mexico, and the New England Anti-Vivisection Society before arriving at World Animal Net. In her free time she volunteers with horse and wildlife rescues and makes delicious vegan food.

Sasha Gesmer

Sasha is the Communications Associate at World Animal Net. She received a bachelors from St. John's College in MD, with a double major in Philosophy and the History of Math and Science, and a double minor in Classics and Comparative Literature. Before starting at WAN, Sasha built a robust social media community for her alma mater, was on the founding team of a cell-based meat startup, worked at several environmentally focused nonprofits, and spent a few months living at a meditation center. In addition to her role at World Animal Net, she is also a co-founder of a social impact project that focuses heavily on animal rights and welfare. 

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