Meet the Vets & Experts
Dr. Scarlett Magda
Founder & President
Dr. Scarlett Magda is a veterinarian with a passion for raising awareness about the interconnectedness of human and animal health and tackling the root causes of zoonotic disease transmission and animal welfare issues. She has over 10 years of international experience working with organizations ranging from the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, Foundation for AIDS Orphaned Children in Uganda, Elephant Family, UK, the Belize Zoo and the Ministry of Environment in Costa Rica. She had sat on the board of directors for Veterinarians Without Borders Canada for five years prior to moving to the United States. Her involvement in international veterinary medicine started in 2007 while she was a veterinary student designing an elephant saddle project investigating skin wounds in Thailand and India. This project honored her with the Ballard Award for Wildlife from Morris Animal Foundation and is the only work on the topic that has been published in the scientific literature to date. She later participated in a goat health project in Mbarara Uganda which demonstrated to her the clear link between human and animal health through brucellosis prevention work. After graduating from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2009 she moved to New York City to understand how the veterinary profession was engaging in global health issues. Working with dogs as an emergency clinician in New York made Dr. Magda wonder about the role dogs play in human health in other parts of the world. This curiosity led her to participate in a rabies prevention project in Todos Santos, Guatemala which is led by our local partner, the Global Alliance for Animals and People (the GAAP).
Having a love for the arts, Dr. Magda was a visionary in using film and art as a medium to raise awareness for wildlife conservation, and acted as Executive Director for the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, responsible for bringing it to NYC in 2012. In 2013, in an effort to raise awareness about local conservation issues and the plight of the ocean, she co-hosted an event screening of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Planet Ocean in her local Hamptons community. She is also a huge advocate for oyster growing given they are the most sustainable animal to grow, and was responsible for bringing East Hampton’s first public oyster garden program in partnership with the East Hampton Town Shellfish Hatchery, and the South Fork Natural History Museum to life this past May.
Spending years researching and networking she realized there was a need to unite the strengths of the United States into a single network of veterinary health professionals which could provoke and support a national and global health platform for change. With a passion for raising awareness through multiple platforms, emphasizing collaboration, and a strong belief in “not reinventing the wheel” Dr. Magda wanted to create an organization that emphasizes enhancement of sound international animal projects that lack funding and support.
Dr. Magda also practices emergency veterinary medicine in numerous specialty hospitals across New York State, and works as an associate at South Fork Animal Hospital, in Wainscott, NY.
Dr. William B. Karesh
Senior Technical Advisor
Dr. Karesh is the the Executive Vice President for Health and Policy for EcoHealth Alliance and serves as the Technical Director for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program. He is President of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife, and chairs the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s Wildlife Health Specialist Group, a network of hundreds of wildlife and health experts around the world.
Dr. Karesh has pioneered initiatives that focus attention and resources on solving problems caused by the interactions among wildlife, people, and domestic animals. He coined the term “One Health,” and created the “One World—One Health” initiative to encourage connections among public health-, agricultural-, and environmental health agencies and organizations worldwide. He has led programs and projects in over 60 countries, from Argentina to Zambia. In addition to his work in the private sector, Dr. Karesh has also worked for the USDA, DOD, DOI, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. He is recognized internationally as an authority on animal and human health linkages and wildlife. He has published over 160 scientific papers and numerous book chapters, and written for journals such as Foreign Affairs. Dr. Karesh is also the author of Appointment at the Ends of the World: Memoirs of a Wildlife Veterinarian, published by Warner Books.
Dr. Maria Brömme
Veterinary Recruitment Coordinator
Dr. Maria Brömme is a graduate of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies located in Edinburgh, Scotland. After graduation, seeking warmer weather, she completed a rotating internship at California Veterinary Specialists in Ontario, CA. She now works as a general practitioner at Alicia Pet Care Center in Mission Viejo, CA.
Dr. Brömme has always enjoyed traveling and learning about other cultures. Feeling the frustrations of watching stray dogs and cats with no access to veterinary care during her travels, she sought to get involved with the international veterinary community. During her travels in Costa Rica, she watched with fascination how a spay/neuter clinic was efficiently run in a gymnasium. As a veterinary student, she volunteered in Cyprus performing spays, neuters and providing basic medical care to dogs and cats. At home in Southern California, she is fortunate to work with numerous animal rescue organizations through her job in general practice.
