International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) names new EU Director

Monday, 3 September, 2012

Ms. Sonja Van Tichelen has been appointed the new Director of the European Union (EU) office of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW -, bringing a wealth of animal welfare and public affairs expertise to the role.

Sonja is extremely well known within animal welfare circles in Brussels having previously spent 20 years with Eurogroup for Animals. Sonja served as Director for the previous eight years.

Under her leadership, Eurogroup embarked on an ambitious expansion programme to represent animal welfare organisations all over the European Union. It is now one of the leading organisations advising European institutions on a wide variety of animal-welfare issues, from livestock standards to the protection of wildlife and animals used in research. Sonja has a thorough understanding of EU animal-protection laws and legislative procedures as well as international standard setting, established contacts and good working relations with the main civil-society groups, relevant industry stakeholders and academia.

“We are delighted that Sonja has accepted the position of EU Director and look forward to more victories for animals in the EU,” said IFAW Executive Vice President, Azzedine Downes.  “Because so many of our international priorities for animals pass through the EU, it was vital that Sonja have the expertise and passion to be an effective and charismatic advocate for them. I am excited to work with her in this new role.”

“Having worked with IFAW for many years in my previous role I have a great deal of respect for this tremendous organisation,” said Ms. Van Tichelen. “I look forward to using our extensive work in the field to inform EU policy-makers. I am confident that IFAW, working with the EU, can help deliver effective solutions for the long-term protection of animal populations and habitats.”

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Press Contact

Adrian Hiel (IFAW EU)
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+32 2 230 97 17
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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Regional Director, Russia & CIS
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Jeffrey Flocken, Regional Director, North America
Regional Director, North America
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime