Board of Directors
Megan Watkins, Board Chair, Board of Directors
Megan Watkins is a senior vice president in the Philanthropic Solutions Group at U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. In this role, Megan advises individual and family clients of U.S. Trust and Merrill Lynch on their personal charitable giving. This often includes helping clients articulate their philanthropic vision and mission, define their charitable giving objectives, and develop an implementation plan for their chosen giving strategy.
Prior to joining U.S. Trust, Megan was a vice president in the Philanthropic Services Group at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, where she facilitated philanthropic giving in the areas of animal welfare and protection, community development, and human services. Megan’s experience also includes international and domestic program development and policy work in the nonprofit sector.
Megan is a graduate of Barnard College and holds a Master of International Affairs degree, with a specialization in economic and political development, from Columbia University.
Yonaton Aronoff, Vice-Chair, Board of Directors
Yonaton Aronoff is a partner at Foley & Lardner LLP, specializing in general commercial litigation, social media law, employment law, privacy and information security, and e-commerce matters. In addition to his general commercial practice, Yonaton has spent a considerable amount of time focusing on animal welfare and animal law issues. Among other things, he has represented Animal Care & Control of New York City (AC&C), the exclusive public animal shelter system for the City of New York, on a pro bono basis for the past six years. In connection with his work for AC&C, Yonaton has assisted the organization with a variety of legal matters, including animal welfare issues, intake procedures, and cruelty-related cases and investigations.
Yonaton received his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and B.A., magna cum laude, from Brown University. He is admitted to the New York State Bar Association; U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; and U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit.
Stacey Barsema, Member, Board of Directors
Stacey is president of the Barsema Family Foundation, which supports a number of organizations worldwide, focusing primarily on education, poverty, and animal rights. Stacey also serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations.
As a founding board member of Carpenter’s Place, a nonprofit in Rockford, Ill., Stacey has worked on aiding and rebuilding the lives of the homeless. She also sits on the board of the Northern Illinois University Foundation and has served as a board member and chairwoman of the fund development committee for Family and Children Services, a mental health agency that serves the San Jose area.
Prior to joining Farm Sanctuary, Stacey served on the board of directors of Opportunity International, a worldwide organization that annually distributes more than $250 million in micro-loans to the poorest of the poor around the world, equipping recipients to become self-supporting entrepreneurs. Stacey was co-chairperson of the organization’s Lending Hope to Africa Campaign, which raised over $25 million to fight AIDS.
James Costa, Member, Board of Directors
James is a board member of the International Documentary Association, a member of the British Academy of Film and Television (BAFTA), and founder of the film company Birdstreet Productions. His documentary “Lunch Hour” (2014) examines the National School Lunch Program, childhood obesity, and our addiction to unhealthy foods.
James is the chairman of the board for the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, which works with families to support the educational progress of the children of Hunts Point, in the South Bronx. He is also a board member of the California Wildlife Center and serves on the Advisory Board of Sea Shepherd and on the President’s Council of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). James has served as planning chair for Farm Sanctuary’s black-tie Galas at the Beverly Hills Hotel and Cipriani, hosted benefits at his homes, and served on Farm Sanctuary’s Advisory Council.
James holds a B.A. in English and American Lit from Boston University.
Emily Deschanel, Member, Board of Directors
Emily is an actress and television producer who is best known for her role as Dr. Temperance Brennan in the FOX police comedy-drama series “Bones.” A vegan since reading “Diet for a New America” in high school and member of Farm Sanctuary since 2006, Emily has served as Honorary Chair and Host of our black-tie Galas, National Spokesperson for the 2011 Walk for Farm Animals, and host of our Celebration for the Turkeys Thanksgiving event and has also recorded educational videos for Farm Sanctuary.
Emily’s passion for animal rights has led her to produce and provide narration for animal welfare-related documentaries and to appear in PSAs encouraging veganism and compassion towards animals. A consistent voice for farm animals over the years, Emily has raised public awareness about the animal cruelty and environmental degradation perpetuated by factory farming, as well as the health benefits of adopting a vegan diet.
Emily holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from Boston University.
Lyn Devon is an American luxury sportswear designer, has been hailed by W as the “the go-to designer for Manhattan’s best dressed.” Born and raised in New York City, she is known for her polished but playful designs.
Before launching her own line, Lyn studied at Parsons and designed women’s ready-to-wear for Ralph Lauren. Upon presenting her first full ready-to-wear collection in September 2005, she was quickly named Women’s Design ‘Rising Star’ by the Fashion Group International. Following the debut of Lyn’s Fall/Winter 2008 collection, Style.com called her one of “The Season’s 10 Most Promising Talents,” and soon after she was awarded the prestigious Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award for women’s wear. In October 2009, she was accepted as one of the 30 new members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). Lyn’s work has been featured in numerous print and online publications, including Vogue, Elle, Instyle, the Financial Times, People, and NYMag.com.
Lyn is a graduate of Brown University.
Jane Hoffman, Secretary and Audit Committee Chair, Board of Directors
Jane Hoffman has been president and chair of the board of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals since its inception in 2002. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals acts as a liaison between the government of the City of New York and the New York City animal care community. It is a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters working to reduce the euthanasia of cats and dogs in New York City shelters.
Jane is a founding and current member of the Animal Law Committee of the NYC Bar Association, one of the first animal law committees in the country. She received the Annual Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law Award from the American Bar Association’s Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) the first year it was awarded in 2007.
Prior to creating the Alliance, Jane served as an associate at the law firm of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and vice president and senior consultant at Handy Associates.
Jane holds a J.D. degree from Brooklyn Law School, an M.L.S. degree from Long Island University, and a B.A. degree from Boston College.
Tamar Huberman, Governance Committee Chair, Board of Directors
Tamar is a nonprofit consultant specializing in strategy, operations, and revenue generation for small and medium-sized nonprofit organizations. Tamar’s clients span the charitable sector: she has worked with arts, education, environmental, social entrepreneurship, and health organizations. Tamar provides expertise on corporate, government, and institutional fundraising; strategies for organizational development; and day-to-day operations. Tamar served on the development team at the Ontario College of Art & Design and the public affairs team at CHUM Television. She is also a founding member of the Park Slope Food Co-op’s Animal Welfare Committee.
Tamar earned an MBA from the Schulich School of Business, a master’s degree in art history and a certificate in curatorial studies from York University, and a B.A. in history from Queen’s University. She was born and raised in Vancouver, B.C., and she currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.