Our Team

Dawn Moncrief

Founding Director / Board Director – Dawn Moncrief has been a social justice advocate working for more than 20 years.  She has two master’s degrees from George Washington University: one in International Relations, the other in Women’s Studies, both focusing on economic development. Her work highlights the ways in which high levels of meat consumption in the U.S. and globally exacerbate global hunger, especially for women and children. She also draws attention to the negative consequences of animal agriculture on climate change and the deceptiveness of “humane” marketing. Email – dmoncrief@awfw.org (extended bio)

 Milton Mills

Board Director – Dr. Milton Mills is the Associate Director of Preventive Medicine with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and co-author of PCRM’s report on “Racial and Ethnic Bias in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines” (Part I and Part II). Whether Dr. Mills is practicing at Fairfax Hospital in Virginia or at free clinics in Washington, D.C., his prescription for patients is likely to include some dietary advice: go vegan. “Medical research shows conclusively that a plant-based diet reduces chronic disease risk, so that’s something I absolutely encourage my patients to move toward,” says Dr. Mills, a graduate of Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Mills doesn’t limit his message to his patients. He takes it to audiences around the country as well, speaking at hospitals, churches, and community centers. (Q&A)

D. Maurice Herring

David HerringBoard Director – D. Maurice Herring’s formal education on health and wellness includes a B.S. in pre-med biology and chemistry from Seton Hall University and an M.S. in community nutrition and food science from Cornell University. He has actively promoted healthy people and a healthy planet through his work as a full-time nutritionist. He has also been involved with the Vegetarian Society of DC as the Editor of VSDC News from 2004-2010, as a VSDC Board Member from 2005-2010, and as the Director and Instructor of the 2007 VSDC Eat Smart Program – an outreach nutrition program prioritizing African American women in Washington, DC. 

Melanie Hiller

Director, Grants and Gifting – Melanie Hiller is a longtime animal and human rights advocate passionate about the interconnections of these movements. Studying varied and often mutually-influencing systems of privilege and oppression, she holds a degree in Justice & Social Inquiry from Arizona State University. Melanie began her career in animal protection as a research program coordinator for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and has developed a background in marketing, project evaluation, and program management. Through her diverse and extensive volunteer work – most recently including the facilitation of transgender patient care trainings for medical providers, repairing homes and community spaces damaged by Hurricane Katrina, and providing visitor assistance at her local national park – she endeavors to improve the daily lives of people and animals.

Ashley Capps

ashley-capps-writer-a-well-fed-worldWriter, Researcher & Outreach Specialist – Ashley Capps received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop; her first book of poems is Mistaking the Sea for Green Fields. The recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she works as a writer, editor and researcher specializing in farmed animal welfare and vegan advocacy. Ashley has written for numerous animal rights organizations, and in addition to being a core team member at A Well-Fed World, she is a writer and editor at Free from Harm. Ashley also directs our sister campaign, Humane Facts, and in 2016 founded Mothers Against Dairy, a worldwide campaign elevating the anti-dairy perspectives of vegan mothers. Learn more at her website.

Brenda Sanders

Community Engagement Specialist – Brenda Sanders is the Executive Director of Better Health, Better Life, a public health organization. She is also a founding member of the PEP Foods Collective and co-director of Open the Cages Alliance. Brenda runs the Eating for Life program, a series of free workshops aimed at teaching people in low-income communities how to live a healthier, more holistic lifestyle and co-organizes the Vegan Living Program, a six-week education program that teaches the basics of transitioning to the vegan lifestyle. Brenda also co-created and co-organizes the Vegan SoulFest, an annual festival that celebrates culture and the vegan lifestyle in Baltimore City, in addition to organizing the Veganism Support Group for new and aspiring vegans.

Molly Phemister

Molly_Phemister2Biodiversity and Landscape Architecture Specialist Molly Phemister is the founder of eatcology.com, a blog focused on the nexus of ecology, design, and community food systems. She holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia, as well as a Master of Education and a BA in Art. She is a published author, most notably “Designing a Landscape for Sustainability” in ActionBioscience, the online journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, and “The Biggest Picture: Global Food and Hunger Issues” for Planning magazine, the flagship publication of the American Planning Association. Other articles include “The Beets Out Back: Bringing the Local Food Movement Home” for Joyful Dissent.