The rabies prevention initiative in Todos Santos, Guatemala was Dr. Brömme’s first project with Veterinarians International. She quickly fell in love with the community and its dogs and cats. She looks forward to many more international projects and bringing together passionate and motivated people to help communities in need.
In her free time, Dr. Brömme enjoys hiking with her dog, trail running, and relaxing at the beach.
Dr. David Waltner-Toews
David Waltner-Toews was founding president of Veterinarians without Borders/ Vétérinaires sans Frontières – Canada (www.vwb-vsf.ca). A University Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph, he is also a founding member of Communities of Practice for Ecosystem Approaches to Health in Canada (www.copeh-canada.org) and internationally. He has worked on every continent except Antarctica on ecosystem approaches to health. In 2010, in London, England, the International Association for Ecology and Health presented him with the inaugural award for contributions to ecosystem approaches to health, and was a speaker in the “Speakers of Renown” series that celebrated the 40th anniversary of Canada’s International Development Research Centre.
Dr. Waltner-Toews is the author or coauthor of more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, as well as 17 books of poetry, fiction (including a murder mystery – Fear of Landing – set in Indonesia and starring a veterinarian), textbooks on health, ecosystems and sustainability, and popular science. His most recent book of popular nonfiction is The Origin of Feces: what excrement tells us about evolution, ecology and a sustainable society. Previous books include The Chickens Fight Back: Pandemic Panics and Deadly Diseases that Jump from Animals to People, which is a natural and cultural history of zoonoses, and Food, Sex and Salmonella: Why our Food is Making us Sick, which explores the ecological and cultural context for foodborne diseases,.
Dr Khyne U Mar
A veterinarian and conservation biologist, with more than thirty years of experience at academic, research and administrative positions. Recipient of various research grants, fellowsips and scholarships. Specially trained for elephant management, elephant breeding, conservation medicine and biology. Extensive work experience in Southeast Asian countries as a consultant Veterinarian.
Richard Lair has lived and worked with Asian elephants, and has been a member of the IUCN/SSC AsESG, the UN’s Asian Elephant Specialist Group for over 30 years. He wrote the first scientific paper on the numbers and status of Thai domesticated elephants, and in 1997 wrote Gone Astray: The Care and Management of the Asian Elephant in Domesticity, for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He is working on a review of Thai law on both wild and domesticated elephants. Richard Lair has been interviewed on many television shows (BBC, Animal Planet, National Geographic, The Daily Show) and his work has been featured in TIME magazine, the New York Times, and others
Dr. Frederick (Ted) Leighton was the founding Executive Director of the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative (CWHC), a unique national partnership among academic veterinary medicine, government agencies responsible for wildlife conservation and for animal and human health, private businesses and other non-government groups that now leads and coordinates wildlife health management in Canada. Through ever-widening circles of recognition and engagement, Dr. Leighton guided the evolution of the CWHC from an initial program of wildlife disease surveillance to a broad national program of research, training, investigation, risk assessment, response planning and policy advise that now is a firm component of Canada’s national conservation and health management infrastructures. Designation of the CWHC as a Collaborating Centre of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) brought an international dimension to the CWHC program; Dr. Leighton served as the national focal point for wildlife for Canada’s Delegate to the OIE and developed and delivered a series of three 2-day training workshops on aspects of wildlife health assessment and management, each presented at five locations around the world for the wildlife focal points of the 180 OIE member countries.
Dr. Leighton studied theatre arts at Cornell University, taught school in rural Newfoundland, earned a DVM degree from the University of Saskatchewan, a PhD from Cornell, is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists,was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Guelph. His broad perspective on the place of wildlife, animal health and veterinary medicine in the 21st Century has resulted in invitations to present the Schofield Lecture at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, the Albert Franzmann Memorial Lecture of the American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV) and to serve as the inaugural K.V.F. Jubb Visiting Fellow at the University of Melbourne. He has received the Ed Addison Distinguished Service Award of the Wildlife Disease Association (WDA) and the Tom Thorne and Elizabeth Williams Award made jointly by the WDA and AAWV. As a research scientist, Dr. Leighton did pioneering work on the toxicity of crude petroleum oil to marine birds, and has managed large-scale research programs on Chronic Wasting Disease, West Nile virus, avian influenza, epidemic diseases in double-crested cormorants, and white-nose syndrome of bats. His proudest professional achievement is the cadre of students he has influenced, in one way or another, to contribute to wildlife conservation and global health issues.
