Princess Alia—a new honorary board member—brings her courage and passion to IFAW

H.R.H. Princess Alia, seen here with Azzedine Downes - IFAW Chief Executive Officer – recently signed a partnership agreement with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to advance animal welfare in Jordan.When I first met HRH Princess Alia Al Hussein, our conversations revolved around a sanctuary she had recently set up to accept and care for animals that had been confiscated in illegal trade. It wasn’t until I got to know her that I learned of her many qualities and some other personal accomplishments of note.

She exemplifies perseverance: I was astounded to learn that she was able to insert animal welfare curriculum into the university system throughout Jordan—not just for students of science but for all students.

It can be difficult to challenge preconceived notions of what it means to be compassionate in regards to the treatment of animals in Princess Alia’s part of the world.

Jordanian Customs discovered two men attempting to smuggle two live tiger cubs from Saudi Arabia to Jordan through Al-Omari entry point. The cubs were found in a taxi supposed to enter Jordan. Cubs have been confiscated by the Customs officials and moved them to Princess Alia Foundation for care.

She is very emotionally attached to her work: She told me of a little seven-year-old autistic boy who spoke his first word, “horsey,” in English after spending time in her equine therapy programme.

To me, that is Princess Alia, who today joins the Honorary Board of Directors of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

The daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and Sharifa Dina bint ‘Abdu’l-Hamid, Princess Alia is the founder of her namesake foundation, a non-governmental organization that “works to promote the balance, harmony and respect for all creation.” 

Princess Alia has partnered with IFAW to bring our Animal Action Education program to children throughout Jordan and to rescue wildlife from illegal trade. “IFAW’s animal welfare principles and effective hands-on work in diverse communities align perfectly with the Princess Alia Foundation’s motto,” she says.

This announcement is coupled with another important one.

Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a UN Messenger of Peace, who has frequently collaborated with us on matters ranging from the proposed U.S. ivory regulations to educational initiatives, is also joining IFAW as an honorary board member.

Princess Alia and Jane join IFAW’s other honorary board members Keely Shaye Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Manu Chandaria, Christopher Matthews, Harold Prince, Ben Stein, Amber Valletta and Goran Visnjic.

IFAW is honored to welcome these two iconic animal welfare representatives to the organization, and we will no doubt benefit from their guiding knowledge and insight.


See all of the IFAW Honorary Board membership profiles by clicking here.

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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, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
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
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Sonja Van Tichelen, Vice President of International Operations
Vice President of International Operations
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime