IFAW names Sonja Van Tichelen Vice President of International Operations

IFAW names Sonja Van Tichelen Vice President of International Operations
Wednesday, 28 June, 2017
Washington, DC

Today International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) promoted Sonja Van Tichelen from European Union (EU) Regional Director to Vice President of International Operations to develop strategies that effectively address pressing international animal welfare and conservation concerns.


In her new role, Van Tichelen will provide strategic oversight and guidance to IFAW’s 16 country offices, including management, communications and fundraising to ensure optimal organizational effectiveness. Additionally she will advise leadership on expansion into new geographic areas. 

“I am extremely pleased to have Sonja join the senior leadership team. Having led our European offices for years, she will bring essential expertise to the full range of our international operations,” said Azzedine Downes, IFAW’s President and CEO.

A seasoned professional with 25 years leading teams in the animal welfare space, Van Tichelen brings a wide range of expertise to her position including being fluent in English, French, German and Dutch. She moved to the non-profit sector in 1992 to use her skills to, “make a difference in the world.”  She began with the European advocacy federation Eurogroup for Animals working with EU decision makers to introduce, improve and implement European animal welfare legislation.  

Van Tichelen joined IFAW in 2012 to follow a childhood passion for wildlife and she and her teams have been instrumental in advocating for upholding the EU-wide seal product import ban and propelling the pervasive illegal wildlife trade to the top of the political agenda. She is a keen gardener, convinced that connecting with nature is a precondition of happiness; she lives with her husband, her dog and three chickens near Brussels, Belgium.


About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on social @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.


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