Stephen Ross, Ph.D., Board Chair

Lincoln Park Zoo

Steve Ross is the Director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, IL. With more than 20 years of experience studying animal behavior, Dr. Ross brings a vast knowledge of great apes to Chimp Haven. After service on the board from 2009-2012, he was re-elected in 2013 and in 2014, stepping into the role of board chair.

Since joining Lincoln Park Zoo in 2000, Dr. Ross has been very influential in the great ape world as an expert on chimpanzee behavior and wellbeing.  Some of his works include co-organizing “The Mind of the Chimpanzee” conference, contributing to the design of the award-winning Regenstein Center for African Apes and the creating Project ChimpCare, which focuses on improving the lives of privately-owned chimpanzees across the United States.  Dr. Ross serves as Chair of the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).   He had previously served as a member on the Working Group for the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-supported Research which provided recommendations to the NIH to scale down the use of chimpanzees no longer needed as subjects of biomedical research.

Katherine Leighty, Ph.D., Vice-Chair

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Dr. Leighty has worked with chimpanzees and a variety of other primates for nearly 20 years. She has a Ph.D. in comparative psychology from the University of Georgia and is the Curator of Scientific Operations and oversees the animal training and enrichment program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Dr. Leighty has published a number of papers and presented at scientific meetings on primate cognition, behavior and welfare, in addition to related work in other animals including elephants, tigers, and turtles.  Dr. Leighty chairs the Research and Technology committee of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and served on the Executive Council of the International Primatological Society for over 10 years.

Rufus Lemaire, Secretary

Red River Bank

Mr. Lemaire has over 35 years of financial institution experience and is a strategic partner with several of the areas large nonprofit organizations, providing advice on operational and financial issues.  He manages a large portfolio of Red River Bank’s business banking clients in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.  Mr. Lemaire is a graduate of Louisiana State University’s The Graduate School of Banking of the South and has a degree in economics from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  He previously worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as a department head and was the business loan coordinator for the City of Shreveport.

Frans B. M. de Waal, Ph.D.

Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University

Dr. de Waal is a distinguished primatologist, with over 30 years’ experience working with chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates. He has received numerous international awards and organized many scientific conferences. In addition to his extensive scientific publication record, Dr. de Waal is the author of a number of books, including Our Inner Ape, Chimpanzee Politics, and Good Natured. He is a professor of Primate Behavior at Emory University and director of the Living Links Center at Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

Sharon Dewar

Public Communications Inc.

Ms. Dewar is Vice President at Public Communications Inc, a mid-sized independent communications agency in Chicago. She brings more than two decades of public relations expertise to her clients, specializing in destination marketing, science communications, animal conservation and welfare issues, media strategy and training.

Prior to joining the agency, Ms. Dewar directed public relations for Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo and managed media relations for San Diego Zoo Global. In addition to extensive public relations and media relations experience, Sharon also has great knowledge in strategic and crisis communication, skills she nurtured as a public affairs specialist in the United States Navy.  

Marc S. Hulin, D.V.M., DACLAM


Dr. Hulin is currently the Institutional Official & Executive Director of AMGEN, INC. He has more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical and academic research and an extensive background developing and implementing organizational missions, visions and strategic plans. Dr. Hulin also has a vast knowledge in aligning strategic and tactical programs of veterinary care, operations, regulatory compliance, scientific and technical collaborations and IACUC processes. He is a member of a number of national committees including American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

Margaret Landi, V.M.D.


Dr. Landi obtained her veterinary degree from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Diplomat in the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine.  She has served on the ACLAM Board of Directors and the Institute of Laboratory Animal Research Council.  Dr. Landi has received a number of awards and recognitions for her contributions to laboratory animal science and animal welfare, including the Harry Roswell Award from the Scientists Center for Animal Welfare.  She is Chief of Animal Welfare and Veterinary Medicine and the Vice President of Global Laboratory Animal Sciences at Glaxo Smith Kline.  Dr. Landi served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Future of Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research.

Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf, Ph.D.

Franklin & Marshall College

Dr. Lonsdorf is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and Biological Foundations of Behavior Program at Franklin & Marshall College. She is also an adjunct scientist in the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes. Her research program integrates her interests in health, learning and development in both wild and captive primates. Currently, she works with several collaborators on a long-term health monitoring program for the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania.  In addition, she co-manages the largest long-term data set on infant chimpanzee development. Dr. Lonsdorf also serves as the Vice President for Education and Outreach for the International Primatology Society. She serves on a number of committees including the Section on Great Apes of the IUCN’s Primate Specialist Group.

