Board of Director Bios

Carolyn Farquhar

Carolyn Farquhar, Quebec

Chair & President

Carolyn is passionate about protecting the endangered species of our planet. Big cats hold a special interest for her. She has twice been a working volunteer at Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia, witnessing close-up the magnificence of the cheetah, the ecosystems in which they live, and the vital work that CCF is doing.  Carolyn is also a member of Cheetah Conservation Fund USA’s Board of Trustees. She is also a board member of her community’s land trust/environmental NGO.

Carolyn was Assistant Director at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment, and the Associate Director at the Secretariat of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law at the University of Ottawa from 2008-14. Carolyn was director of research at Canada’s largest think tank, The Conference Board of Canada, where she led research projects on issues related to strategic planning, organizational change and public policy.

Marie-Claude Erian, Quebec

Treasurer & Director

Marie-Claude went to Southern Africa for the first time in 1984 and she was deeply struck by its beauty. She has an abiding belief that we can make a difference in the world through lifting people up, in their communities, while protecting the natural environment. For her, the work of CCF is a true example of how to make this happen.

Marie-Claude has been involved in international trade facilitation for businesses across many sectors for over 30 years at Export Development Canada. One area of focus was environment and sustainable development, looking at Canadian capabilities, international competition/innovation and programs/regulations being implemented at the government and business levels.

Angela Chan

Angela Chan, Ontario

Secretary & Director

Angela loves all felines both big and small but ever since she saw three cheetahs playing with each other in the Masai Mara, they have held a special place in her heart.

On a trip to Namibia, she was lucky enough to meet Dr. Laurie Marker and see the incredible work that CCF is doing to rehabilitate injured cheetahs, educate farmers and provide them with livestock guard dogs.

Angela works as an Anesthesia Assistant and Clinical Educator at the University Health Network in Toronto and uses her passion for education to help inform the public of the challenges facing cheetahs in the wild.

Patricia Elias, Quebec

Director at large

Patricia has always been very passionate about wildlife and endangered species, especially Big Cats. This led her to complete a Master’s in animal behavior studying tigers, jaguars and ocelots. Cheetahs have always held a special place in her heart because of how they evolved and how vulnerable they are. She is sharing that passion with her students at Bishop’s University where she is teaching Biology. She strongly believes in the importance of education both far and near, for raising awareness about conservation and endangered species.

Patricia is also a lifelong horse lover. Her equine passion has led her to gain experience as she followed her equine veterinarian for some time, learning some valuable skills for working with animals.

Deb Gray

Deb Gray, Ontario

Director at large

Deb is a long-time passionate animal advocate and is a keen supporter of community and environment. Growing up on a farm, becoming a veterinary technician, and working in the animal field for over three decades have instilled a great love and respect for animals of all shapes and sizes. Deb has helped to heal bodies and soothe damaged souls, has been on management teams, and is a leader of employees and colleagues alike. Deb is also a Director of the Gordon and Patricia Gray Animal Welfare Foundation which supports charities across Canada and in Africa.

Deb has travelled to Africa on several occasions and has seen the animals in their natural environment. This has created a solid basis of understanding of the extreme need for conservation on all levels: from the animal, human and environmental perspectives. Deb is excited to assist CCF with its conservation and education efforts moving forward.

Harold Westerman, British Columbia

Director at large

As far back as he can remember the cheetah has been Harold’s favorite wild animal. His love and passion for all animals goes back to his childhood when at only 13 he was an avid dog trainer showing his family’s two champion dogs across western Canada. He has always admired the speed, grace and vulnerability of the cheetah. He has supported CCF for over 10 years along with many other animal charities. Harold has travelled to, worked and lived in Africa on two occasions. First in Gabon where he lived and worked for several months and later, he finally was thrilled to see his first cheetahs in the wild with his family in Kenya and Tanzania.

Harold is a professional engineer who is a port planner and engineer with over 37 years’ experience in the field. His career has taken him to over 30 countries on 6 continents. With every project he has strived to ensure each is developed in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner

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