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.
Mollie Bloomsmith, Ph.D.
Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University
Dr. Bloomsmith serves as the Director of the Environmental Enrichment Program at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University. She is an experimental psychologist specializing in chimpanzee behavioral management. With 28 years of experience studying chimpanzees at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and in zoos, Dr. Bloomsmith has published dozens of scientific articles on the topic of improving chimpanzee welfare. She teaches workshops on primate enrichment and training, supervises graduate students, is the Chair of the Primate Care Committee of the American Society of Primatologists, and is a research advisor to the AZA Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan. She is a founding board member of Chimp Haven.
Thomas Butler, D.V.M.
Dr. Butler is a nonhuman primate veterinarian with over 40 years’ experience with chimpanzees. Until he retired in 2002, he was the Chairman of the Department of Laboratory Animal Medicine which included a large colony of chimpanzees at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research. He worked with the Air Force chimpanzees at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and designed numerous chimpanzee enclosures. Dr. Butler was selected as a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Long-Term Care of Chimpanzees. In addition, he is a former President of the Council on Accreditation, Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International. He is a founding board member of Chimp Haven.
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.
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.
Charlton Havard Lyons, IV
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 Powel, 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.
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.
Martin L. Stephens, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Stephens is a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing (CAAT) at Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining CAAT in 2011, he was vice president for Animal Research Issues at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) for 26 years. Throughout his career, Dr. Stephens has been an advocate for finding alternatives to the use of animals in research. He served as a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Toxicity Testing, which issued a landmark report on “Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century,” and on the Scientific Advisory Committee on Alternative Toxicological Methods for the National Institute on Environmental Health Science. Stephens has been honored with lifetime achievement awards from CAAT, HSUS, the Society of Toxicology, and the Doerkamp-Zbinden Foundation. He earned his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of Chicago.
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
Linda Brent, Ph.D.
Candy Peavey, P.T.
Erna Tobck, Ph.D.
Robert Whitney, D.V.M.