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Our Team 2

Alexis Miller

Denver, CO
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Alexis Miller coordinates presentations and outreach in the Denver region.

Alexis has worked in a variety of educational settings and earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching and undergraduate degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her senior thesis focused on farmed animal rights. She has spent the last five years doing farmed animal sanctuary work, engaging surrounding communities through education and outreach across the US and internationally. Alexis and her dog George live in an all-vegan Co-Op in Boulder, CO, and enjoy hosting events that support and educate the community on plant-based/vegan living. In her free time, Alexis likes to bike, hike, climb, or do pretty much anything that involves movement outside in nature.

Ali Fairchild

Director of Program Operations
Des Moines, IA
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Ali oversees operations for Classroom Programming, Advocacy Institute, and Leadership Collective.

Ali has a Ph.D. in educational leadership and has worked as an educator for over a decade. Passionate about education and leadership, Ali focuses her activism on training students to effectively advocate for change in their communities. Prior to joining FFAC Ali worked in clinical research at Washington University (St. Louis, MO), as an instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha, WI), and as a professor at Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI). Ali is plant-based nutrition certified and enthusiastic about helping people understand the immense and diverse impact of our food choices on animals, the environment, and both individual and public health. Outside of her work as an educator and activist Ali enjoys cooking, reading, and being in nature.

Amy Halpern-Laff

Policy Director
SF Bay Area, CA
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Amy Halpern-Laff cultivates relationships with environmental, faith-and values-based, municipal, and social justice communities.

Amy has held leadership roles in organizations promoting education equity, criminal justice reform, and civic engagement. Early in her career, she practiced law and mediation. Amy earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania summa cum laude and her JD from Stanford Law School. In addition to her work with FFAC, she is co-executive director of Ethics in Education Network, advocating for ethics-centered schools that instill lifelong habits of open-minded inquiry. Amy interviews educational thought leaders about ethical schools, with an emphasis on expanding our universe of obligation to all sentient creatures.

Carrie Moran

Digital Marketing Manager
Asheville, NC
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Carrie Moran manages FFAC communications.

Carrie spent nine years working as an academic librarian before shifting focus to nonprofits in 2020. They have a Masters of Library and Information Science from Drexel University, and their research background is in using empathetic user experience design methods to create safer spaces for people to learn & connect. They're a queer, feminist & human rights activist who is passionate about food justice. Outside of work, Carrie loves hiking in the Appalachian mountains with their wife and dogs, taking photos, and reading at least 100 books a year.

Claire Deshaies

New York City, NY
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Claire Deshaies coordinates presentations and outreach in the NYC region.

Claire is currently pursuing her master's in Animal Studies through the Environmental Studies department at New York University. Before living in NYC, she earned a BS in Psychology at Oneonta State and an Animal Behavior and Conservation Certificate through Hunter College. As an FFAC educator in NYC, Claire coordinates and gives presentations to city-based High Schools and Colleges about the many impacts of factory farming. Outside of school and work, she enjoys spending time (and sharing a vegan diet) with her rabbit, and running local 5K races.

Elly Ren

Advocacy Institute Program Coordinator
Atlanta, GA
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Elly Ren supports FFAC’s Advocacy Institute.

Elly began working with FFAC as an intern in 2020 in her junior year at Johns Hopkins University, where she studied Environmental Science and International Studies. While at JHU, she was also involved in various food and environmental justice efforts, including the fossil fuel divestment campaign, pouring rights campaign, and her campus’s vegan/vegetarian club. In her free time, Elly likes to browse TikTok, forage for wild plants, volunteer at community gardens, and read books on critical animal, race, and gender studies.

Erin Zhang

SF Bay Area, CA
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Erin Zhang coordinates presentations and outreach in the Bay Area region.

