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Meet Compassion Over Killing - Staff - Compassion Over Killing

ERICA MEIER: Executive Director

Erica-chicken-webErica has served as COK’s Executive Director since 2005, after being an active volunteer starting in 2000. Since taking the helm, Erica has taken the organization to new heights with continued growth and accomplishments for animals that include ending the egg industry’s use of the misleading claim “Animal Care Certified” and successfully persuading BOCA foods to stop using eggs.

Vegan for 20 years, Erica has been working in the animal protection field since college. Before working at COK, Erica spent several years as an animal control officer in Washington, DC where she rescued sick, stray, and homeless animals as well as enforced anti-cruelty laws.
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JAYA BHUMITRA: Campaigns Director

jaya-bioAs Campaigns Director, Jaya develops COK’s national outreach efforts such as our We Love Subway and US VegWeek campaigns, while also expanding our reach in other cities around the U.S. Previously, she acted as our LA Outreach Director for nearly a year, and led the LA Volunteer Chapter the year before that.

Jaya has an academic background in marketing and psychology, and a professional background in public affairs. She’s also a Fellow (2011) and former Co-Director (2012-2013) of the LA chapter of New Leaders Council, a national association that develops emerging leaders. Jaya shares her home with dogs Tin Tin and Midge, and Cupcake the cat.


SEAN CONNER: Director of Operations

sean-bioA native of the National Capital Region, Sean serves as COK’s Director of Operations, coordinating our development efforts, overseeing volunteers and interns at our DC office, managing office operations, and assisting with a variety of outreach events. Sean became vegan while studying at the College of William and Mary, thanks to members of the campus’ vegetarian organization who first unveiled for him the horrors of the dairy and egg industries.

Before joining the COK team, Sean worked in anti-vivisection and media campaigns for an animal advocacy organization and development and communications for an at-risk youth center.


ELENA JOHNSON: Special Projects Manager

elena-bioAs Special Projects Manager, Elena is in charge of planning a variety of events—from fundraisers to volunteer trainings. She also assists with our national campaigns, including We Love Subway. Elena volunteered for the Baltimore chapter of COK for two years prior to becoming a staff member.

Before joining COK, Elena worked on events and educational programs for a national cat protection nonprofit and for a retail corporation. She is also a vegan chef and caterer who uses her knowledge of vegan ingredients to offer cooking demonstrations to the public. She shares her home with 3 black cats: Azrael, Buster, and Lucy.


CHERYL LEAHY: General Counsel

cheryl-bioSince 2006, Cheryl has served as COK’s General Counsel targeting large-scale abuse of farmed animals through proactive litigation and undercover investigations. Her work includes challenging cruel, yet standard, practices forced upon farmed animals as well as the misleading marketing of meat, milk, and eggs often found in grocery stores.

Cheryl received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Chicago in Environmental Studies. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and California bars and currently works in COK’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her dog Hermione.


LISA WINEBARGER: Counsel

LisaWAfter getting her start in Animal Law as a Litigation Intern for COK in 2010, Lisa joined COK’s Legal Department in 2013. She now works to challenge the widespread abuse of farmed animals and egregious agricultural practices through litigation and other legal avenues.

Lisa received her B.A. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and her J.D. with honors from the American University Washington College of Law. She is a member of the California and Hawaii bars, and works out of COK’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her rescue dogs, Puna and Kui.


NICOLE FURLAN: Web Developer

nicole-headshotNicole focuses on maintaining and updating COK’s family of websites, and supporting staff IT needs. Nicole has a B.S. in Computer Science and a M.S.E. in Software Engineering.

Nicole previously worked as a software engineer while spreading animal rights awareness to family and friends. She officially became vegetarian during college, and after watching “Factory Farming in 60 Seconds”, she became vegan and has been spreading the pro-vegan message ever since. She also advocates for “dangerous” dog breeds, and volunteers with a wildlife organization and a political action committee to help get animal-minded officials elected into office. Nicole shares her home with her husband and two loving rescued pit bulls named Brady and Bruno.


SARAH DELUCIA: Communications Manager

Harris PictureAs Communications Manager, Sarah is responsible for writing and editing much of COK’s content, including its publications and websites. She has eight years of professional writing and editing experience and has written on a variety of topics, including food and agriculture policy. Vegan since 2012, Sarah is passionate about making the world a kinder place for animals.

Sarah received an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Colgate University.





Compassion Over Killing’s Offices

Washington, DC – Headquarters:

6930 Carroll Ave Ste 910
Takoma Park, MD 20912
301-891-2458 | info@cok.net

Los Angeles, California:

310-217-1519 | info@cok.net