Shannon Walajtys

Director – Disaster Response & Risk Reduction

Every minute counts when there's a disaster.

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In the days before a major storm, in the middle of a civil war, or in the aftermath of a nuclear meltdown, Shannon Walajtys helps people do whatever it takes to rescue animals in crisis.

Drawing from years of first-hand experience in disaster zones around the world, Shannon advises governments and local partners in disaster-prone areas, keeping our interventions credible, coherent, and culturally appropriate.

Under Shannon’s leadership, IFAW has made strategic investments in disaster preparedness, building global networks of people and institutions who can quickly deploy wherever the need is. She has also spearheaded IFAW’s successful campaign for the humane treatment of animals in disaster response.

With disasters becoming more frequent and the impact more intense, Shannon keeps IFAW’s disaster response teams focused and prepared as the need for IFAW’s expertise, mobility and boots on the ground increases each year.


Past Chair, National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition United States

Mass Disaster Victim Identification Team, Kenyon International Emergency Services Global

Chief Operating Officer, Complete Consultants Worldwide Global

Operations Lead, Lockheed Martin United States

Certified Latent Print Examiner, Georgia Bureau of Investigation United States


Master of Science (MSc), Forensic Science and Investigations University of New Haven, United States

Bachelor of Arts, Criminal Justice University of Georgia, United States

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