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Solutions at the Nexus of Climate, Animal Welfare, and Sustainable Development

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Solutions at the Nexus of Climate, Animal Welfare, and Sustainable Development

Building a Flourishing Future | Panel

This panel will explore the nexus of climate change, animal welfare, and sustainable development. It will showcase how improving animal welfare can contribute towards achieving global climate goals and accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will additionally explore the potential for climate action to incorporate and improve animal welfare.

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Date & Time

Friday, 9/23
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM


Tzu Chi Center
229 E 60th St. NY, 10022

Allie Molinaro
Campaigns Manager, Compassion in World Farming

Allie Molinaro works to advance Compassion USA’s state and federal policy work, thought leadership, and activist mobilization. She focuses her work on placing factory farming in a broader context, highlighting its impacts not only on animal welfare but also on pollution, climate change, public health, and social justice. 

Prior to joining Compassion, Allie assisted in public education and donor relations at NRDC.

Allie holds an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from The New School and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Connecticut.

Jessica Kwong
Founder & CEO, Jack & Friends

Jessica Kwong is the Founder & CEO of Jack & Friends, a company creating plant-based jerky from jackfruit and pea protein. Jack & Friends believes in inclusivity—especially when it comes to food. 

They are committed to crafting products you can feel good about eating, regardless of your lifestyle or diet, so you can enjoy food without compromising on quality. Jessica used her technical background, which includes a B.S. in Food Science from Cornell University, and experience working in CPG corporations like Mondelez International and The Hain Celestial Group to launch and lead her successful startup.

Yuru Chou
Director of Audit,  Tzu Chi Medical Foundation

As Director of Audit at Tzu Chi Medical Foundation, Yuru Chou continues her life’s work bridging integrity and effectiveness to champion humanistic medicine development and education. At Tzu Chi, Ms. Chou is putting to use three decades of auditing and communications skills to improve processes and collaboration in order to not just treat patients but to promote good health and wellbeing.

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being is even more critical now, with persistent conflict, the impact of climate change and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. By dedicating as both staff and volunteer, she assists Tzu Chi to manage the resources efficiently to respond to an ever-expanding demand for health systems, improved sanitation and hygiene, and increased access to physicians. In 2021, the foundation with its network of seven hospitals and 22 affiliated health institutions in Taiwan and a network of medical volunteers in 25 countries reached over 5 million people – the highest annual total in its history. Ms. Chou is also driving greater focus and attention to Tzu Chi’s work beyond treating patients, highlighting how spiritual care and meditation can help bring peace and recovery to our troubled world.

Before coming to Tzu Chi Medical Foundation in March 2016, Ms. Chou spent a decade working with international disaster relief agencies and on-the-ground program managers in more than 10 countries, directing projects designed to foster peace, reconciliation and good health. She traveled to many countries organizing, leading or participating in community volunteer empowerment.

Cristina Mendonça
Managing Director, Mercy For Animals in Brazil

Cristina Mendonça serves as Mercy For Animals’ managing director in Brazil. She provides strategic leadership and guidance to advance efforts to build a compassionate food system in Brazil in direct cooperation with diverse stakeholders.

Working in close collaboration with the Mercy For Animals global leadership team, she oversees program delivery while driving strategic opportunities and partnerships to further the organization’s mission and impact. Cristina brings more than 20 years of local and global sustainability experience. This includes mobilizing people and financial resources, as well as leading, facilitating, and engaging national and international stakeholders in change processes that amplify impact for NGOs, governments, and companies. Before joining Mercy For Animals, Cristina founded Techni, an inclusive sustainability consulting firm. She also worked for the Clinton Climate Initiative and C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group for almost 11 years in various capacities, including advising Eduardo Paes, the chair of C40 and mayor of Rio de Janeiro, and designing the theory of change for C40’s consumption prototype program that aims to foster sustainable lifestyles. Cristina holds a bachelor’s in chemical engineering, a master’s in urban and environmental engineering, and an executive MBA in administration. 

Nisreen Elsaim is an environmental and climate activist, started activism in 2012, with a Bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Khartoum, Sudan. She pursued her master’s degree in renewable energy from the same University. General coordinator for Youth and Environment – Sudan (YES) platform to give all environment working youth the networking they need. Also, Ms. Elsaim is the Chair of Sudan Youth Organization on Climate Change (SYOCC) which youth-led organization.

As part of many regional and international platforms Nisreen Led and mentored large number of young people with in YOUNGO, PACJA, Abu Dhabi youth Voices, and others. Nisreen is also a junior negotiator with the African Group of Negotiators in technology transfer. focusing on the policies of countries regarding climate change and renewable energies. Wrote several policy papers in climate change, renewable energy, gender and youth empowerment.

In 2020 Nisreen was chosen to chair the UN Secretary General youth adviser on climate change along with 6 other young climate activists. Currently she is one of the first Cohort of Marianne initiative for human rights defenders, an initiative by the French president.

Amelia Linn,
Director of Global Policy Mercy For Animals

Amelia Linn is the director of global policy at Mercy For Animals, leading the organization’s international policy program. 

Amelia has nearly a decade of experience working on international climate change policy, including most recently as part of Environmental Defense Fund’s climate-smart agriculture program, and, previously, serving for six years as a Legal Adviser to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a group of 39 member countries at the United Nations. 

She also served as an International Climate Fellow at the Guarini Center for Environmental, Energy, & Land Use Law where her research focused on the intersection of animal agriculture and climate change.

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