Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Announces New Executive Director

Washington, DC, June 11, 2014 --( The Board of Directors of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) announced today the appointment of Kellie Heckman as executive director. The Board’s endorsement of Ms. Heckman came after a long, nationwide search and all directors are agreed that Heckman will continue the mission of the organization to strengthen and support the work of animal sanctuaries and rescue operations worldwide.

Board President, Adam Roberts said, “Kellie is an impressive and visionary leader who has shown that she can launch significant and successful enterprises to help animals. She is a great addition to the organization and brings a fresh perspective to GFAS. I personally look forward to working with her to expand the reach of the organization and the positive impact we can have for animals in need. ”

Before joining GFAS, Heckman spent the first part of her career in research science, focused on evolutionary diversity of primates. She then entered the nonprofit sector and co-founded and served as executive director of FiXiT Foundation, where she focused on a mission of bringing spay and neuter to everyone in order to reduce the impact of companion animal overpopulation. Under her leadership, FiXiT was able to increase demand for spay and neuter by 1000 percent in a case study on St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands.

“I am delighted to be joining the distinguished team at GFAS,” Heckman said. “I admire what they are doing to insure that displaced animals in sanctuaries receive humane, lifetime care. By helping sanctuaries meet GFAS standards, they are ensuring that animals will live long, healthy lives.

Dr. Heckman replaces Patty Finch who left GFAS in February to support animal philanthropy at a private foundation. Heckman adds, “I am excited to build upon what our previous executive director, Patty Finch, accomplished for animals.”

Heckman is a graduate of Purdue University (BS) and Northwestern University (PhD).

About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries:
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries/rescues worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting sanctuaries/rescues is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. They represent top leadership from Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, the ASPCA, and American Anti-Vivisection Society.
Global Federation of Animal Sactuaries
Kellie Heckman