Officers

  • Dr. Barbara Baker

    Past President

  • Tim Morrow

    President

  • Tom Albert

    Vice President, Treasurer

  • Mike Fouraker

    Secretary, President-Elect

Dr. Barbara Baker

Past President

Dr. Barbara Baker is President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, a facility housing over 6,000 animals and ranked in the top five zoos for families nationwide, with over 1 million visitors each year. During her 28 year career, she was a veterinarian at numerous facilities housing African and Asian elephants, including the Bronx Zoo, the Lincoln Park Zoo, and the Riverbanks Zoo. Dr. Baker has supported the vision, programs, and resources for the Pittsburgh Zoo’s elephant herd to grow from 2 to 10 animals, one of the largest in the U.S., including 4 successful births. The Zoo recently developed a 724 acres (290 hectares) property into its International Conservation Center (ICC), a conservation, breeding and education center with the primary focus on African elephants. The facility includes a 10,000 sq. ft. elephant barn that is currently home to 3 elephants, including “Jackson,” one of the most valuable breeding bulls in the country.

The Pittsburgh Zoo has developed a number of international partnerships for elephants, including a formal partnership with the Institute for Zoological and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, and a unique “sister zoo” relationship with ZooWuppertal in Germany, now a very successful ten year partnership. Dr. Baker is currently coordinating research efforts on African elephants in the wild in collaboration with IZW, ZooParc de Beauval in France, the National Zoo in South Africa, the SA Biobank, and the University of Western Cape, SA.

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Tim Morrow

President

Tim is a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio as well as San Antonio College. Prior to joining the San Antonio Zoo in December 2014, Tim had a 24-year career in the theme park industry, and has been part of the opening of several theme parks including Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Parque Plaza Sesame in Monterrey, Mexico, Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida and most recently Aquatica Waterpark in San Antonio, Texas.

He currently serves as the CEO and Executive Director for the San Antonio Zoo and its Zoo School, which will open in fall 2017 as the largest nature based preschool in the country. Tim leads a team of nine vice presidents who together oversee nearly 500 employees, 600 volunteers and care for a multitude of animal species, some of which are threatened or endangered. Tim’s vision to take the San Antonio Zoo to new heights began with investing $5 million into upgrading and renovating more than 100 animal habitats in his first two years. The most dramatic first improvements were the opening of a new home for giraffes, the addition of rain gardens both in the giraffe and elephant habitats, and expanding the African lion habitat. Tim serves on the boards of several organizations, including the International Elephant Foundation, San Antonio Tourism Council, UTSA Alumni Association, and Young Presidents Organization’s San Antonio chapter.

While away from the “office,” Tim cheers on the San Antonio Spurs and the Dallas Cowboys, and his favorite travel partners are his wife Jennifer and two children.

Tom Albert

Vice President, Treasurer

Updated Profile coming soon.

Mike Fouraker

Secretary, President-Elect

Mike Fouraker is the Executive Director of the nationally ranked Fort Worth Zoo and has been with the institution since 1993. Fouraker brings more than 27 years of elephant management skills to the IEF with experience in the elephant programs at both the Fort Worth and Knoxville Zoos. The Fort Worth Zoo’s Asian elephant breeding program includes two adult bull elephants and five females. Mike has served on the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ (AZA) Board of Directors and is an active Board Member on several conservation foundations including the International Rhino Foundation and the International Iguana Foundation. Additionally, he served as the coordinator for the AZA White Rhino Species Survival Plan (SSP), and is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Conservation Breeding Specialist Group and World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

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Board Members

  • Brian Aucone

  • Dr. Arne Lawrenz

  • Frank Carlos Camacho

  • Charlie Gray

    Past President

  • Tim Thier

  • Daryl Hoffman

  • Gary Johnson

  • Dr. Dennis Schmitt

  • Randy Rieches

  • Columbus Zoo

  • Liz Larsen

Brian Aucone

Brian Aucone is the Senior Vice President for Animal Sciences at Denver Zoo in Denver, Colorado, United States. Brian oversees all aspects of animal care, health, nutrition, behavior, and wellness of the over 2500 animals that call Denver Zoo home. Brian has participated in a variety of field conservation programs for elephants, greater one-horned rhinos, argali sheep, bats, and reptiles around the globe. In his time at Denver Zoo, and Oklahoma City Zoo prior, there have been significant advances for elephants in human care through innovative exhibits and husbandry programs. Brian also serves as the Snake Taxon Advisory Group chair for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a Lizard Taxonomic Advisory Group (TAG) steering committee member, a member of the Rocky Mountain Wolf Action Fund, and a member of both Colorado and Southwest Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (COPARC & SWPARC). Brian has a passion for all species and how we can collectively work to save them across the globe.

