Chairman of the Board

Brian Cowie
Brian is the Chairperson and Chair of Trustees for the Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF) and has been a dedicated supporter of GAWF for the past 20 years. He is a founding Board Member of ACTAsia, with an interest in animal welfare and humane education in China originating from a visit there 30 years ago. A retired UK civil servant, he continues to be active in community projects in the London Borough of Lambeth.


Advisory Committee

Joy Leney (UK)
Joy also serves as ACTAsia Humane Education Director. She has more than 45 years of experience working in the fields of animal welfare and humane education and is responsible for developing ACTAsia’s HE program, in co-operation with the education team in China. In 1984 as General Manager of the Wood Green Animal Center, in Cambridgeshire, UK, the first educationally oriented animal rescue center in the world, Joy was responsible for the daily activities and business ventures, managing 120 employees and numerous volunteers. In 1992 Joy joined the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) as International Projects Director where she developed international vet training programs and stray animal control protocols in collaboration with the World Health Organization. Over 12 years she initiated educational projects, workshops and conferences in numerous countries including Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines, China, and Taiwan. Joy has a Master’s degree in Business Management and post graduate qualifications in Teaching Further Adult Education. She is a published author and co-author of numerous books and journals.

Dr. Deepashree Balaram (UK)
Deepa is the co-founder of ACTAsia and advises on matters relating to stray dog treatment and rabies control. She was the Education Officer for WSPA, responsible for developing educational materials for schools in developing countries, and for veterinary education in universities. Deepa currently works for the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. She has an MBA and is a certified veterinarian.

Melissa Bonfiglio (Virginia)
Melissa is a lawyer experienced in litigation, business and animal protection. She is active in the review and critique of proposed legislation involving animals, as well as the coordination of legal speakers and legal presentations on animal issues. She advises ACTAsia on legal matters.

Chu Tseng-Hung (Taiwan)
Tseng-Hung is President of the Environment and Animals Society of Taiwan (EAST), an organization he founded in 2000. EAST works in co-operation with the Taiwanese government to promote protection of the environment and animals through advocacy and educational teacher training workshops. In 2011 he was awarded the William Wilberforce International Award by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Wim DeKok (Boston)
Wim is President of World Animal Net. He is also U.S. Director of Four Paws International, a board member of the Species Survival Network, and President of the National Council for Animal Protection. In 1987, he initiated and directed the successful ‘No Fur’ global campaign. Focusing on building coalitions and networks, Wim has helped many animal welfare organizations expand their reach.

Ross Dyer (UK)
Ross is an award winning creative writer, producer and director. He has worked for advertising agencies, broadcasters and charities, and currently runs his own successful production business. He assists ACTAsia with media promotions including videos and DVD production.

Michael Kaufmann (New York)
Michael is the Farm & Wildlife Director at Green Chimneys and the Director of the Sam & Myra Ross Institute. He was formerly Director of Education for the American Humane Association. He lectures internationally on humane education, animal assisted therapies and the link between child abuse and animal cruelty. Michael has published and contributed to numerous books and articles on humane education.

Rob Laidlaw (Canada)
Rob Laidlaw is a Chartered Biologist, award-winning author and the founder of the international wildlife protection charity Zoocheck. He is a specialist in captive wildlife. His work includes wildlife protection campaigns in Canada and around the world. A sought-after speaker on zoo environments and animal welfare issues, Rob is regularly featured in national media.

Dr. Helen Winter (New Zealand)
Helen is Clinical Education Advisor for Medical Education, at the University of Otago Wellington School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She oversees course development and standards of teaching and assessment within the medicine and surgery degree courses. She is a published author and co-author in collaboration with Massey University. Helen was formerly a teacher at the College of Animal Welfare, in Cambridgeshire, UK, and holds a Master’s of Science degree.

Professor Xiong Xianjun (China)
Professor Xiong is the Director of Education and Pre-school Education at the University of Shenzen. His focus is on the development of educational standards in China at the regional and national levels. Professor Xiong is the published author of numerous books and articles relating to education research, effective teaching methods and teaching resources and materials.

Professor Zu Shuxian (China)
Professor Zu is the Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology and Social Medicine at Anhui Medical University. He is Founder and Director of the Educational Group for Protection of Environment and Animals, and a committee member of the China Bioethics Society. A Fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, Professor Zu was previously a Visiting Professor to the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

Professor Jiang JinSong (China)
Professor Jiang is an associate professor of the Institute of Science, Technology and Society of the Tsinghua University. In 1985 he graduated from the East China Normal University with a Bachelor of Science (Biology) and he became a Doctor of Philosophy in 1996 from the People’s University of China (Philosophy of Science and Technology). By 1996 he taught at the Institute of Social Science and Technology of the Tsinghua University. In addition, he is known for his work as a writer, having won numerous awards for his children’s books, being the director of China Children’s Cultural and Creative Centre (Hong Kong) and also the former chief commentator and media director of the Institute of Beijing News.