Rosa Close
Rosa  is the AFS Conference Chair/Organizer, and Founder of the Anti-Fur Society of the Misha Foundation, a 501 ( c) 4 organization, whose mission is to end the abuse and exploitation of fur bearing animals worldwide. The Anti-Fur Society was started in 2004 to help revive anti-fur activism as fur was making a comeback. The AFS has since been striving to reach animal rights activists worldwide in order to form a chain of activists to help educate the public, with the goal of making fur consumption not profitable or worthwhile for the fur industry.  Rosa is the author of the children’s book, "How the Little Fox Saved Her Coat", which in addition to being a charming children’s story, offers an anti-fur/anti-hunting message as well as an instructive lesson in leadership for children. Additionally, Rosa has been effectively working with animal rights groups in China to help promote the rejection of fur inside of China. She has also been involved in the US campaigns against horse slaughter and destruction of wild horses. LITTLE FOX BOOK - ANTI-FUR SOCIETY  -  MISHA FOUNDATION - AFS CONFERENCE
Julie O'Connor
Julie is the founder and leader of the group  "Caring Activists Against Fur' in NYC and NJ where for the last nine years, she has been taking the message to the streets, informing massive crowds about the horrors  of the fur industry. CAAF is a group of self-supported activists genuinely dedicated to helping end the fur industry by educating the public in their areas. Their work is based on the belief that outreach and taking the message to the public are most essential for all in order to help animals. By using large video screens to show fur footage, distributing educational materials in high-trafficked areas, and targetting large shopping districts on weekends, their presence is deeply felt by both retailers and shoppers alike.  Julie is now dedicated to helping empower other activists by sharing her experience and determination as she feels that it is not complicated to be an anti-fur activist. All it takes is being sympathetic to the demise of fur bearing animals used by in the fur industry, and take on a leadership role.  CAAF GROUP  

Kathleen Lowson
Kathleen Lowson is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Lowson International Studios and the Director of the groundbreaking film, CRY OF THE INNOCENT: The Voices That Can’t Speak - Her studio’s innovative blueprint and vision expands the idea of documentary filmmaking based on spiritual values as the pathway to social evolution and the awakening of consciousness. She is a spiritual scholar and intuit, utilizing the principles of universal law as the foundation in her film and media work.  Her activism and advocacy for nonhuman animals has spanned 20+ years with the core belief that animal abuse and exploitation is a 'soul' issue perpetuated by an egocentric society in a state of ‘spiritual disconnect.’ The mission of her films is to awaken humanity, elicit compassion and respect for all living beings, and engender a new paradigm of spiritual evolution on our planet. Kathleen’s alliances extend from the Hollywood community to ecological conservationists and animal rights/welfare organizations around the globe.  More:
Robbyne Kaamil
Activist, author, actress, comedian, vocalist, radio personality and relationship expert are all hats worn by Robbyne Kaamil.   Robbyne’s sassy style has landed her appearances on numerous radio & television shows including The Howard Stern Show and Bravo’s, “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”.  As an actress Ms. Kaamil has graced the silver screen in several independent films including: Bear City: The Movie and Violet Tendencies starring Mindy Cohn of “Facts of Life”.   Last summer her monthly advice column, “Dear Diva” was launched in Australia’s top gay publication DNA Magazine.   She is also the Official Relationship Expert for Playgirl. She was inspired to become an animal rights activist after seeing the PSA “Saving Lolita” which focused on the life of the orca Lolita who has been held at the Miami Seaquarium for over 45 years.   She saw the parallels between Lolita’s story and her own family’s history in the Atlantic Slave Trade.   She wrote the song “Let the Girl Go:   Free Lolita” to help raise awareness about the orca.   The music video was recently selected to be screened at the 2015 Wildlife Film Festival. Her latest music video, “Free the Monkeys”, exposes the mistreatment of monkeys being used in lab experiments in Hendry County, Florida.   The video was produced & directed by NY Times bestselling author and former HLN television host – Jane Velez Mitchell. PETA recently enlisted Robbyne to write & narrate several public service announcements to protest animal captivity in marine parks, zoos & circuses.   The PSA’s are currently running nationwide on ABC, FOX and Bounce TV affiliates.
Ethan Wolf, Esq.
Ethan Wolf joined the Sea Shepherd USA Board of Directors in June 2014. He founded the Sea Shepherd New York City chapter in 2010, working to build the most active United States chapter in fundraising and outreach events. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, Ethan joined Operation Infinite Patience, Sea Shepherd's dolphin defense campaign in Taiji, Japan. He also participated in the 2013 Bonneville Dam sea lion defense campaign, monitoring the  harassment of sea lions on Columbia River. Ethan holds a law degree from University of District of Columbia - David A. Clarke School of Law, and practices child protection law in NY. 

