On behalf of ACE, the Board of Directors is thrilled to announce that we have selected Leah Edgerton as our new executive director. After comprehensive evaluation of an exceptional pool of candidates, the hiring committee unanimously recommended Leah for the executive director position, and the Board approved this selection. Leah has a clear vision for ACE’s future and the leadership skills to turn that vision into reality. We look forward to the continued growth and success of our organization under her direction.
Leah’s background in professional animal advocacy is well-rounded; she brings expertise in management, strategy development, and communications to her new role as ACE’s executive director. In her most recent position as strategy and internationalization manager at ProVeg International, Leah developed and managed ProVeg’s China Program. She grew the team from scratch, built connections with crucial stakeholders in the region, and continually identified high-impact opportunities to advance the program. She also played a central role in creating ProVeg’s organization-wide strategic plan, international growth strategy, and internal communication systems, as well as their culture and transparency policies. Additionally, Leah coordinated with external academics to conduct experimental research in animal advocacy, with a focus on consumer perceptions of plant-based food labels and attitudes towards plant-based foods in China.
One factor that set Leah apart from other applicants is her familiarity with ACE’s work, and her robust understanding of our goals and strategy. From 2015–2017, Leah was an integral part of the ACE team in her role as digital media manager. Under her leadership, our social media community grew by 200% and our email subscribers doubled. She also helped plan and launch our website redesign and managed promotional aspects of our research symposium and Animal Advocacy Research Fund.
Leah has a strong commitment to both the animal advocacy and effective altruism movements. Her broad knowledge of the various players and strategies of each movement will be an asset in her new position. She considers ACE to play a crucial role in the future of animal advocacy, and is excited to continue building out the mutually beneficial relationship between the effective altruism and animal advocacy communities.
“The positive impact that the effective altruism community has had on the animal advocacy movement is clear: impact assessments and prioritization within the movement are topics of regular discussion at the movement’s largest conferences and at many of the leading organizations. This shift in discourse has influenced many donors, career advocates, and volunteers to be more conscious in their decision making, choosing to allocate their resources in ways where they can help more animals. There is still further impact to be had by continuing to expand the reach of this message, and ACE is well positioned to do this.”
As we welcome Leah back to ACE, we want to thank Sofia Davis-Fogel for her excellent work as ACE’s interim executive director. She demonstrated superb leadership through this transitional period, taking on the additional responsibilities of executive director in addition to her permanent responsibilities as managing director. She worked to meet the needs of the organization as well as the needs of each and every team member while continuing to foster a productive work culture. We also want to thank former Executive Director Jon Bockman—not only for his leadership over the past five years, but also for his continued support through his participation in the hiring process and his new position on the board. More generally, thank you to the ACE team and community for all of your hard work and support. We are deeply grateful for everything you do.
Leah will formally assume the role of ACE’s executive director in mid-February. We are thrilled to have her back on our team, and are eager for her to begin in her new role. We look forward to a successful 2019 and beyond!