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Azzedine Downes appointed new President and CEO of IFAW

YARMOUTH PORT, Mass., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) today announced the appointment of Mr. Azzedine Downes as the new President and CEO, effective 1 January 2013.

"We are delighted that Mr. Downes has accepted the position," said Ms. Kathleen Savesky, IFAW Board Chair. "Azzedine has provided leadership to IFAW for many years in his position as Executive Vice President and he is a natural choice to step up and take the reins to guide IFAW's future growth and development."

Azzedine joined IFAW in 1997 as the second in command to the CEO, providing strategic advice and leadership as the organization grew from a small collection of committed individuals into a world-class animal welfare charity—rescuing and protecting animals in more than 40 countries around the world.

In addition, Azzedine established the UAE office in Dubai and ran operations there for three years where he designed and implemented the IFAW Prevention of Wildlife Trade Training Program which has today trained more than 1,600 enforcement officers in 30 countries.

He has been instrumental in integrating IFAW's programs, communications and fundraising departments, ensuring that the organization maximizes the impact of its work to have the greatest benefit to animals.

"I am tremendously honored to have been selected by the Board to lead the organization that I am so passionate about," said Mr. Downes.

"IFAW is effective because we work with communities and governments to find practical solutions to threats facing animals, and we base our positions on both science and ethics.

"Whether we are working to address every link on the chain of the illegal trade in wildlife, or tackling challenging policy issues to ensure the protection of the world's whales, or saving a baby elephant trapped in a well, or providing a meal to a puppy in a disadvantaged community—we make a difference each and every day."

Fluent in three languages—English, French and Arabic—Azzedine is as international as IFAW and provides a unique perspective and cultural sensitivity to IFAW's work.

He is admired and respected by all his colleagues and is a tireless and enthusiastic advocate of IFAW's mission. The Executive Management team, regional leadership team and staff look forward to helping him make IFAW's vision of a world where animals are respected and protected a reality.

Prior to joining IFAW, Azzedine served as Chief of Party and Director for America Middle East Education and Training Services (AMIDEAST) in Jerusalem and Gaza City and then Morocco and has also served at senior levels with the United States Peace Corps. He holds a Master's Degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University.

About IFAW (the International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. News photos, audio and video available at

SOURCE International Fund for Animal Welfare

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