Currently, Dr. Leighton is professor emeritus at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan. He is an active member of the Working Group for Wildlife of the OIE and is co-director of Wildlife-Human Health Net, a research and development program in Sri Lanka to enhance capacity in wildlife health management. He is an adjunct professor at Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia, a contributor to conservation research at the Mersey-Tobeatic Research Institute and an associate of the CWHC-Atlantic Region.
Ms. Turk’s career has spanned thirty-five years as Foreign Service Officer and Civil Service employee with the U.S. Agency for International Development with focused experience in agricultural and livestock program management. She joined USAID in 1980 following her service as a livestock advisor in the US Peace Corps, Philippine Islands then enjoyed three years in the former Sudan overseeing a multilaterally funded agricultural research project that built livestock research stations and trained staff in North and South Kordofan and Darfur states. She has developed and supervised global livestock production, health and research projects, managed multidisciplinary teams of scientific researchers in the United States and developing countries, and negotiated and resolved problems in project design and implementation.
Her responsibilities have included managing a multimillion dollar portfolio of livestock projects and the implementation of research activities and teams, analyzing the feasibility of technical proposals and negotiating terms of reference, evaluating international research programs, coordinating strategic portfolio planning, and organizing and chairing international and domestic symposia on global livestock production and trade. She has conducted technical analyses for policy and program development related to livestock production and health worldwide. In addition, she assists partners in developing potential market opportunities for U.S. trade in collaboration with livestock industry representatives, and advises developing country governments on strategies for livestock production, health and marketing.
Her international consultancies have included:TheWellcome Trust, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), European Union (EU), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and USAID livestock programs in Armenia, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Caribbean Islands (Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Lucia, Trinidad, and Tobago), Costa Rica, East Timor, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Peru, Republic of Georgia, Republic of Macedonia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Uganda, the West Bank, and Zimbabwe.
Ms. Turk attained a BS in Animal Science from The Ohio State University and an MS in Animal Science (ruminant nutrition) from Cornell University. She is a multi-year recipient of U.S.A.I.D.’s Meritorious Performance Awards and is listed in Who’s Who of American Women.
Dr. Beth Miller
Dr. Beth Miller is a veterinarian with 22 years of experience integrating animal health and social empowerment in international development. A graduate of Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine in the USA, Dr. Miller has owned and operated a small-scale goat dairy, and a mobile private veterinary practice in the USA. For 10 years, she served as Director of Gender Equity for Heifer International, which uses livestock as an entry point for sustainable community development.
Dr. Miller started Miller Agricultural Consulting Inc. in 2002, to provide project planning, training, research and evaluation services to a variety of clients, including World Bank, USAID, FAO, IFAD, ILRI, IFPRI, Heifer International, IGA, Land O’Lakes, and the Gates Foundation. She is committed to a future where the livestock value chain provides sustainable livelihoods for small-scale farmers and herders, supported by sound agricultural policies.
Dr. Madhulal Valliyatte
Advisor and Elephant Field Veterinarian
Dr. Valliyatte is an experienced veterinary surgeon and has worked in the field of animal welfare and shelter medicine for the past 12 years. He is also associated with national and international organizations. In 2002 he graduated from Hyderabad Veterinary College of India and in 2009 completed his post-graduate diploma in wildlife management from the Wildlife Institute of India. In 2014 he obtained his US veterinary license through the Education Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduate Certificate program from the AVMA .
Dr Valliyatte has extensive experience in the field of captive elephant welfare and disease management. He has been instrumental in building networks between various government departments, veterinarians, elephant owners and mahouts for improving the welfare standards of captive elephants. He was bestowed the “Eco Warrior Award “ by Hon. Vice President of India in 2008. He received the Wildlife Conservation Award from WORLD (Wing of Research in Local Development), Rajasthan, India in 2008 and the Certificate of Excellence from Elephant Family U.K in 2005.
As a shelter veterinarian, Dr. Valliyatte has considerable experience in disease management in shelter conditions. He is an experienced spay and neuter surgeon and trained many veterinarians to attain this skill.
