Aaron Gross, Ph.D.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Aaron S. Gross has played a leadership role in a wide variety of national and international farmed animal welfare campaigns in the Americas, India, and the Middle East since the mid-1990s. While collaborating with novelist Jonathan Safran Foer on Foer’s internationally best-selling critique of industrial farming, Eating Animals, Gross saw the need for an organization devoted entirely to ending factory farming and creating humane and sustainable alternatives to it. As a result, he incorporated Farm Forward in 2007. Gross also serves as a tenured Associate Professor at the University of San Diego where he teaches courses on animals and religion, food and religion, and modern Jewish thought. He has authored two scholarly books and numerous articles dealing with animal and food ethics from both religious and secular perspectives, including his critically acclaimed The Question of the Animal and Religion: Theoretical Stakes, Practical Implications. Gross serves as Vice President of the Society for Jewish Ethics and serves on the Faith Advisory Council of the Humane Society of the United States.
Steven Jay Gross, Ph.D.
Chairman of the Board
A former Fortune 1000 business consultant, Steve Gross helped to pioneer the wave of savvy, new outreach strategies to corporate America that has transformed both animal advocacy and corporate support for animal welfare improvements in the last 10 years. Gross has led negotiations between animal advocacy groups and some of the nation’s largest companies, including Burger King, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Safeway, and Whole Foods. Prior to this work, Gross founded and ran the Illinois Humane PAC, passing an unheard-of 10 animal protection laws in a decade with an average annual budget of less than 50 thousand dollars. As a board member of Global Animal Partnership, he has helped to create a groundbreaking five-tier welfare certification program for all animal products.
Ben Goldsmith began his full-time animal advocacy work in 2004 and joined Farm Forward at its inception in 2007. Under Goldsmith’s leadership Farm Forward has developed a reputation for strategic innovation that has lead to the largest animal protection groups in the country–the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Global Animal Partnership, the Humane Society of the United States, and others–hiring Farm Forward for a range of consultations that have ultimately improved the lives of hundreds of millions of farmed animals. Goldsmith’s work has helped to bring about industry-wide improvements for farmed animals, including a first of its kind commitment from Unilever, the third largest consumer goods company in the world, to invest in technology that will help end the horrific practice of killing male layer chicks.
Michael McFadden, Esq.
General Counsel, Policy & Program Director
After receiving his bachelors in Marketing and Finance, Michael became passionate about factory farming issues while studying environmental law at the University of Virginia. He joined Farm Forward in 2011 and advises the organization on all matters of law and policy. He also heads Farm Forward’s efforts to provide low-cost and pro bono consulting services to other non-profits interested in improving their farmed animal welfare policies and enhancing the effectiveness of their campaigns.
Director of Strategic Programs & Engagement
Andrew deCoriolis joins Farm Forward with extensive experience in sustainability, grassroots organizing, and corporate leadership in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Farm Forward, Andrew was part of the executive leadership team at Lucid Design Group, a leading software company that empowers civic, commercial, and educational customers to track and reduce their energy consumption. While at Lucid, he started what has become the nation’s largest energy-reduction competition, built business partnerships with energy service companies including Siemens and Constellation New Energy, and developed innovative efficiency programs with Fortune 500 companies including Google and Starbucks. Andrew’s work has engaged more than half a million program participants, led to millions of kilowatt-hours saved, and has been covered in leading periodicals including The Wall Street Journal and GreenTechMedia.
Director of Engagement
Erin Eberle joins Farm Forward with a rich background in food justice work and social activism. Prior to joining Farm Forward, Eberle founded and ran a plant-based consulting firm in Portland, Oregon. She excels in creative marketing strategy, development, and social engagement. Erin also writes on various topics including food policy, organic farming, and ethics in the food industry. She has a passion for and a pulse on all things food and farming related.
Diane & Marlene Halverson
Senior Animal Welfare Consultants
Diane and Marlene Halverson have been on the front lines of efforts to improve conditions for farmed animals around the planet for more than two decades. Diane’s remarkable list of accomplishments includes helping create standards that made Niman Ranch pork the most humane pork available nationally, founding the Animal Welfare Institute’s farm animal welfare program, obtaining the first USDA label that featured animal welfare claims, advising some of the world’s largest food retailers, working closely with Robert F. Kennedy and the Waterkeeper Alliance to stop factory farm pollution, and receiving (alongside Temple Grandin) the Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge Foundation’s Humane Ethics in Action Award. Marlene’s significant contributions to animal welfare include publishing more than a dozen articles on animal agriculture, authoring key reports for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board, bringing Swedish deep-bedded swine housing systems to the U.S., assisting in the creation of alternative pork production programs at Iowa State University, and working with teams of scientists and farmers to draft comprehensive cattle husbandry standards.