Dr. Arne Lawrenz

Dr. Arne Lawrenz is the Director of Wuppertal Zoo, one of the oldest and most prestigious zoos in Germany caring for approximately 5000 animals representing nearly 500 species. He holds a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine from the “Freie Universität Berlin” and cared for animals both large and small before coming to Wuppertal Zoo as the elephant curator and veterinarian in 1998.

Dr. Lawrenz is active in research and endangered species conservation, focusing on non-infectious diseases in the endangered Black-footed cat, and tuberculosis in elephants. He is Chairman of the Veterinary Committee of the European Association of Zoos & Aquaria (EAZA), President for Zoo Animal, Wildlife and Exotic Animal Medicine of Deutsche Veterinärmedizinische Gesellschaft (DVG), Past President of the European Association of Zoo and Wildlife Veterinarians (EAZWV), and Veterinary Advisor for the Black-footed Cat EEP, Asian Golden Cat EEP, and Pudu EEP.

Frank Carlos Camacho

Frank Carlos Camacho is the director of Africam Safari Park, Puebla, México and President of the Mexican Zoo and Aquaria Association (AZCARM, www.azcarm.com.mx), Chairman of the Board of the Committee for the Recovery of Endangered Species (ECRES, AZCARM), President of the International Eagle Conservation Alliance (ECA, www.EagleConservationAlliance.org), Member of the Board of the Latin-American Zoo and Aquaria Association (www.ALPZA.org) and Vice-president of Watusi Watoto Safari Camp. Frank is also a Master Scuba Diver (PADI), certified Open Water Rescue Diver. (PADI), certified in High Angle Rescue, certified in Swift Water Rescue and certified in Cliff Rescue.

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Charlie Gray

Past President

Charlie Gray brings more than 25 years of elephant experience as the Elephant Manager at African Lion Safari in Ontario, Canada. Charlie Gray manages the largest breeding herd of Asian elephants in Canada and the largest Asian elephant herd in any zoological facility in North America. African Lion Safari has had more than 17 Asian elephants born at the park since 1991 and has had more second generation births than any other facility in North America. All of the calves born at the park – originating from 5 different fathers and 5 different mothers – are still living. Charlie is well known for his progressive elephant management program that utilizes elephants for display, education, rides and demonstrations. He is also well respected for his ability to manage multiple adult bulls in a breeding situation. African Lion Safari has been involved in many research projects including monitoring testosterone levels in males, semen collection, artificial insemination, and female Asian elephant hormone and urine assays. Gray is a founding member and past Board member of the Elephant Managers Association and a long-term member of the American Zoo and Aquarium (AZA) Elephant Taxon Advisory Group (AZA TAG/SSP) Management Group.

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Tim Thier

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Daryl Hoffman

Daryl started his zoo career in 1989 at the Buffalo Zoo. In 1993, he began working with elephants and has not looked back since. In June of 2006, Daryl became the Curator of Large Mammals at the Houston Zoo where his primary duties include the oversight of the zoo’s Asian elephant breeding and research program. The zoo’s elephant program is multi-dimensional in terms of its training and daily management. Daryl is one of the leaders in the Houston Zoo’s partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and research of the Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpes Virus (EEHV). Being a part of finding a cure for EEHV is one Daryl’s passions. Daryl is currently the Executive Director of the Elephant Managers Association (EMA) and has served the EMA Board of Directors in some capacity since 2000. Under Daryl’s leadership, this organization continues to grow with increased membership and the establishment of a webpage and merchandise sales. He has been an instructor at the AZA Principles of Elephant Management School since 2002 and a member of the AZA Elephant TAG/SSP Management Group since 2007.