Charlton Havard Lyons, IV

Ameriprise Financial

Mr. Lyons is a Certified Financial Planner at Ameriprise Financial with more than 16 years of experience and a practice covering 12 states.  He is a native of the Shreveport-Bossier City area and has been heavily involved with the local nonprofit and business community since he returned to the area in 2007.  In addition to his work with Chimp Haven, he currently serves as the President of the Ark-La-Tex chapter of the Financial Planning Association and as co-Treasurer of the Northwest Louisiana Susan G. Komen affiliate.  His work includes retirement and investment planning, and charitable giving strategies.

Crystal Miller-Spiegel, M.S.

American Anti-Vivisection Society

Ms. Miller-Spiegel is a senior policy analyst at the American Anti-Vivisection Society. She received her Bachelor’s in Anthropology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Animals and Public Policy from Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.  Her professional experience is in animal welfare public policy and advocacy.  She has also served as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Animal Policy and Advocacy at the Humane Society University in Washington, DC.  Ms. Miller-Spiegel has published numerous papers, articles and essays in her fields of expertise.  She is the co-founder of Down to Earth Farm, an animal sanctuary in Bucks County, PA, and in the past has served as an executive board member for Lulu’s Rescue and completed naturalist training at the Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow.

Nathaniel Powell, Jr., D.V.M

Dr. Powell is a Diplomate of the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine and is a former consultant for Laboratory Animal Medicine to the U.S. Army Surgeon General. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Alabama State University, as well as a Bachelor’s in Animal Science and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University.  In addition, he also holds a Masters in National Defense Strategy from the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

Edward D. Ragan, Ph. D.

Centenary College

Dr. Ragan is an expert in early American history, Native American ethnohistory and public history.  He has extensive experience as a teacher, researcher and historian. His teaching experience includes institutions such as Syracuse University and Virginia Commonwealth University. In his current role as Associate Dean at Centenary College, he not only teaches classes on “Ancient American Religion”, but is also the Director of Quality Enhancement Plan and the Director of Educational Outreach. Since 1996 he has served as the Historian for the Rappahannock Tribe in Indian Neck, Virginia.

He is a contributing author on many published volumes, book reviews and manuscripts and has received numerous research awards and fellowships. Dr. Ragan received his Bachelor’s and Master’s from Louisiana State University at Shreveport and a Ph.D. in History from Syracuse University.

Patricia V Turner, DVM, DVSc

University of Guelph

Patricia Turner is a Professor and Program Leader of laboratory animal Animal science in the Dept of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph in Canada. She is board certified by the American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, the American Board of Toxicology, and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. Turner is a past president of the Association of Primate Veterinarians, a past member of the NIH Working Group for the Use of Chimpanzees in NIH-supported Research, and a recipient of a number awards recognizing refinement and ethical care of research animals. She is also co-editor of the book, Laboratory Animal Welfare. 

David L. Watters, C.P.A.

Controller, Morris & Dickson LLC

Mr. Watters received his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a Master’s of Professional Accountancy, Summa Cum Laude, from Louisiana Tech University. In his current and previous roles he has been responsible for a variety of accounting functions which include overseeing annual audits, tax returns and financial statements.  He serves on the board of directors at Junior Achievement of North Louisiana and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society of Louisiana Certified Public Accountants.

Cathy Willis Spraetz, Ex Officio

President and Chief Executive Officer, Chimp Haven


The following individuals have provided significant and long-time service to Chimp Haven and have been awarded the status of Trustee. Trustees serve in an advisory capacity to Chimp Haven’s Board of Directors.

Linda Brent, Ph.D.

Primate behaviorist, founder and past president of Chimp Haven

Mollie A. Bloomsmith, Ph.D.

Head of Behavioral Management at Yerkes National Primate Research Center, former member of the board of directors

Tom Butler, D.V.M.

Retired Chairman, Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine and Attending Veterinarian, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, former board of directors chair

Candy Peavy, P.T.

Former member of the board of directors

Erna Toback, Ph.D.

Primate behaviorist and former advisory board member

Robert Whitney, D.V.M.

Veterinarian, former member of the board of directors