Dr. Valliyatte is the author and contributor to many papers on healthcare and management of captive Asian elephants. He has presented many papers in international symposiums on animal welfare.
Arlene F. Gardsbane, DVM
Project Coordinator for the African Rabies Prevention Program
Dr. Gardsbane love of children, animals, medicine and travel has inspired her to want to do more to help our planet. As a veterinarian she opened a small animal veterinary hospital in Maryland, and watched as her dream of a caring compassionate veterinary hospital took wing. Her animal hospital, Animal Place Veterinary Hospital is now celebrating its 20th year.
As a mother, Dr. Gardsbane was fascinated by the interaction of children and animals. During various trips overseas, Dr. Gardsbane observed children and animals interacting, she starting reading more and more about teaching empathy to children and the effect it could have on people’s lives.
Traveling with Heifer Project International she saw the care of livestock, but realized that dogs and cats were not seen as being as valuable. Then in 2009 Dr. Gardsbane was invited by the Vice President of Liberia, West Africa to do an assessment of the veterinary needs of the country. At that time, she was able to put a spot light on the benefits of improving the health and lives of the dogs and cats for human health benefits.
Dr. Gardsbane is passionate about improving pet health as she feels it will have a direct positive benefit to the community and especially for the children. Teaching children around the world that small animals lives are important she feels will increase empathy towards people in the future.
Strategic and Development Advisor
Vincent is the CEO of Global Capital Partners, LLC and oversees all investment, management, and strategic activities of the firm. Drawing on his diverse entrepreneurial background, Vincent founded GCPHO to opportunistically pursue a broad range of transactions with best in class partners and operators.
Throughout his career, Vincent has been actively involved in the structuring of over $1 billion worth of assets within the real estate, private equity, and general/alternative investment marketplace. Specifically, Vincent has been responsible for a myriad of transactions and investments across numerous industries including oil and gas, advanced materials, global medical device company, global beverage company, luxury retail, sports and entertainment, hospitality, rental apartments, and condominium conversions.
Prior to founding GCPHO, Vincent served as Portfolio Manager, Private Wealth Advisor and Managing Director of the Jelani Asset Management and Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch Bank of America. In addition, Vincent was Vice President of Investments with Raymond James Financial Services Inc. Started his career at the global headquarters of Chanel Inc., Marketing and Branding division, then was recruited to join Federated Department Stores Inc. He then joined the fashion focused private equity firm, Holiday Fair Inc., as Vice President of Sales and Business Development, helped launched the global fashion brand Mark Ecko Unltd, then joined Accessory Concepts Inc., as Vice President of Sales and Business Development.
Vincent earned his MBA from the George Washington University School of Business and completing his BA from Harvard University. He has completed three executive educations programs: The Leadership and Management Program and the Private Wealth Management Program at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Business and completed the Advanced Investment Management Program from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. Vincent currently serves as a Board Member of the Presidential Advisory Council for the World Energy Forum, United Nations. In 2012, he joined as a Member of the Advisory Council of the World Energy Forum; consulted the CEO of WEF on strategy development, identified strategic global relationships and execution for the 2012 and 2014 forum. Early in 2014, Vincent was elected to become a Board Member Presidential Advisory Council for the WEF. Vincent also serves as a Board Member of Butlerview Holdings; which consists of Butler Dairy Cattle, Jetstream Genetics, Butler Auction and Butler Dairy Boarding.
Vincent’s commitment and support to various nonprofit organizations stems from his childhood experiences. As a son of a former professor, author and a former United Nations Research Director for Tuberculosis, Vincent traveled extensively throughout the world with his family. Visiting many countries exposed Vincent and his six siblings to poor living conditions. Personally coming in contact with families facing numerous struggles left lasting impressions that continue to spark Vincent and his family’s desire to improve the lives of individuals on a grand scale.
Pulkit has a Masters Degree in Computer Science from IUPUI and has interests in Software Development & Testing. In his spare time he enjoys playing video games, watching sports like Football & Tennis. He loves listening to music and Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Maroon 5 & Selena Gomez are some of his all time favorites. He is passionate towards causes related to animals and is a dog person.
Board of Directors
Dr. Scarlett Magda, President
Dr. William Karesh, Director
Erika Mansourian, Secretary
Erika Mansourian is the Executive Director of Elephant Family-USA, the US arm of Elephant Family, a UK nonprofit with field projects across India, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia that preserve Asian elephant populations and their habitats.