Timothy Robinson
Director of Nonprofit Services for Care2, utilizes Care2’s community of 30 million progressively-minded supporters to assist nonprofits with their fundraising, advocacy, and membership recruitment efforts.  Prior to joining Care2, Tim co-founded an interactive marketing company solely focused on supporting socially-minded organizations.  He's fortunate to work with many nonprofits who do amazing work such as the ASPCA, HRC, UNICEF, and the African Wildlife Foundation. In his spare time, Tim enjoys living an active and healthy lifestyle.  It’s not uncommon to spot him on the tennis court or enjoying a jog in Central Park.
Elizabeth Forel
Elizabeth has been a dedicated and outspoken animal rights activist and abolitionist for over 25 years – all on an independent and volunteer basis. She works in the design field in the private sector but her free time is devoted to grass roots animal issues.  She is the president and co-founder of the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages dedicated to the ban of horse-drawn carriages in NC.  She is also the co-founder of Horses Without Carriages International, whose goal is to globally expose the injustice, cruelty, and inhumanity in the horse-drawn carriage industry.  She helped to draft the first ever historic bill on banning the carriage industry in NYC.  Having worked on this issue since 2006, she believes that in order to bring about change to entrenched, institutionalized cruelty, a campaign must be multi faceted, have an intense focus and a consistent commitment.
Kimberly Moore, Esq.
Kimberly Moore is a senior attorney at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in Washington, D.C., where she specializes in tax, joint ventures, private equity, public-private partnerships and complex financing.  She is a nationally recognized expert on affordable housing development and syndication and an expert on laws governing both the treatment of animals used in research, exhibition and transport and the slaughter of animals raised for food.  Kimberly is committed to advancing animal welfare through legal reform and is a strong advocate for immediate legal reform at both the federal and state level to protect fur bearing animals.  Kimberly has represented animal rescue groups, has assisted charitable institutions on organizational and strategic matters and is an outspoken critic of existing laws that fail to adequately protect animal rights.  She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and received a Master of Laws degree in Taxation from New York University.

Jane Velez-Mitchell
Jane Velez-Mitchell is the content editor of, a multi-platform social media news outlet that produces original video content on animals rights and the vegan/compassionate lifestyle. She is the winner of four Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States for her reporting on animal issues.  For six years she hosted her own show on CNN Headline News. Velez-Mitchell also reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show Celebrity Justice, and was a news anchor/reporter at KCAL-TV in LA and WCBS-TV in NY. She is the author of four books. The 2014 non-fiction New York Times bestseller, “Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias” details a gruesome, twisted crime and the salacious trial that gripped the American public. “Secrets Can Be Murder: The Killer Next Door”  delves into the secrecy and deceit embedded in tragic scenarios. “Addict Nation: An Intervention for America” with Sandra Mohr focuses on greed and overconsumption. Her other New York Times bestseller is her memoir titled “iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life.” She is active in the LGBT community and lives with her partner, fellow vegan and animal activist Donna Dennison, and their companion animals in Manhattan.

