Meet Our Leaders
Heifer’s leadership brings a robust level of experience to Heifer’s mission in ending hunger and poverty in a sustainable way.
Pierre Ferrari, President and Chief Executive Officer
Pierre Ferrari was born in the Belgian Congo (today the Democratic Republic of Congo). Ferrari received a master’s degree in economics from The University of Cambridge and a Master's of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He joined Heifer with more than 40 years of business experience at companies like Coca-Cola USA, CARE and the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund. He sits on the Board of SEAF, Global Impact and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Hilary Haddigan, Chief of Mission Effectiveness
Hilary Haddigan has worked with Heifer since October 1999. As Chief of Mission Effectiveness, she leads the development of organization strategy, as well as cross-cutting initiatives that advance change. Prior to Heifer, Haddigan worked with Christian Aid in the UK, Volunteer Missionary Movement in Zimbabwe and as a teacher in the northwest of England - her homeland.
Robert “Bob” Bloom, Chief Financial Officer
Robert “Bob” Bloom is a Certified Public Accountant with an accounting degree from the University of Illinois. Bloom brings a wealth of financial experience to Heifer. He has previously worked at Vestcom, a communications provider; Acxiom Corp., a data processing and content provider; a sporting goods company and an accounting firm.
Oscar Castañeda, Vice President for the Americas Program
Dr. Oscar Castañeda has worked for decades designing, implementing and evaluating community-based sustainable development programs. Before joining Heifer, Castañeda served World Neighbors as Country Director for his native Guatemala. He has also been a consultant and part-time professor in the fields of agroecology and organic agriculture, authored several publications, and led numerous workshops on sustainable organic agriculture and project planning and monitoring. Castañeda is fluent in Spanish, English and German.
Mahendra Lohani, Senior Vice President of Programs
Dr. Mahendra Lohani, a native of Nepal, has served Heifer International for more than twenty years as both a volunteer and, currently, as Senior Vice President of Programs. He is a veterinarian with Masters and Doctorate degrees in animal nutrition and agricultural economics. As Senior Vice President of Programs, Dr. Lohani provides direction and leadership for Heifer programs in Africa, Asia and Europe. Under Dr. Lohani's guidance, the program is dedicated to building strong social capital in addition to livestock development and pro-poor wealth-creating value chains. Dr. Lohani leads a team of highly motivated staff, focused on accountability systems at both project and management levels.
David Norman, Senior Vice President of Investment Programs
Norman is a development leader with a long background in establishing and leading large international and domestic development and financial operations. He has been with Heifer International since March 2016 and currently serves as Sr. Vice President of Investment Programs responsible for designing and implementing programs focused on the deployment of capital within Heifer’s programs globally. Prior to joining Heifer, he spent 21 years in agriculture development with Winrock International and 16 years in agriculture finance with the Farm Credit System. Norman was a founding Board Member of two new development organizations: NetHope and VEGA (Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance). Norman has a B.S. in Agriculture Business from Arkansas Tech University and a M.S. in Agriculture Economics from the University of Arkansas.
Christy Moore, Senior Vice President of Marketing
Christy Moore has worked with Heifer International since 1994. As Senior Vice President of Marketing, she has developed well-performing and sustainable fundraising programs, attracting new donors, retaining current donors and reactivating past donors, as well as increasing the number of monthly donors supporting Heifer’s projects around the world and here in the U.S. She has risen through the ranks at Heifer International, is responsible for more than 70 percent of the organization’s income and directs its mail, telemarketing, mass marketing, email marketing and digital marketing and engagement teams. Moore has won the Fundraising Success’ Nonprofit Fundraising Star Award given by editors at Fundraising Success Magazine, she was named Top Women in Fundraising and her team was awarded the Nonprofit Organization of the Year Award by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).
Michelle Dusek-Izaguirre, Vice President of Marketing and Resource Development Operations
Izaguirre provides strategic leadership for MRD operational efficiencies, budget and finance, organizational reporting and monitoring, business intelligence, education operations and policies and procedures. She has been employed with Heifer since 2001, holding several positions throughout her career at Heifer Ranch and HQ, including Director of Operations – Americas and Senior Director of Learning Centers. She worked in Honduras in rural development with the US Peace Corps before relocating to Arkansas. She has one son and enjoys spending time and traveling with him.
Chad Avery, General Counsel
Avery currently serves as General Counsel for Heifer International, coordinating legal services in areas such as intellectual property, immigration, charitable solicitation, grants and contracts, compliance, nonprofit tax, and corporate law. Prior to joining Heifer, Avery worked with the organization externally as a shareholder and director with the law firm of Gill Ragon Owen. Avery earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Central Arkansas in 1995, after which he served two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan—where he taught marketing and economics courses at Karshi State University and studied Russian. Upon returning, Avery earned his law degree at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law, graduating in 2002 with High Honors. He has been admitted to the Arkansas and Missouri bars, and is a member of the American Bar Association and FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Avery also serves on the Legal Advisory Council for InsideNGO, and acts as Heifer’s representative to Stichting Heifer Nederland, a Dutch NGO carrying out Heifer’s mission in Netherlands. Avery lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with his wife and two sons.
Julie Wood, Vice President of HR Strategy and Operations
Julie Wood has worked in the Human Resources (HR) Department of Heifer International since 2001. As the Vice President of HR Strategy & Operations, Wood leads the global strategic vision of HR in areas such as Talent Management and Development, Total Rewards, Workforce Planning, and Employee Relations. Prior to Heifer International, she served as the Community Outreach Coordinator for an Arkansas based nonprofit organization, Arkansans for Drug Free Youth. There she was responsible for community/volunteer recruitment and outreach as well as grant-writing and fundraising. Wood has earned certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and as a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP). She received her bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) and has worked towards a Master’s degree in Public Administration at UALR.
Martha D. Hirpa, Vice President of Institutional Partnerships
Martha Hirpa provides strategic partnership to Heifer International’s partnerships and business relations with international development agencies. She also manages the operation of Heifer Washington DC branch office. Over the last fifteen years, Hirpa has served Heifer in different domains including policy and advocacy, international program operation, business development and partnership building, among others. Hirpa, a native of Ethiophia, is dedicated to ending poverty and advancing sustainable development. She joined Heifer after years of experience with a number of governmental and non-governmental organizations, and of active engagement in international development, using national, regional and global platforms, such as government, non-government and the UN. Hirpa is dedicated to equal opportunities for women and men as well as balanced development for the Global South and Global North.
Marleen New, Vice President of Global Partnerships
Marleen New leads and develops strategy for the global team responsible for forging strategic partnerships and business development opportunities with corporations and other allies to support Heifer International's impact goals. She works to ascertain the needs of both the farmers and the private sector and identify ways for both parties to gain business value through pro-poor, wealth creating value chain opportunities. New has spearheaded the organization’s strategic relationships with several significant corporate partners, including some of the world’s largest retailers, agricultural products companies, as well as producers of valuable commodities like coffee, spices, fragrances, cocoa and dairy. She also represents Heifer as a member of the Leadership Circle of the Sustainable Food Lab. Prior to her 15+ years of experience in the development sector, New spent 20 years in marketing, public relations and advertising. Her career includes senior level management positions in production, account services and project management with some of the largest advertising, marketing and PR agencies in the South.