Erika is on the Board of Directors of PAMS Foundation and the Advisory Board of the Humane Society of NY. She was the co-organizer of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s International March for Elephants in New York City.
Margaret Zawadzka, Esq. Board Chair
Attorney-at-Law Margaret A. Zawadzka is the founder of MAZLegal International, a law firm located in the New York City. Ms. Zawadzka has over 13 years’ experience in Immigration & Business Law. Ms. Zawadzka received her Juris Doctor degree from Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland and & her Master’s in Law from Fordham University School of Law in New York City. She is licensed to practice state law in New York. Federal law permits her to practice immigration and nationality law anywhere in the US. She is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association and New York State Bar Association. Ms. Zawadzka is also on the board of the New York Piano Festival and is the proud owner of a Miniature Schnauzer named Chip!
Gabe Robles, Treasurer
Gabe Robles is currently the Director of Finance/Controller at Soho Experiential in New York. He has a BS in Mathematics/Economics from UCLA and began his career in tax consulting at Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles. He then moved into Finance within the Media and Entertainment industry, spending time at both Warner Music Group and AMC Networks.
Maude Davis, Board Member
Maude grew up in Locust Valley, New York and attended Adelphi University. Her company, Davis Design, a boutique ad agency serving the consumer-, medical-, and financial sectors, was founded in 1980.
After running the company for 20 years, she dedicated the next 15 years to raising her son. She is now broker at Prime Manhattan Realty. Maude has served on the Board of Directors of the Topping Riding Club, the historical club of the Topping family, who began and ran The Hampton Classic annual event. She was an avid fundraiser and on the board of directors for First Presbyterian Nursery School and began the school’s successful endowment fund. Maude is also the founding board member of Camp Rusk, a 501c3 horse retirement foundation.
Maude’s interests and experience have led her to assist with promotion, direction, and creative events for Inside Broadway; Carnegie Hall for Children Forum; Lincoln Center Arts for Children, and as a sponsor for the Hampton Classic.
Christine Montanti, Board Member and Publicist
Christine studied communications and specialized in broadcasting at Adelphi and C.W. Post Universities. With a degree in Communications, she holds the positions as Senior Editor & Advertising Director for Social Life Magazine. She uses her deft business and people skills to find the perfect fit between Social Life and affluent brands. Her diverse position at Social Life Magazine enables her to use her broad based skills by producing covers, writing editorials, managing public relations, reporting and writing for New York TV news segments, and conducting on-camera celebrity interviews.
Christine’s lifelong passion is spending her free time helping animals. She is actively involved in rescue missions that treat injured, abused and stray animals. Christine works directly with veterinarians and charitable organizations that provide the necessary medical care to treat and rehabilitate the animals she rescues. She spends months to years fostering, socializing and caring for her rescues before she is able to place them in the appropriate forever homes. Her goal is to raise awareness and educate communities about the inhumane treatment of animals through the media outlets she is affiliated with. Christine currently serves the Board of Directors as Public Relations Manager for Veterinarians International.
Maurizio Marfoglia, Honorary Board Member
Maurizio Marfoglia hails from the Lombardy region of Italy, just north of Milan. After training in top kitchens throughout Italy, France and Germany, Marfoglia launched a successful early career owning two popular Italian restaurants by the age of 27. His success streak continued in 1994, when he ventured to New York. He has since had a dizzying career as Executive Chef at some of the city’s best Italian restaurants including Sette MoMA, and as Corporate Executive Chef for several restaurants belonging to the famed Pino Luongo, such as Mad 61, Le Madri, Tuscan Square and Coco Pazzo. To date, Marfoglia has opened seventeen restaurants across Europe and the United States. He has also served as the private chef to the Italian Ambassador to the United Nations and taught at the Cooking Institute of America. He is a regular contributor to La Cucina Italiana and Italian Cooking and Living. In 2007 he opened restaurant tutto il giorno with Gabby Karen DeFelice in Sag Harbor, and since then has opened 2 more locations in Southampton and New York City. Although he’s at the restaurant every day, Marfoglia also spends time as an emergency medical technician, before coming to Tutto, he also lectured on endangered species and designs jewelry.