Zelda Penzel
Zelda is founder and president of People for the End of Animal and Exploitation ~ PEACE, a grassroots organization that successfully pursued a ban on the display of exotic/circus animals in the Town of Southampton, Long Island and has fought against hunting, rodeos, shark tournaments and leghold traps. She is also co-founder of SOS:Save our Shelter Animals, whose primary goal is to end the immoral killing "for convenience" of companion animals in New York shelters and to change the pervasive paradigm that views such killing as an acceptable solution to the crisis of homeless animals. Zelda has been an animal activist, dedicated networker and tireless advocate for animal rights for more than 25 years, opposing the fur trade, horse slaughter, vivisection and the exploitation of all animals for food/clothing, sport and entertainment. An educator by profession, she believes that the best hope for significant change lies in the evolution of society through education, by raising levels of consciousness and compassion, and by seeking justice through legislation. Zelda has been instrumental in the creation of "Compassion, Justice and Animal Rights", a new animal rights program, which will debut at the Hamptons International Film Festival in October 2015:
John Bartlett, Fashion Designer
John Bartlett is a graduate of Harvard University and the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). He served as a designer for Willi Smith and Ronaldus Shamask before launching his eponymous “John Bartlett” collection in 1991. The designer officially launched his newest line “The Tiny Tim Collection” in the Fall of 2011. The collection was lovingly created to help raise funds for the designer’s nonprofit 501(c)3 animal-rescue organization, “The Tiny Tim Rescue Fund” which helps support independent rescue groups across the country.  Bartlett is also in partnership with The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. where he designs “John Bartlett Consensus” and “John Bartlett Statements”. The two collections offer all components of a man’s wardrobe including sportswear, tailored clothing, underwear, lounge-wear and accessories. The collaboration with Bon-Ton also includes a collection very near to his heart: “John Bartlett Pet.  He has long championed the issues of animal rights and welfare. Bartlett has worked alongside the Humane Society of the United States, the North Shore Animal League and other animal rights organizations helping to raise awareness and spread the message of compassion. Bartlett has personified his personal passions for animal welfare into the logo for all of his collections: his beloved three-legged rescue dog, Tiny Tim.  Bartlett’s signature style embraces a rugged American authenticity that has earned him two Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) awards: the ‘Swarovski Best Newcomer Award & ‘Best Menswear Designer of the Year’ in 1997. In 2010 he was again honored, this time by the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) who named Bartlett ‘Designer of the Year’. In September of 2011 the designer was chosen as a winner of the ‘CFDA/Lexus Eco Fashion Award’ and made Fashion-Week history with the debut of the first ever eco-luxe, 100% cruelty-free menswear collection at New York Fashion Week in February of 2012.
Edita Birnkrant
Edita Birnkrant is the Campaigns Director of Friends of Animals (FoA), an international animal advocacy organization founded in 1957 which works to cultivate a respectful view of nonhuman animals, free-living and domestic. FoA's goal is to free animals from cruelty and institutionalized exploitation around the world.  Edita runs the New York City office and has organized, led and spoken at high-profile demonstrations, rallies, press conferences, media interviews and outreach events for over a decade on a range of diverse issues affecting animals locally, national and internationally. Edita works on numerous campaigns that seek to ensure that wild animals remain truly wild and unharmed by humans, including: wild horses, deer, bears, coyotes, swans, geese, fur-bearing animals and many more. Edita has appeared on CNN, NBC, ABC, FOX, been quoted in the New York Times and many other news sources defending animals, both wild and domestic. Edita also speaks with children in schools and youth programs and at conferences about treating animals with respect, promotes veganism and widely distributes FoA’s NYC Vegan Restaurant Guides, Vegan Starter Guides and other literature published by FoA to help others live a more ethical, healthy and environmentally conscious life.

Deborah Tanzer, PhD
Dr. Deborah Tanzer is a psychologist and psychoanalyst in New York City, who works with individuals, couples, families, and groups. She is a graduate of Harvard University, received  M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Brandeis University, and Postdoctoral Certification in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis from New York University.  She is the author of  Why Natural Childbirth:  A Psychologist's Report on the Benefits to Mothers,  Fathers, and Babies  (Doubleday 1972, Schocken 1976)  She has written and lectured widely in both public and academic forums on social theory, psychoanalysis, gender issues, and animal rights. She is currently writing a book on the connections between violence, gender issues, and human treatment of animals.  Dr. Tanzer has been involved with animal rights and veganism for twenty years, and has been active in many areas fighting against animal exploitation.  Her current activism is especially focused on issues concerning companion animals in pounds and "shelters," both as a dire situation in and of itself, and also as it relates to broader issues of animal rights. She has been deeply involved in efforts to reform and restructure the notorious NYC Animal "Care" and Control, and publicizes the nightly dog and cat AC&C death lists, in efforts to get the doomed animals rescued or adopted before they are killed the next day. She is the co-founder of S.O.S: Save Our Shelter Animals.