Robin Helfritch

robin helfritchGraphic Designer – Robin Helfritch is the founder of Red Robin Design, Inc.  She has more than 15 years professional design experience in the graphic and web design industry. Her talents include graphic design (both print & digital), web design and authoring, animation, digital image editing and creative manipulation, logo design, interactive CD authoring, Flash and PowerPoint presentations, package design, and trade show display design. She has won many industry awards for her work. Additionally, Robin donates time to grassroots animal and vegan groups, and sponsors rescued farm animals at sanctuaries.

Our Organizational Partners

Anteneh Roba

anteneh robaInternational Fund for Africa / Organizational Partner – Anteneh Roba is a board certified emergency medicine physician practicing in Houston, Texas. He is president and co-founder of the International Fund for Africa (IFA), a nonprofit organization and a registered NGO in Ethiopia dedicated to helping both human and nonhuman animals in Africa. Through his organization, Anteneh Roba has worked to improve healthcare for children in Ethiopia and to make medical care accessible to the people of rural Ethiopia. He has also worked tirelessly to improve the welfare of homeless animals and working animals in Ethiopia. Additionally, through IFA he promotes the adoption of a plant-based diet across the African continent. Roba frequently lectures on the health benefits of a plant-based diet and on human and nonhuman animal issues affecting Africa.

Seble Nebiyeloul

International Fund for Africa / Organizational Partner – Seble Nebiyeloul holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in allied health and a Master of Science degree in health-care administration. Since 2001, she has served as the site and managed-care director of the Morris Heights Health Center in the Bronx. With Anteneh Roba, she co-founded the International Fund for Africa, a nonprofit devoted to helping both human and nonhuman animals in Africa. Through her work with IFA, Seble strives to develop equitable, effective health-care programs for medically underserved populations in Ethiopia. She also promotes a plant-based diet, noting: “Possessing a natural fondness for nonhuman animals and understanding that they suffer, too, and that the mistreatment of nonhuman animals is linked to human suffering, I have been a vegan for [many] years.”

Eugene Cooke

Eugene-Cooke-awfw-teamVeganic Farming & Growing Specialist / Organizational Partner – Eugene Cooke is an internationally recognized food justice activist and urban farmer utilizing exclusively veganic growing methods. With his wife, he founded Grow Where You Are, a program that transforms urban spaces in underserved neighborhoods by creating community food gardens & vegetable farms. Over the past 10 years, Eugene has assisted in the creation of 18 urban farms, 14 school gardens, and over 40 home food gardens, and has planted 400+ fruit trees in cities throughout the U.S. as well as in Jamaica, Haiti and Kenya, where he trained local residents in veganic growing methods.

Eugene is committed to demonstrating that we can grow abundant food without exploiting animals, harming the environment, or depleting ecosystems. At his current farm site he focuses on growing methods that also promote ecological restoration. Check out the fundraiser for GWYA’s newest farming project, which will not only increase access to fresh produce in urban food deserts, but also create a life-changing community center by doubling as a nature park, camping site, and observatory.

 JoVonna Johnson-Cooke

JoVonna-Johnson-Cooke-1Community Food Outreach Specialist / Organizational Partner – JoVonna Johnson-Cooke is owner and co-founder of MaituFoods, LLC, a vegan meal delivery service and vegan nutrition education hub. She holds a B.A. in Psychology. Through MaituFoods, she is working to develop culturally appropriate and accessible educational materials that highlight the benefit of healthy nutrition through a vegan diet. The MaituFoods’ Mother’s Meal Program works to provide women, especially those in modest means households, with the knowledge and guidance to achieve a healthy pregnancy and optimal postpartum recovery through a vegan meal and nutrition program.

