From the Interim Executive Director

We are World Animal Protection. It is an exciting change that tells the world exactly what we stand for in a clear, distinct and memorable way.

Every day, in every country, millions of animals are suffering. In farming, where billions of animals who produce our food are suffering, we work with businesses, governments and consumers to give them a better life. In the wild, where animals are cruelly traded, trapped or killed, we help to prevent it. In communities, we stop the needless killing of dogs. And in disasters, we save the lives of animals and the livelihoods of the people who depend on them.

For 50 years, where animal suffering is most far-reaching and most severe, we have been there. And with the continued support of our donors and partners, we will continue to work towards a future where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty has ended.  

Please regularly visit our websites for updates and join our online communities for the latest news about World Animal Protection in the United States and around the world. I encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions. 



Silia Smith
Interim Executive Director, U.S.
Regional Director, North America

Board of Directors

Mr. John J. Bowen, President

Mr. Carter Luke, Secretary/Treasurer

Ms. Christy Counts

Mr. Stephen Corri

Ms. Silia Smith

Senior Management Team

Silia Smith, Interim U.S. Executive Director and Regional Director, North America 

Silia is currently serving as Interim Executive Director for the U.S. office of World Animal Protection. She is also the Regional Director, North America and has worked for more than 20 years in leadership roles at World Animal Protection, including as the Executive Director of the Canadian office. She is a member of World Animal Protection’s Global Leadership Team. Over the years she has had unique experiences in the field and fondly remembers administering de-worming medicine to hundreds of goats in Kenya in a one-day marathon that lasted from dawn to dusk, and tending to a bite she received from a young spectacled bear cub in Ecuador that she was helping free from its chains. She is on the board of The William & Charlotte Parks Foundation for Animal Welfare and the Ruby McKibben Foundation for the Protection of Animals. Prior to joining World Animal Protection she worked as a journalist in Toronto.

Jerome Grant, Director of Development, U.S.

Jerome joined in August 2013 to lead the Development team to ensure that World Animal Protection in the US has the vital funds it needs to deliver for animals. Jerome was previously Vice President for Development and External Affairs at YWCA leading on institutional development and communications initiatives focused on the empowerment of women and the elimination of racism. Prior to that, he was the Director of Development and Marketing at the YWCA. He has also directed marketing and sponsorship programs at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the American Ballet Theatre.

Deb Burzynski, Regional Marketing and Communications Director, North America

Deb joined in October 2012 as Regional Marketing and Communications Director North America and is based out of the New York office.  She leads on the marketing and communications strategy for North America and works closely with communications leadership throughout the organization. She has many years’ experience managing marketing communications programs for non-profits and for-profit businesses in both a corporate and agency setting. Prior to World Animal Protection, Deb had worked at a celebrity-founded, US-based not-for-profit, Children’s Health Fund, building marketing programs and digital strategies to enhance communications, raise funds, and activate advocates on behalf of low-income and homeless children across the states.

Pat McNamara, Regional Finance Director, North America

Pat leads on the accounting and finance management for the North American region, providing accounting oversight and quality assurance to support robust financial operations in the USA and Canadian offices. Pat is a CPA with 30 years of financial management experience having worked as a Vice President for Finance and as a Controller in several non-profits including the ASPCA, the New York Road Runners, The Solomon Guggenheim Foundation and more. He started out his career working as an accountant for firms such as KPMG Peat Marwick.

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