Gail Frydkowski
Gail is a New York City Public School teacher and Co-Chair of the United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee. As a teacher and committee member she is dedicated to bringing the message of compassion and kindness to children. She is a strong believer that all animal related issues can be solved by humane and character education. She also volunteers her time at Animal Haven in NYC where she participates in the Caring Kids after school program. She also assists in puppy mill transports, fundraising efforts for local and national groups and children reading to animals programs. She is also a volunteer docent with Tribute World Trade Center.
Donny Moss, Journalist
Donny is the creator of, an online animal rights magazine with video and print news stories, commentary and calls to action. In 2008, Moss made BLINDERS, an award-winning documentary film about NYC’s controversial horse-drawn carriage trade. BLINDERS, which aired on the Documentary Channel and was screened at film festivals nationwide, continues to used by used by animal rights groups as a tool to mobilize activists to advocate on behalf of horses forced to pull carriages in congested urban areas. From 2009 – 2013, Moss led a successful campaign to end the political career of an elected official running for Mayor who, for eight years, blocked animal protection legislation in New York City. He is currently leading a grass roots campaign to compel the NY Blood Center to reinstate funding for 66 chimps who the organization abandoned in Liberia after experimenting on them for 30 years.
Nora Constance Marino, Esq.
Nora has been in the private practice of law since 1997, focusing on litigation involving negligence, constitutional law, contract disputes, and family law.  She does pro bono work on animal law issues, and is a member of the Animal Law Committees of the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association.  In 2006, Ms. Marino ran for New York State Senate, and in 2011, Mayor Bloomberg appointed her as the Queens County Commissioner of the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission. Ms. Marino is the chief litigation attorney for a lawsuit filed in NYC that seeks an injunction against an animal slaughter ritual, a high profile case that has received substantial press coverage.  A prominent advocate for animals, in 2014 Ms. Marino founded the Animal Cruelty Exposure Fund, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to expose animal cruelty issues through main stream media.  ACEF already has aired an anti-cruelty commercial in NYC, which reached over 700,000 viewers, and a second commercial is in the works, along with several billboard ads. See &

Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH
Aysha is a neurologist and public health specialist and is on a mission to show that what’s good for animals is also good for humans. Exploring diverse topics including infectious disease epidemics and their link with the wildlife trade for exotic animal skins and other uses, Dr. Akhtar explains how many of our most urgent and pressing public health threats are connected with how animals are treated. Dr. Akhtar is the author of the book, Animals and Public Health. Why Treating Animals Better is Critical to Human Welfare, which examines how the treatment of animals impacts human health. You can watch her TED talk, Do Animals Hold the Key to Your Health? where she discusses the connection between animal protection and human health. Dr. Akhtar is a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, is a medical officer for the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats of the Food and Drug Administration, and serves as Lieutenant Commander in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Dr. Akhtar has appeared in the television shows, 30 Days, produced by Morgan Spurlock, and in Nick News, on both occasions discussing animal experimentation. She is a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. You can read how animal protection benefits human health here.  She is on the Leadership Council of the Classy Awards. Visit her website to find out more. DISCLAIMER: Since Dr. Akhtar works for the governments, she must provide the obligatory disclaimer: "The opinions expressed are solely those of Dr. Akhtar and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or  the U.S. Government.

Robin Lamont
Robin is an animal advocate and award-winning novelist. She is currently working on a series of suspense/thrillers that feature an animal rights investigator In preparation for her most recent book The Trap, she extensively researched the government agency Wildlife Services, its brutal trapping methods and its secretive collaboration with the animal agriculture industry. Prior to becoming a writer, Robin was an actress, private investigator, and county prosecutor. As Director of Operations of a New York investigations firm, she worked with undercover operatives to track down producers of counterfeit products. After earning her law degree, she practiced as an Assistant District Attorney in Westchester County. 
Anthony Bellotti
Anthony Bellotti is the founder and National Campaign Manager of the White Coat Waste Movement: a bipartisan campaign to expose and eliminate wasteful spending in the government’s $12 billion+ forced taxpayer-funded animal experimentation budget. WCW has been featured in Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze, US News & World Report, National Review, Generation Opportunity, Daily Caller, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, CBS News, and many others. WCW was honored with several major awards including back-to-back “Best in Show” Pollie Awards in 2014-2015, and as one of “10 Animal Welfare Nonprofits We Love” by ORIGIN Magazine. Bellotti has been honored as one of the 40 “best and brightest” campaign professionals under 40 years old by the American Association of Political Consultants and as a “Rising Star of Politics” by Campaigns & Elections magazine. Twenty years ago, his life was changed after a summer internship in an animal experimentation laboratory: WHITE COAT WASTE