Fond farewell to IFAW CEO and President
The Board of Directors of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW www.ifaw.org) today announced that Mr Fred O’Regan will step down as CEO and President at the end of the year. Mr O’Regan has served IFAW, which has offices worldwide and is headquartered at Yarmouthport MA, for more than 15 years.
“It has been an honor to lead IFAW and to work with such a talented staff as we built one of the most effective international welfare organizations in the world,” said Mr O’Regan. “I am very confident about the bright future ahead for IFAW and look forward to following the organization’s continued progress.”
IFAW Board Chair, Kathleen Savesky expressed the Board’s sincere appreciation for Mr O’Regan’s dedication and tremendous contribution. “Fred’s leadership has been transformational at IFAW, and he leaves the organization stronger, more stable, and having a greater impact on improving the lives of animals around the world than ever before.”
In addition to guiding the organization through some of most challenging financial times in recent history, Mr O’Regan’s leadership at IFAW has been marked by numerous accomplishments for the organization and for animals worldwide:
Under Fred’s leadership, IFAW was an integral part of the rescue, rehabilitation and release of a record 20,251 penguins after the Treasure oil spill off Cape Town in South Africa in 2000.
Fred instigated IFAW’s partnership with the Leonard X. Bosack & Bette M. Kruger Foundation to fund the first ever Wildlife Law Enforcement position at Interpol—an effort that has resulted in expanding inter-governmental collaboration to combat the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products worldwide.
He was a driving force behind IFAW’s five year project to help rebuild Meru National Park in Kenya which was awarded with world-class conservation status in 2007. This award-winning effort led to a similar project to restore infrastructure and habitat in Tsavo National Park, and to on-going efforts to secure wildlife corridors and protect the fragile ecosystem of Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
His support for the work of IFAW’s China office has helped to foster a growing animal welfare ethic in the country and remains a critical part of IFAW’s global strategy in reducing the demand for illegal wildlife products including ivory.
During Fred’s tenure an important milestone was reached in IFAW’s founding campaign to bring an end to the cruel and unsustainable Canadian commercial seal hunt with the EU banning the import of seal products in 2009.
He also brought the former Cape Cod Stranding Network into the organization, creating the IFAW Marine Mammal Rescue and Research group that successfully saved the lives of 53 dolphins during the record-breaking mass stranding event earlier this year.
Fred has guided the growth of IFAW, including opening new offices in Sydney Australia, Dubai UAE, Washington DC, Nairobi Kenya and he developed a partnership with the Wildlife Trust of India which has saved the lives of more than 1,600 animals including orphaned elephants, rhinos and critically endangered clouded leopards which are now living life back in the wild where they belong.
And he brought all the headquarters staff together for the first time in a new environmentally-friendly, LEED-certified building that minimizes the organization’s impact on the fragile Cape Cod environment and models IFAW’s commitment to ecological sustainability.
“Possibly greatest among Fred’s legacies is the skilled and professional leadership team he has assembled worldwide,” Ms Savesky commented. “These individuals provide us with complete confidence that the critical work of IFAW will continue unabated.”
Mr Azzedine Downes, Executive Vice President, will lead IFAW until such time as a new CEO is named.
IFAW was established in 1969 and has grown to have more than two million supporters and offices in 14 countries working to rescue and protect animals around the world.