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Our team

WDC has around 80 staff worldwide working in 6 locations. They are led by a team of directors overseen by volunteer trustees who are responsible for ensuring we meet our charitable obligations.

Executive Directors

International CEO: Chris Butler-Stroud
Director of Strategic Development: Chris Vick
Director of Finance: Jane Bryan
Director of Fundraising and Marketing: Helen Mitchell
Director of Policy: Vanesa Tossenberger
Director of Human Resources: Sian Davies-Hamilton
Executive Director North America: Regina Asmutis-Silvia
Executive Director Germany: Franziska Waltere
Executive Director Australia: Declan Andrews
Executive Director Latin America: Caro Cassani  

Program Leads

Stop Whaling: Astrid Fuchs
End Captivity: Cathy Williamson
Create Healthy Seas: Erich Hoyt
Prevent deaths in fishing gear: Sarah Dolman

WDC-North America Staff


Regina Asmutis-Silvia, Executive Director - North America

Regina is our fearless leader. She has her USCG 100-ton near coastal Master's License and has been involved in whale conservation for over 20 years. Besides running the office, she is also responsible for a lot of our policy and advocacy work. She is a Massachusetts native, a walking encyclopedia of whale information, and obsessed with Keith Richards.

regina and humpback


Missy Walker, Marketing & Fundraising Manager

Missy first became part of the whamily when she collaborated with WDC on an education program in 2013. She came on board in 2014 and keeps WDC supporters up-to-date with everything that is going on in the whale world. Missy loves all of her bird and squirrel friends that visit the feeder outside her office window and she teaches us all about vegetables that we never knew existed!


Colleen Weiler, Jessica Rekos Orca Fellow

Colleen first joined our whamily in 2013 as a Policy Intern. Since then, she has taken on the role of Jessica Rekos Orca Fellow and has spearheaded WDC-North America's orca conservation program.  Colleen works from her home on the West Coast (#bestcoast), is a master of whale puns, and is always one step ahead when it comes to policy affecting orcas.



Monica Pepe, Policy Manager- Conservation & Education

Monica has been in the whamily since 2009 when she started at WDC as a Field Research Intern. She came back the following year to volunteer and has been here ever since. She currently is the intern coordinator and oversees our boater education programs. She is a grammar queen and a Friends fanatic.

Michelle Collins, Program Associate - Science & Communications

Michelle found her whamily in 2012 when she started as a Field Research Intern. She couldn't get enough of whale conservation and came back in 2013 and hasn't left yet. She manages communications for WDC-North America, but always loves going on the boat to look for whales. She is proud of her midwest roots and has a freakishly good memory

Sabrina 2016

Sabrina Braunlich, Program Assistant

Sabrina fell in love with WDC and marine life in 2016 when she started as a Field Research Intern. She couldn't stay away and joined us as the Program Assistant in 2017. She has experience as a radio DJ and has never heard a corny joke she didn't like.


Emily Ryane Hawkins, Campaign Officer

Emily Ryane Hawkins first came to WDC as an intern during the 2012 field season. After trying out other internships, she came back and joined the WDC team and currently works remotely on our grant writing and fundraising efforts. Emily Ryane is by far the most organized person on our team and winks at people without knowing she's doing it.

Emily Ryane
All staff 4.10.18