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Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson and his wife Kari are internationally recognized experts in elephant care and training, and are widely recognized for their contributions to elephant management and husbandry. With over 45 years of elephant experience, Mr. Johnson is well respected for his involvement in animal welfare issues and has served on the boards and animal welfare committees of multiple organizations. Gary and Kari are committed to helping find ways to diagnose and treat health and husbandry issues that affect elephants and to that end have raised tens of thousands of dollars to fund research. “We are very proud of the fact that we have been able to develop a dedicated and hard-working team of people who believe as strongly as we do in the importance of preserving this endangered species. Our lives are centered on a positive cause. We are devoted to promoting the health and welfare of elephants everywhere.” Most recently, the Johnsons founded The Preserve in Fredericksburg, Texas to educate the public about elephants. At The Preserve the Johnson’s Elephant Ambassadors continue to inspire visitors to care about elephant conservation through demonstrating the human-elephant bond. Because of this work and more, the Johnsons have been honored by their peers with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Elephant Managers Association.

Dr. Dennis Schmitt

Dennis Schmitt, DVM, Ph.D., wears the hat of a number of different organizations. As a professor at Southwest Missouri State University, he instructs his students in advanced assisted reproduction. While serving as a consulting veterinarian, Schmitt specializes in elephant medical and reproductive management to elephant facilities worldwide. As owner of Reproductive Resources, he operates an assisted reproduction program for the domestic animal industry. Schmitt is the leading elephant reproductive physiologist in North America and serves as a Research and Reproductive Advisor for the AZA Elephant TAG/SSP Management Group. He announced the first successful conception by artificial insemination of an elephant, an Asian, in June of 1998 and was involved in the subsequent first two successful artificial inseminations of African elephants in North America in 1998. Schmitt continues to perform inseminations with over fifteen additional conceptions to date. Schmitt also conducts workshops internationally to train veterinarians and wildlife specialists in the technology of ultrasonography and semen collection.

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Randy Rieches

Randy Rieches is the Curator of Mammals at the San Diego Wild Animal Park working with exotic wildlife for 30 years. Randy manages a collection of 140 species/subspecies of animals numbering over 1700 specimens. Species under Randy’s care include breeding herds African and Asian elephants. Mr. Rieches is currently involved in both in situ and ex situ conservation issues and projects affecting the long term survival of elephants. He sits on the Board of Directors for the International Rhino Foundation and is the SSP Coordinator for Indian Rhinoceros, Vice Chair for the Rhinoceros TAG and is involved in current relocation programs for Indian Rhinoceros in India. He also sits on Elephant, Antelope, Equid and Caprinae Taxon Advisory Groups.

Columbus Zoo

Columbus Zoo Blurb: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has been a supporter of the International Elephant Foundation for 20 years, and a representative has sat on our Board of Directors since 2000. They are committed to creating a sustainable future for elephants, both in range countries, and here in the United States. They display a breeding herd of Asian elephants and provide a strong conservation education message to their visitors. The elephant program is well-respected and constantly adapting to the latest advancements in care, and their herd frequently participates in important studies and research that will benefit all elephants.

Liz Larsen

Staff

  • Deborah Olson

    Executive Director

  • Sarah Conley

    Conservation Coordinator

Deborah Olson

Executive Director

Deborah Olson is the Executive Director of the International Elephant Foundation. With 30 years of African elephant experience, she led the Indianapolis Zoo’s reproductive research program, which involves monitoring progesterone and luteininzing hormones of female elephants , correlating these hormones to reproductive tract changes through transrectal ultrasonography, which ultimately led to the successful insemination of two female African elephants in 1998. Olson has served on the AZA Elephant TAG/ SSP Management Group; the AZA Elephant Task Force; and is past Editor of the Journal of the Elephant Managers Association, is the North American Region African Elephant Studbook keeper, and edited the Elephant Husbandry Resource Guide.

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Sarah Conley

Conservation Coordinator

Sarah Conley comes to the International Elephant Foundation as its Conservation Assistant after having had the opportunity to work with Asian elephants in California as a teenager. Conley has been working with and for elephants ever since. In the process she attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) majoring in Economics with minors in English Literature and Music History, graduating Summa Cum Laude and being honored with UCLA’s prestigious Distinguished Bruin Award.

Conley has been active in legislative and animal welfare issues, working to secure a future for elephants in a world where people are increasingly disconnected from nature. She is a nationally published writer and regular contributor to animal welfare and animal industry publications.