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Our Team

Meena Alagappan

Executive Director


Meena leads the work of  Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers (HEART), a nonprofit public charity that is a full-service humane education provider in the NYC and Indianapolis areas. Prior to joining HEART, Meena was a humane education consultant for Animal Welfare Trust, a private operating foundation. She was also a senior faculty member of Advantage Testing, an academic test preparation company, and an associate at the Manhattan law firm Shea & Gould. Meena is former chair of the animal law committees of the American Bar Association and the New York City Bar. She is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and serves on the Board of Directors of Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City’s Animals. Meena is the author of “The United States’ Enforcement of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species,” published in Northwestern University’s Journal of International Law and Business and co-author of “A Note on Pedagogy: Humane Education Making a Difference,” published in the Journal of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies. She received her B.A. from Cornell University, J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, and M.S. in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

Nancy Barr

Marketing  Consultant


Nancy has more than 25 years experience in educational marketing and strategic communications for non-profit organizations, international institutions and the media.  Prior to becoming a consultant in 2017, Nancy was Director of Education and Social Change at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, where she worked for 11 years, managing a global team and projects in more than 20 countries. Past positions have included features editor for the United Nations, reporter for Time Magazine and desk editor for CBS News in London. She is also experienced in documentary production, eLearning course authoring, graphic design and website development. She received her B.A. from Williams College and a Masters in International Relations from the University of Southern California.

Felice Clyne-Davis

Felice Clyne-Davis

Humane Education Instructor


Felice has been a New York City public school educator for more than 30 years and taught in a Gifted & Talented program for 20 years with children of diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. She has always been a strong proponent of teaching students to think for themselves while empowering them to be passionate and empathetic critical thinkers, problem solvers, and changemakers. She joined the HEART team as an instructor after partnering with the organization as a classroom teacher for more than a decade. Felice incorporated social justice, animal protection, and environmental ethics into her daily teaching practice, as well as school clubs, summer reading groups, and humane-themed musical fundraisers (raising thousands of dollars for local food pantries and animal rescue groups). She has partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots and Shoots Service Learning program, helped pilot the Institute for Humane Education’s Solutionary Congress, and was honored by the Pollination Project as one of the 20 most compassionate and innovative social change educators in North America.

Lisa Fielding

Lisa Fielding

 Director of Development


Lisa Fielding is a marketing and fundraising professional with over 25 years of experience working in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors. She has led the development of marketing campaigns and fundraising strategies for organizations including the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Save the Children, Best Friends Animal Society, and Farm Sanctuary. Lisa initially developed her marketing experience in the private sector, working as a Brand Manager at General Mills. She co-founded, developed, and led gifthero.com, an online retail business she created. Lisa served as Director of Major Gifts for Best Friends Animal Society, where she led the national major gifts fundraising team, and Chief Development Officer at Farm Sanctuary, where she led the organization’s fundraising efforts. Most recently, she has worked as a consultant helping a variety of non-profit organizations with fundraising strategy and implementation. Lisa has a Masters of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an A.B. from Princeton University.

Kristina Hulvershorn

Program Director


Kristina helps plan, manage, and lead various program offerings for HEART. She taught in the public school system for six years, specializing in the emotional and behavioral lives of students. She maintains certification as a K-12 learning specialist. Kristina is also Youth Program Director at the Peace Learning Center of Indianapolis, with which HEART has an affiliate relationship.  She earned a B.A. in both General and Special Education, did extensive coursework in nonprofit management and earned a Master’s degree in Humane Education from the Institute for Humane Education. In 2009 Kristina founded The Ethic Project in order to offer holistic and empowering educational services to students in Chicago. She has worked as a leader in Chicago Public Schools, managing groups of fifty educators at a time, problem solving, and creating strategic plans to best provide meaningful educational opportunities in schools.

