Leadership

Rana Smith

President and Chief Executive Officer

Since taking the helm at Chimp Haven in 2017, Rana has overseen the retirement of more than 300 former research chimpanzees, including leadership of the sanctuary’s $20 million expansion campaign, which ensured more than 100 additional chimpanzees were given the opportunity to retire to sanctuary. At Chimp Haven, she leads a highly-engaged, 65-person staff team who provide outstanding personalized care at the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary. She has served as Chair of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance since 2021, where she helped lead the effort to raise more than $4 million to rehome 42 chimpanzees at the closed Wildlife Waystation in Los Angeles to qualified sanctuaries throughout the country. Through her work with the chimps, Rana continues a lifelong passion for animals and more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership and fundraising expertise, including roles as National Director of Development and Marketing for the Petco Foundation and Chief Development Officer at Best Friends Animal Society. When she’s not living the chimp life at Chimp Haven, Rana can be found spending time with her family or planning her next travel adventure.

Favorite Chimp: Hope – “I love her unique look and that her alopecia doesn’t slow her down for a second. She’s got a sweet, welcoming personality and she’s a great friend to all of the chimps in her group.”

Alan Bright

Chief Financial Officer

Before joining Chimp Haven in 2022, Alan served as CFO for Shreveport-Bossier’s public transit system and spent several years in Nigeria and Egypt working in international development. He and his team work to stretch the sactuary’s resources, always looking for new ways to support our staff and chimps. A Shreveport native, Alan loves the hometown restaurant scene, and when he’s not hanging out with the chimps, he spends his free time at the soccer fields with his wife and kids.

Favorite Chimp: Diane – “She loves to stir the pot; the status quo isn’t in her blood. Although she may not always be endearing, she’s always entertaining!”

Amy Fultz

Welfare Scientist and Director of Special Projects

You might say Amy has a way with chimps. Since co-founding Chimp Haven in 1995, she’s had multiple roles at the sanctuary, including playing matchmaker more than 350 times to create large chimp families to now working on special projects that include planning for the future of the sanctuary, ensuring the staff continues to learn all they can about chimps, and sharing Chimp Haven’s great work through publications and presentations. Amy loves to be out in nature, whether on a hike with her dog, taking photos, or enjoying the beach.

Favorite Chimp to Visit:  Hamlet – “I’ve known Hamlet since 1992 and he’s always happy to see me.  He’s a fluffy guy with a big personality.”

Raven Jackson, D.V.M.

Attending Veterinarian & Director of Veterinary Care

Dr. Jackson serves as the Director of Veterinary Care/Attending Veterinarian at Chimp Haven, where she is responsible for the medical care of more than three hundred chimpanzees. She earned a degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2009, and her veterinary clinical support expands to the Animal Resources Department at Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Sciences Center. When she’s not leading care at the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary, Dr. Jackson is a mother of two and her family includes Pebbles (cat) and Ghost (dog).

Favorite Chimp: Buster – “He’s hard core; yet so sweet.”

Taylor Johnson

Chief Development and Marketing Officer

A photographer and travel enthusiast at heart, Taylor channels her creative vision and energy to engage Chimp Haven supporters all over the world. Before joining Chimp Haven, Taylor served humans in several leadership roles at United Way. When she’s not paving the way for the future of Chimp Haven, you might catch Taylor perusing Central Market or tracking down a good cup of coffee.

Favorite Chimp: Henry – “What’s not to love? He’s the most handsome chimp in the world in spite of what Amy Fultz says about Matthew.”

Rebekah Lewis

Director of Behavior

Since 2009 Rebekah has been giving the Chimp Haven retirees her all, serving in leadership roles on the Husbandry and Behavior teams before taking on the role of the sanctuary’s designated behaviorist and Director of Behavior. As experts in chimpanzee behavior, she and her team conduct behavioral observations which promote the best care for the chimps, facilitate family introductions, provide daily enrichment for Chimp Haven’s colony, and train the chimps to participate in their own wellness plans through Positive Reinforcement Training. When she’s not involved in behavioral observations or leading chimp social introductions, you can find Rebekah in her garden, spending time with her kids, going on adventures with her husband, and training her own parrots, cats, and dog.

Favorite Chimp: Slim – “She’s a strong leader, is always up for any challenge, but still finds time to relax in a hammock with her besties.”

Holly Reid

Director of People and Culture

Holly brings 30 years of diverse business experience to her role at the sanctuary, including work with nonprofits, startups, and for-profits. For 16 years she served as Director of HR for Best Friends Animal Society, and now she leads the charge of strengthening employee engagement, culture, and professional development at Chimp Haven. Holly holds an MBA with an emphasis in management and degrees in accounting and journalism; she is certified as an Executive and Professional Coach through the University of Texas at Dallas and as a Certified Equine Facilitated Learning Coach. Holly is the doting mom of five dogs, two cats, and a horse named Gypsy. She is passionate about all animals but has a special place in her heart for the Great Apes.

Michelle Reininger

Colony Director

A native of South Dakota, Michelle began her career at a Texas sanctuary working with big cats, bears, wolves, and chimps and took the reins as Chimp Haven’s Colony Director after serving on the Animal Care team. She and her team lead husbandry and care for the colony and work tirelessly to give all of Chimp Haven’s retirees the best life possible.

Favorite Chimp: Pierre – “I have known Pierre for 18 years and we just clicked from the first time we met.  He is a big boisterous male that is known for his exuberant displays that make him seem like a tough guy.  However, upon inspection, he is a big softie, who likes to have his chin rubbed with a spoon.”

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