The overall mission of MaituFoods is to honor the art of food rituals, and to serve humanity in a way that promotes the least harm and the most good for people, animals, and the environment. As co-founder of Grow Where You Are, she works with a dynamic team of people committed to local food sovereignty by assisting individuals and communities in creating sustainable plant-based local food systems.

Eileen Weintraub

EileenWeintraubEileen Weintraub is a life long animal advocate who began helping animals groups in India in 1998. During her many trips to India, she discovered the existing welfare/rights groups that, despite little support, were helping animals in extremely difficult conditions and against all odds. Being deeply impressed by the ways these dedicated people were making a big difference inspired her to start the U.S.-based nonprofit, Help Animals India, whose purpose is to advise, strengthen and facilitate the flow of support for worthy Indian animal protection groups from donors worldwide.

Our Board Advisors

Josephine Bellaccomo

Josephine BellaccomoCommunications Specialist / Board Advisor – Josephine Bellaccomo is a strategic communication consultant and executive coach, with a master’s degree from the New York University. She is a social justice advocate and the author of Move the Message: Your Guide to Making a Difference and Changing the World, a guidebook for community organizers, and a textbook in a Human Rights Advocacy course at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She has been training professionals, from Associate to C-level corporate leaders, to communicate powerfully since 1995.

Hope Bohanec

Hope BohanecEco-Eating Specialist / Board Advisor – Hope Bohanec has been active in animal protection and environmental activism for over 20 years, and published the book The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat? She is a nationally recognized leader and speaker in the animal protection movement, and is currently serving as Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns. Hope is also the Executive Director of Compassionate Living, a Sonoma County, California based vegan outreach organization. Before this, Hope offered her organizational talents as the Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. Hope is the primary organizer for UPC’s annual Conscious Eating Conference at UC Berkeley, as well as the Sonoma County VegFest.

Caroline Cherry

Caroline Cherry thumbnailEducator / Board Advisor – In addition to her journalism degree from the University of Maryland, Caroline Cherry has years of research and communications experience working and volunteering with nonprofit organizations.  She has worked with the writer’s group for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and has served on the Board of Directors for the Vegetarian Society of DC. Most recently Caroline’s VeryVegelicious company helps individuals with the how-to’s of veganism, from personal shopping to nutrition advice.

Robert Goodland

12-29-13: May our dear friend rest in peace. We miss you and your extraordinary contributions.

robert goodlandClimate Change Specialist / Board Advisor – Dr. Robert Goodland served the World Bank Group as their Environmental Adviser for 23 years, during which time he drafted and persuaded the Bank to adopt most of its current social and environmental policies. He was then appointed as the technical director of the independent Extractive Industries Review of the World Bank’s oil, gas and mining portfolio. He was elected president of the International Association for Impact Assessment, and Metro Chair of the Ecological Society of America. He was honored in 2008 as the first recipient of the Coolidge medal for lifetime achievement in environmental conservation, presented by the prestigious International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Gary Loewenthal

gary loewenthalWorldwide Vegan Bake Sale Specialist – Gary Loewenthal is the co-founder of Compassion for Animals and founder of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale (WVBS). In 2009, the WVBS was honored by VegNews Magazine as “Veg Event of the Year” as well as featured on CNN in 2010. In 2012, A Well-Fed World officially adopted the WVBS for Gary to take to the next level. To date, WVBS has raised more than $300,000 for a diversity of causes on six continents. Animal shelters, anti-hunger programs, disaster relief are just a few of the many of the charities that benefit.

Ariane Mass

Ariane MassFood Waste Specialist / Board Advisor – Ariane Mass is completing her bachelor’s degree in English Literature with a focus on creative writing at Carleton College. She is the founding director of Compassionate and Sustainable Consuming, a campus club dedicated to promoting animal welfare. She also studied at Pondicherry University in Tamil Nadu, India for six months where she divided her extra time between volunteering at an orphanage for HIV infected children and a nonprofit providing educational services to village children called New Colors. She also interned for Mercy for Animals and Global Goods Partners.

