Meet the team

Andy Gibson
Director of Strategic Research

After working and researching in a charity veterinary practice in the UK, Andy began working for Mission Rabies in 2013, initially as a volunteer, vaccinating dogs in Kolkata.

His previous experience using smartphone technology in the epidemiological setting in Zanzibar, Tanzania, transferred to work on rabies and he was tasked to develop a tailor made smartphone app to overcome challenges faced during mass dog vaccination campaigns. The WVS app now has over 1 million dog vaccinations recorded and is used to support projects in Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. Andy oversees the monitoring and evaluation of field activities, with a focus on improving WVS working practices using an evidence based approach.

He oversees the research activities of the charity and ongoing mobile technology developments. He is currently undertaking a PhD at The Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh studying the methods and outcomes of mass dog vaccination and rabies surveillance.

Frederic Lohr
Director of Strategic Partnerships

A graduate from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Munich, Germany, Frederic joined the team in 2014.

Throughout his studies he engaged with international organisations like the OIE and FAO and is now focusing on establishing and maintaining key partnerships for Mission Rabies with international organisations and partners, as well as overseeing the general operations of the charity.

Gareth Thomas
Director of Education

Gareth Joined WVS in 2018 to build our capacity to provide outstanding projects focused on delivering educational messages to children and communities around animal welfare and management. His passion for enacting change through catalysing human behaviour change makes this a cornerstone of our work and something that we continue to build upon.

Ilona Otter
Director of International Veterinary Training

Ilona is a Finnish veterinarian (DVM) who started her career in a mixed animal practice in Finland in 2003 and came to India in 2004 to help a local charity called IPAN with their ABC-programs. This work proved to become her passion and she continued to develop IPAN projects over the years. In 2009 she joined WVS as the Clinical Director of the WVS International Training Center in India, empowering and inspiring veterinarians to sterilize and vaccinate dogs.

Ilona completed an MSc in Livestock Health and Production from the Royal Veterinary College of London in 2012 and utilises her original interest in farm animal practice and community work to develop the WVS working equine veterinary services and to explore ways to involve dog rabies vaccinations to existing government run community livestock health programs.

At home, on the Hill View Farm Animal Refuge, Ilona enjoys the company of her family and some 20 dogs as well as a number of other rescued animals, especially donkeys and ponies. In 2013 Ilona received the Kulapathi Munshi Award together with her husband Nigel Otter for their dedicated work towards animal welfare in the Nilgiris district.

Dagmar Mayer
Africa Veterinary Manager

Dagmar studied veterinary medicine in Munich, graduating in 2002. After finishing her postgraduate doctorate in 2004 she spent 6 years in the UK working as a vet in small animal practices and out of hours emergency clinics around the country.

Since 2009 Dagmar has worked as a volunteer on several veterinary projects in Europe, Africa and Asia and was also part of the teaching staff during the first training program of Indian vets at the WVS International Training Centre in Ooty. In 2013 she was senior veterinary co-ordinator in preparation for and during the launch of Mission Rabies, spending over 3 months in India.

For several years Dagmar tried to find a balance between her job as a freelancing vet in Germany and working as often as possible on charitable projects, providing veterinary care and free sterilisations for animals who would otherwise never see a vet in their lifetime. The decision to start the job as WVS International Veterinary Manager was easy as she is now able to support animals all over the world on a daily basis.

Ian Clarke
Director of Operations, WVS Thailand

Ian has a passion for animal welfare and extensive experience and expertise in dog behavior and training. His primary focus as Director of Operations at the Thai ITC has been to reorganise the staff structure and empower the existing Thai staff into positions where their experience and skill sets could be utilised to their full potential, enabling a sense of ownership and pride within the team.

Giacomo Miglio
Clinical Director, WVS Thailand

Giacomo volunteered in 2013 on the launch vaccination campaign of Mission Rabies in India. His passion for helping animals and communities through his veterinary skills shone through and after a period of vetting in Italy he joined the WVS team full time in 2017 as Clinical Director of the Thai ITC. His clinical expertise and leadership support the training of vets and building high quality veterinary services in Chang Mai and in the surrounding region.

Karlette Fernandez
Clinical Director, Hicks ITC Goa

Karlette joined WVS as Director of the Hicks ITC in 2017, with the task of establishing protocols and working practices in this very busy clinic and training centre in the north of Goa. The Hicks ITC provides veterinary services to the local community and rescues roaming dogs that are desperately in need of treatment. She is incredibly hard working and has built the Hicks ITC to what it is today.

Sign up for our newsletter

Receive our latest news, hear how your support is helping and find out ways to get involved.