Erin is a passionate vegan foodie who recently joined the team as an educator where she focuses on spreading the FFAC message to students across the Bay Area. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Policy from Occidental College and has previously conducted research within the alternative protein sector in Shanghai. Her international background and experience spearheading the vegan movement in China has allowed her to relay her passion for sustainable foods and animal welfare to individuals across the world. In her free time, Erin loves playing rugby and exploring new vegan recipes.

Iris Woosley

Chicago, IL
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Iris Woosley coordinates presentations and outreach in the Chicago region.

Iris has participated in grassroots movements for a variety of social causes, organizing for local and federal politics, worker’s rights, racial justice, and housing justice. As an Educational Coordinator, they are honored to contribute to food system education and reform in Chicago through FFAC's holistic framework. They hold a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory. In their spare time, they enjoy meditation, making art, and practicing yoga.

Jesse Tandler

Managing Director
Los Angeles, CA
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Jesse Tandler oversees programming, people operations, and implementation of FFAC’s strategy.

A writer, academic, and educator for nearly two decades, Jesse earned a B.A. from UC Berkeley in 2002 and an MFA from the New School in 2007. Shortly thereafter, he began teaching high school students about the ethics of our food culture. Later, during his PhD work, he continued to include environmental and animal ethics on the syllabi of his undergraduate classes at the City University of New York, where for five years he taught philosophy, literature, writing, and rhetoric. In 2017, he moved to Los Angeles to apply his years of research and educational experience in the non-profit sphere. Outside of FFAC, you may find him practicing yoga, appreciating beauty in its myriad forms, reading in one of his preferred languages, or teaching food politics at UCLA.

Joleen Gomez

Administrative Assistant
Lancaster, CA
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Joleen Gomez supports the day-to-day operations of FFAC.

Joleen began working with FFAC as an intern in 2019 in her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to her work with FFAC, Joleen has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and assisted with club events on campus. She previously worked for Lifesource Charter School as a private tutor, and continues to work at the nonprofit UC Theatre. She is currently a senior majoring in Environmental Economics and Policy and pursuing a minor in Public Policy. She enjoys taking care of her pet redfoot tortoise and visiting forests in her spare time. Joleen hopes to contribute solutions for mitigating climate change in the future.

Keith Allison

Educational Coordinator
Northeastern Ohio
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Keith Allison coordinates presentations and outreach in the northeast Ohio region.

Keith has spent the last twenty years in classrooms, where he has worked as a teacher, paraprofessional, and guest presenter in hundreds of different classrooms. He enjoys communicating and interacting with students of all ages. Keith is also a poet and spoken word artist, author of three books, video editor, and event host. He enjoys reading, hiking, watching movies, and spending time with family and friends.

Kiely Smith

Advocacy Institute Program Manager
New York City, NY
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Kiely Smith manages FFAC's Advocacy Institute.

Kiely (rhymes with highly) studies Animal Studies as a graduate student in NYU’s Department of Environmental Studies and holds a degree in Cognitive Science from UC Berkeley. She has been an organizer for Effective Altruism NYU, led a fellowship for Effective Animal Advocacy, and worked with renewable energy and environmental conservation organizations. Through FFAC, Kiely feels privileged to provide students with the training, network, resources, and confidence to drive social change around animal ethics, environmental preservation, workers’ rights, and food justice. Outside of work and studies, Kiely enjoys contemplating philosophy and mindfulness, exploring cities and nature, and dog-spotting in Central Park.

Leo Balik

Outreach Coordinator
Worcester, MA
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Leo helps connect students with FFAC's Advocacy Institute.

Leo joined FFAC in January 2023. They recently graduated from Clark University with a Bachelor of the Arts in Geography and a minor in French and Francophone Studies. Currently, they are pursing a Master of Public Administration and expect to graduate in May. Prior to joining the FFAC team, they worked as a Humane Educator at a farm animal sanctuary, and they have been involved in the climate justice movement and on-campus mutual aid projects, in addition to advocating for nonhuman animals. Outside of school and work, they enjoy reading, watching movies, painting watercolor portraits of animals, cooking yummy plant-based food, and giving their dog Chai lots of belly rubs.

