Barbara Gardner (Founder and CEO)
Barbara Gardner BA (Hons) FCA is Publications and Finance Manager for Catholic Concern for Animals and the editor of their magazine, The Ark. She is the author of The Compassionate Animal: an Interfaith Guide to the Extended Circle of Compassion (Animal Books & Media 2013). She also edits AIA’s Animal Spirit magazine. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, having trained with and worked at Ernst & Young, and holds a degree in Business Studies from Kingston University. She has previously worked as a Group Financial Controller and as an accountant & company secretary. She has been a past trustee of the national society of the RSPCA for six years and has been its treasurer for two years.
Rev. Feargus O’Connor (Chair)
Rev. Feargus O’Connor, MA is the Unitarian Minister at Golders Green Unitarian Church. He is secretary of The World Congress of Faiths, a trustee of Quaker Concern for Animals and also a member of Barnet Multifaith Forum. Feargus has been holding Interfaith Celebrations for Animals at Golders Green Unitarian Church since 2003 where members of all faith traditions come together to celebrate the interconnected web of creation and their shared love of animals.
Chris Fegan (Deputy Chair)
Chris Fegan BA is Chief Executive of Catholic Concern for Animals. He holds a degree in Politics from Essex University and is currently studying for an MA in Christian Theology at Heythrop College in London. He has worked extensively in Government and Policy development and is a very keen chess player and has represented England in World Senior Championships.
Ketan Varia (Secretary)
Ketan Varia BSc(Hons) MSc CEng is a Jain and a management consultant and director of Kinetik Solutions, assisting large organisations with operational excellence and transformational change. He worked for several years in industry prior to a consulting career. He is Fellow of the RSA and is a Chartered Engineer. His extensive experience includes improvement projects with ADP, British Airways, BAE, EMI Music, Hertz, the NHS, Office for National Statistics, MITIE, Network Rail, Motorola & Xerox. Ketan has been a NED for 4 years at North West London Hospital Trust and has also invested/supported high growth start up businesses in a variety of sectors. He has also been highly involved in The Young Jains.
Thom Bonneville (Director)
Thom Bonneville is Clerk of Quaker Concern for Animals. Originally from Rhinelander, Wisconsin, he now works in London in the field of publishing systems and is a hospice chaplain.
Sarah Dunning (Director)
Sarah Dunning is a retired early years teacher, with a special interest in children’s English, Art and Music activities, and whenever possible introducing children to the natural world and its fauna and flora. She served on the committee of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals for many years, representing them on the committee of the interfaith Week of Prayer for World Peace group and was ASWA’s observer at Catholic Concern for Animals committee meetings. She abhors all suffering, regardless of race, colour, creed or species.
Rev. Prof. Martin Henig (Director)
Rev. Prof. Martin Henig MA. DPhil. D.Litt has taught and researched in Oxford for many years on Roman art, especially on Roman gems and Roman Britain. A deep concern with theology and ethics led him to study at St Stephen’s House, Oxford to pursue a vocation as a minister in the Anglican Church. He is Vice-President of the Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals, a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and a founder member of the Voice for Ethical Research in Oxford. Between 1997-2009 he was a Supernumerary Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and is still a member of the Common Room of the college. He is also Honorary Visiting Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL, London. He has written a huge number of papers on both of his key subjects of Roman art and animals in theology.
Harshad Sanghrajka (Director)
Harshad is a Director and Vice Chair at the Institute of Jainology. Having taken early retirement from a multinational corporation in 1994, Harshad decided to study Indian Religions at the School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS] and was appointed lecturer in Jainism by the Birkbeck University of London. He has since been delivering courses and lectures in Jainism in the UK and abroad. Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and India are some of the countries where Harshad has been invited for lectures.
Harshad worked as a Director at the Religious Education Council of England and Wales for three years and is still an active Jain representative. He is also involved with the activities of the Inter Faith Network of UK and has been a frequent contributor to events organised by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialog at the Vatican. Harshad represents the Jain community and philosophy at inter-faith events and at academic institutions when invited.
Harshad brings with him the Jain philosophy of non-violence, compassion, pluralism, amity and respect for all creation of nature.
Judith Wilkings (Director)
Judith Wilkings is a member of Quaker Concern for Animals and the RSPCA. She has been Managing Director and Company Secretary of her Engineering and Technical Recruitment Agency and business, from which she is now retired. Her home has always been shared with companion animals.
Marian Hussenbux (International Campaigns Secretary)
Marian Hussenbux is a multi-lingual translator and teacher of modern languages, who is responsible for the international campaigning and letter writing for AIA. She has been editor of the Quaker Concern for Animals newsletter and their clerk and is a member of Birkenhead Quaker Meeting. Marian is also a Green Party Member, an RSPCA volunteer and has supported animal welfare and rights groups and campaigned on these issues since the 1970s. Having Muslim and Jewish members in her extended family, she is committed to working for the animals from an interfaith perspective.
Sheila Thomas (Membership Secretary)
Sheila Thomas BA FCLIP MWeldI MBCS is an information professional who worked in engineering and joining technology for over 40 years. Now retired, she has a couple of freelance part-time jobs based on her experience in industry and is happy to be helping AIA as Membership Secretary. She is a life member of Catholic Concern for Animals. Her animal interests range from native wildlife to her two pet cats.
Advisors to the Board
Dr Andre Menache (European Representative & Science Advisor)
Dr Andre Menache BSc(Hons) BVSc MRCVS is a veterinarian who advises extensively on animal welfare matters. He is director of Antidote Europe, based in France and is a patron of Quaker Concern for Animals. He has been president of Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine (UK) and general manager of The Federation of Animal Protection Societies in Israel. He currently provides scientific support to several grass roots organisations.
Dr Atul Shah (Culture and Diversity Advisor)
Dr Atul Shah is a Jain and a social entrepreneur and the founder and owner of the cultural and diversity advisory company Diverse Ethics Ltd. He is a chartered accountant, a senior lecturer in accountancy and economics at Suffolk University and an active researcher and teacher in the fields of business ethics, accounting, diversity and banking reform. He is the author of Celebrating Diversity and Boardroom Diversity and broadcaster on various BBC stations. In 2010, Dr Shah completed a highly innovative Epic Masala Tour of Britain, examining the fusion of East and West through the activities of Indo-Brits. His clients include Channel 4, the BBC, RSPCA, Procter & Gamble, Mann Group and EDF Energy.
David Thomas (Legal Advisor)
David Thomas is a highly experienced lawyer in both the commercial and voluntary sectors and is a part-time judge. He has been a trustee of the national Council of the RSPCA for many years and it’s Chair for two years. He is a former trustee of the Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare and CIWF and has acted extensively in legal matters for most animal welfare charities, in particular the BUAV. David gave evidence to the Burns Inquiry on hunting and was involved in the RSPCA’s opposition to legal challenges to the Hunting Act. He recently prepared a detailed submission to the Law Commission on UK wildlife law and advised on the trade in primates and other exotic animals as pets. As a commercial lawyer, he has acted for many FTSE 100 companies.
The Animal Interfaith Alliance is a registered not-for-profit company number: 8958588. Registered company address: 31 Hoop Lane, Golders Green, London, NW11 8BS.