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Introducing our newest team member

By Peggy Cusack

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – NhRP Board Member Dr. Jane Goodall

Before I joined the Nonhuman Rights Project, I was a nonprofit consultant. Every day I was inspired by the dedication and persistence of people who were fighting against challenges so insurmountable that many days it must have seemed like nothing could be done. Over many years, I was fortunate to meet so many amazing groups working so hard to make the world a better place.

In all of that time, I never met a team like the team at the Nonhuman Rights Project.

I interviewed with the NhRP in early 2022. There were maybe ten people on staff that year—which itself blew me away. Based on everything I had heard about the NhRP and the work they were doing, I always imagined it was a much larger operation. It took only two meetings for me to decide to shutter my consulting business and sign on to fight full-time for legal rights for nonhuman animals.

There used to be a post-it on my desk that said: “Live each day on purpose.” That is my best way to describe the NhRP team to you. Every single person on this team is so wholly committed to the advancement of rights for nonhuman animals that it’s almost impossible to separate who they are from the work they do. Their determination to make a difference for nonhuman animals—to change the world for them—is a part of the fabric of their very existence. To be part of a team like this one is a powerful thing. To be able to grow this team and extend our impact has been one of my most important goals since I started.

That’s why today I’m happy to introduce you to the newest member of the NhRP team, our Chief Programs Officer Christopher Berry. CPO is a new role at the NhRP that we’re really excited about, especially as we build on the progress we’ve made in securing powerful dissents in Happy the elephant’s case in 2022 and the passage of the first animal rights ordinance in the US in 2023. We designed this role with one particular goal in mind: to take the strategic interplay between our litigation, legislation, and education programs to the next level. Put another way, the CPO will create as much synergy as possible between our program areas, bringing us that much closer, that much faster, to a world where animal rights are the norm.

Christopher is an exceedingly thoughtful, smart, creative person who’s well prepared to succeed in this position. He comes to us most recently from the Animal Legal Defense Fund, where he specialized in managing litigation to stop the violation of unenforced animal protection laws. He has a deep bench of skills and experience that we can’t wait to put to work on behalf of our clients and mission. But in truth, we hired him because like the rest of us, every morning he gets out of bed and says, “How can I make the world a better place today?” He lives his life on purpose, and that purpose is rights for nonhuman animals.

Welcome to the NhRP, Christopher!

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