Joan entered the organized community of animal advocacy and welfare as a senior director of planned giving for the Humane Society of the United States/Humane Society International [HSUS/HSI]. In her role as a professional fundraiser, Joan educates donors about animal-related issues, including the importance of companion animals and thoughtful dietary choices. Yet even before entering the field, she rescued and championed animals, building her own family of abandoned pets and maintaining a community cat colony in Miami.
Joan’s route to the animal realm has been circuitous and unlikely. She earned a BA in English and a JD from the University of Florida, beginning her career as a law clerk for Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal. Not long after, she became Southern Area Civil Rights Counsel for the Anti-Defamation League [ADL], an international human relations agency. In this role, she drafted legislation; analyzed Free Exercise and Establishment issues; resolved Title VII employment complaints; monitored extremist groups and ran covert operatives; and trained law enforcement, teachers, and community religious leaders. In recent years, Joan served as the executive director of two synagogues and an Israeli social service agency; she also served as an associate regional director of the Union for Reform Judaism.
Due to lessons learned at HSUS/HSI, Joan migrated from keeping kosher to becoming a vegetarian; she now follows a vegan diet. This transformation has been greatly influenced by thought leaders in the Jewish community, such as Rabbi David Rosen, and her daughter, Abigail, a vegan chef. She values learning about the philosophy underlying the evolution of animal law and its intersection with Torah principles.
Joan’s other interests include reading, gardening, and acquiring languages. She looks forward to joining the Lewis & Clark legal community and learning from the esteemed faculty and devoted students in the United States and abroad.