Lisa Hunter

Lisa Hunter

Volunteer Humane
Education Instructor


Lisa is a member of the United Federation of Teachers Humane Education Committee and, prior to working with HEART, taught Theatre and English at Edward R. Murrow High School. Lisa had been drawn to classroom teaching as a theatre professional. She received the Teacher Extraordinaire Award from the Brooklyn Borough President and Distinguished Teacher Award from the New York State Assembly. Upon retirement, Lisa developed a "kindness workshop" for local elementary schools, incorporating the "creative dramatics" techniques she had learned while studying for her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Directing and had used in every class she taught. She endeavors to make a difference for animals and people through her work with a variety of organizations, including RedRover, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Among her current activities, she is training teachers in the use of creative drama activities to foster awareness, empathy, and compassion while also meeting academic objectives.

Jeannie Russell

Service Learning Director


Jeannie has had over 25 years experience working with children and their families in a wide variety of educational and social service settings. She has a Masters in Education from Bank Street College and a B.A. from Barnard College. She began teaching in special needs pre-school programs, and then helped to pioneer some of the earliest projects in New York City to reach out to homeless children in welfare hotels and in shelters, many of whom were not receiving any educational support at all. She went on to work as Director of Children’s Services for Sanctuary for Families’ domestic violence family shelter, creating and supervising educational, recreational and therapeutic programs for children at all age levels. Before joining HEART, Jeannie served as Director of the Early Impact Family Program, which provides advocacy, family therapy and supportive services to families who have a child in residential care within the foster care system, and young children still in the home. She also worked as Director of Children and Family Programs with the Bronx Ethical Culture Society where she created a comprehensive, multi-age “Ethics For Kids” curriculum.

Bob Schwalb

Humane Education Instructor


After receiving his undergraduate degree from DeVry University, Bob began a career as an IT/business consultant, implementing enterprise resource planning systems for corporate clients. After 15 years in the field, he realized this work did not align with what he cared about most, so he made the life-changing decision to enroll in the Institute for Humane Education’s Master’s program. He completed his studies in 2004 and, soon afterwards, started offering humane education classes in Chicago schools. In 2005, HEART hired Bob to assemble its initial curriculum and become its first humane educator in NYC. During his time at HEART, Bob has served as a humane education instructor, program coordinator, and program director. He has offered humane education programs in NYC, Chicago, Madison, WI, and most recently in the southwest Washington State. In addition to teaching students, he has developed curricula, offered teacher training, managed staff and volunteers, and established local advisory and junior boards. Bob is a certified mindfulness meditation instructor. He has volunteered at hospice centers, as well as various animal rescue groups and environmental organizations.

Claire Sterling

Chief Operating Officer


Claire brings over 25 years of experience across the fields of nonprofit management, philanthropy, communications, and animal protection to her role at HEART. Previously, Claire was Director, Grant Strategies at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), where her efforts were focused on grants evaluation, building alliances with other animal protection funders, and providing training on effective grantseeking. While at the ASPCA, Claire also served as Board President of the national funder affinity group Animal Grantmakers, which she led through a period of major programmatic and financial growth. Prior to her tenure at the ASPCA, Claire worked in the fields of fundraising and web design at the Foundation Center, the world’s leading source of information on institutional philanthropy. Claire started her career in W. W. Norton’s textbook publishing editorial division. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from Oberlin College. Her personal blog, The Lion’s Share, provides philanthropy-related resources for organizations that better the lives of animals.

Board of Directors

Christopher Wlach, Chair, Treasurer
General Counsel, Huge

Brad Goldberg, Chair Emeritus
President, Animal Welfare Trust
Board Trustee Emeritus, Wildlife Conservation Society

Steve Whitman, Secretary
President, Whitman Partners, Nonprofit Consulting
Former Executive Director, Housatonic Valley Association

Lena Townsend, Board Member
Former Executive Director, Robert Bowne Foundation

Richard Gold, Board Member
President, R.N. Gold & Co., Marketing and Management Consulting

Candy Udell, Board Member
President, Rescue Paw Foundation
President, London Jewelers

Cathy Wallach, Board Member
Former Trustee, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

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