Matthew Cooper

Technical Manager
Portland, OR
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Matthew Cooper supports FFAC's technical needs, including website and data management.

Prior to working for FFAC, Matthew taught web development and has helped organize several grass-roots campaigns to educate the public about our food system. He earned a graduate degree in Computer Science from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and believes in the use of technology and data to help drive social change. In his free time, Matthew does nature photography and volunteers at animal sanctuaries.

Monica Chen

Executive Director
SF Bay Area, CA
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Monica Chen is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of the organization.

Monica attended some of Katie Cantrell’s first presentations at UC Berkeley in 2010. She joined the team in 2018 and helped found FFAC’s intern program. Prior to FFAC, she enjoyed working with students at elementary, middle, and high school levels. In addition to classroom teaching, Monica has worked in residential environmental education, taught sexual health, and served as an instructor for the Prison University Project at San Quentin. She currently volunteers her time as a crisis support counselor, and her activism is focused on the interconnectedness of social justice issues. Monica received her BA from UC Berkeley and her Master’s in Education from the University of New Mexico. Outside of activism, Monica loves walking and spending time with her guinea pig, Emcee.

Natalie Amezcua

Los Angeles, CA
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Natalie Amezcua coordinates presentations and outreach in the Los Angeles region.

Natalie is an educator and world traveler, committed to understanding the interconnections of systemic issues that detriment humans, animals, and the planet. Upon graduating in 2016 with a B.A in Liberal Studies and a teaching license from University of West Florida, she moved to Asia, where she taught in both rural and urban sections of South Korea and China for several years. In 2021, Natalie returned back to the U.S to complete her Master’s degree in Humane Education from the Institute for Humane Education with Antioch University. Today, Natalie combines her experience in education and her passion for social justice in order to bridge gaps in equity and promote a healthier, solution-driven world for all.

Although her passions and professional experiences are continuously growing, one thing that happily remains constant are her hobbies, which include her adoration for her dog, Phoebe, backpacking, and watching Netflix with a facemask on.

Rowdy Keelor

Classroom Program Manager
San Diego, CA
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Rowdy Keelor helps manage FFAC’s classroom programming and coordinates lessons and outreach in the San Diego region.

Over the past decade, Rowdy has fulfilled a diverse range of positions in the nonprofit world, co-founding a cigarette recycling organization in Asheville, NC, coordinating community outreach for one of the largest no-kill animal shelters in the Southeast US, and organizing for Dogwood Alliance to protect Southern forests. Rowdy loves making music and is a heck of a drummer.

Ryan Gourley

Director of Program Strategy
Des Moines, IA
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Ryan oversees strategy for Classroom Programming, Advocacy Institute, and Leadership Collective.

As an educator, coach, and community-builder, Ryan is committed to amplifying the impact of systems change leaders and sustainable food citizens. To this work, he brings over 15 years of experience in leadership, organization, and community development within the health, sustainability, and education sectors. Ryan earned his bachelor's degrees in psychology and communication studies from the University of Iowa, and master's degrees specializing in social entrepreneurship and sustainability leadership from the University of Michigan. Outside of his work with FFAC, he enjoys connecting with nature and other animals, reading applied psychology and philosophy, and watching documentaries and sci-fi. His greatest passion is helping changemakers reach their highest potential, and he’s excited to continue along this path with the Leadership Collective.

Sam Khosh

Director of Operations
Miami, Florida
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Sam oversees operations, IT, and human resources.

After serendipitously coming across FFAC’s vision and mission statements, Sam knew he had to join the team to help contribute to ending factory farming. He brings his years of experience in leadership, operations, sales, strategy, and consulting to the FFAC team. Sam earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from George Washington University. Outside of FFAC, he enjoys riding his bike along the beach, producing music, studying astronomy, and pondering all the mysteries, beauties, and wonders of the universe.

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