Tushar Mehta

Plant-Based Health & Nutrition / Board Advisor – Dr. Tushar Mehta is a vegan M.D. who practices family, emergency, and addiction medicine in Toronto, Canada. He also does volunteer medical work in India, at the Sree Bidada Sarvodaya Trust hospital in Kutchh, Gujarat.

Dr. Mehta has volunteered with several environmental, social and animal justice organizations, including Project CANOE (an organization supporting at-risk youth), and the Sea Shepherd Conservation society, with whom he served on a 3 month anti-whaling expedition in Antarctica.

Dr. Mehta’s research interests include the medical and nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet, and the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment and global food security. He is a strong believer in the connection between compassion towards animals and peace between populations.

Christopher-Sebastian McJetters

Social Justice Strategy Specialist / Board Advisor – Longtime vegan and social justice advocate Christopher-Sebastian McJetters divides his time between London and New York City. A copyeditor by profession, Sebastian is a staff writer at Vegan Publishers, part-time lecturer on speciesism at Columbia University, and social media manager of Peace Advocacy Network. His intentions focus on examining the complex relationships between animal violence, environmental racism, and classism. He explains why veganism is a useful tool for deconstructing multiple systemic oppressions. He has contributed to the anthology Circles of Compassion: Connecting Issues of Justice edited by Dr. Will Tuttle, UK-based Barefoot Vegan magazine, and the blog Striving With Systems in collaboration with Aph Ko (Aphro-ism) and Triangle Chance for All microsanctuary co-founders Justin Van Kleek and Rosemary Beaumanguer.

 Marjorie Spiegel

Spiegel the dreaded comparisonBioethicist / Board Advisor – Marjorie Spiegel is an independent scholar, author and photojournalist, and is the co-founder and Executive Director of IDEA (The Institute for the Development of Earth Awareness), a nonprofit think-tank and educational organization whose mission and educational focus synthesizes human, animal and environmental issues. Ms. Spiegel is the author of The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery, a ground-breaking book that presents the first in-depth exploration of the similarities between the violence humans have wrought against other humans, and our culture’s treatment of non-human animals. The Dreaded Comparison, considered a seminal book in the fields of Bioethics and Human-Animal Studies, and a classic in the field of humane thought, has been adopted as required reading in colleges, universities, law curriculum, and high schools throughout the nation. Ms. Spiegel’s work includes substantial Policy Analysis and Consulting experience. Areas of expertise include national and international agricultural policy, industrial-scale animal agriculture, diverse environmental issues and environmental consulting, animal welfare and policy issues, bioethics, philosophy, and cultural and environmental history.

Justin Van Kleeck

Justin_YukiSanctuary and Microsanctuary Advisor  Justin Van Kleeck earned a Ph.D. in English but left academia in part to work on veganism, the environment, and other social issues. He is a freelance writer who has written for Our Hen House, Vegan Publishers, Project Intersect, and others, and he is co-editor of the anthology Letters to a New Vegan, published by Lantern Books. He and his wife, Rosemary, founded Triangle Chance for All, a non-profit organization that runs a small microsanctuary for rescued farmed animals and promotes ethical veganism. They also founded The Microsanctuary Movement to help inspire others to use what resources they can to provide sanctuary to animals in need.

Maru Vigo

Maru VigoOutreach Specialist / Board Advisor – Maru Vigo holds an M.A. in Education in addition to her Modern Languages degree. She has been an advocate for social change for more than 30 years and works as a foreign language educator and translator.  Her activism began in Lima, Peru. Since moving to to Arizona in 1987, her work has expanded to include public speaking, media presentations, statewide initiatives, advocacy training, and development of advocacy networks.  Maru is a correspondent for The Ark, the official bulletin of Catholic Concern for Animals and a certified Humane Education Specialist.

Michael Webermann

P1260462Environmental Specialist / Board Advisor – Michael Webermann is the Strategic Director for Better Eating International, a nonprofit that seeks to inspire compassion for all through inclusive and empowering education about plant-based eating. He holds a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. His projects at Evergreen State College focused on analyzing the costs and benefits of various solutions to environmental crises, and he was part of the team that conducted the first comprehensive greenhouse gas emission and sequestration calculation of a US college.