Meet Compassion Over Killing Staff Members

ERICA MEIER: Executive Director

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Erica has served as COK’s Executive Director since 2005, after being an active volunteer starting in 2000. Since taking the helm, she’s taken the organization to new heights with continued growth and accomplishments for animals that include ending the egg industry’s use of the misleading claim “Animal Care Certified” and successfully persuading BOCA foods to stop using eggs.

Vegan for 20 years, Erica has been working in the animal protection field since college. In 2013, she was honored with the prestigious Animal Rights Hall of Fame award. Before working at COK, Erica spent several years as an animal control officer in Washington, DC where she rescued sick, stray, and homeless animals as well as enforced anti-cruelty laws.

CHERYL LEAHY: General Counsel

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Since 2006, Cheryl has served as COK’s General Counsel targeting large-scale abuse of farmed animals through proactive litigation and undercover investigations. Her work includes challenging cruel, yet standard, practices forced upon farmed animals as well as the misleading marketing of meat, milk, and eggs often found in grocery stores.

Cheryl received a J.D. from UCLA School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Chicago in Environmental Studies. She is a member of the District of Columbia, Maryland, and California bars and currently works in COK’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her dog Hermione.


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After getting her start in Animal Law as a Litigation Intern for COK in 2010, Lisa joined COK’s Legal Department in 2013. She now works to challenge the widespread abuse of farmed animals and egregious agricultural practices through litigation and other legal avenues.

Lisa received her B.A. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and her J.D. with honors from the American University Washington College of Law. She is a member of the California and Hawaii bars, and works out of COK’s Los Angeles office accompanied by her rescue dogs, Puna and Kui.

NICOLE FURLAN: Director of Technology

As Director of Technology, Nicole focuses on maintaining and updating COK’s family of websites, and supporting staff IT needs. Nicole has a B.S. in Computer Science and a M.E. in Software Engineering, and before joining COK, she worked as a software engineer while spreading animal rights awareness to family and friends.

Nicole officially became vegetarian during college after her dog saved her life, and after watching “Factory Farming in 60 Seconds”, she became vegan and has been spreading the message of compassion ever since. She also advocates for “dangerous” dog breeds, and shares her home with her husband Billy and two loving rescued pit bulls named Brady and Bruno.

MIKE WOLF: Investigations Manager

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Mike became vegan in 2006 and spent almost 4 years working as an Undercover Investigator with a focus on animal agriculture. His investigations include hog farm suppliers to Smithfield and Hormel, which combined, have resulted in dozens of criminal cruelty charges. His cases have been featured in several national media outlets as well as multiple books written on the topic. Mike joined COK in 2014 as the Investigations Manager, and he now oversees investigative efforts into meat, dairy, and egg facilities.

Mike also has a strong passion for vegan fitness and hopes to help show how easy it is to gain vegan muscle as a member of PlantBuilt’s Powerlifting team. He shares his home with his wife Lindsay, dog Maddy, and three cats Molly, Boy, and Grey Matter.


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As Office Manager, Caroline maintains the central COK office and daily hustle-and-flow. Before joining COK, Caroline worked as Office Manager at Active Minds supporting young-adult mental health awareness campaigns, and most recently at a local market proudly pushing vegetables. She is passionate about healthy eating, animal welfare and social marketing. She will always ask Santa for a pony.

MICHELLE STRANGE: DC VegFest Event Planning Assistant

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As the DC VegFest Event Planning Assistant, Michelle helps to organize the festival logistics, including volunteer and exhibitor relations. This is Michelle’s third year in DC and third time attending DC VegFest, and she is thrilled to take on a leadership role to ensure a successful event. Before joining COK, Michelle received her Master’s in Student Affairs at the University of Maryland where she focused on program management and social justice organizing. Michelle has been vegan for 6 years and her veganism is about animal rights, social justice, environmentalism, health consciousness, and much more.

ELENA JOHNSON: Special Events Volunteer

As Special Events Volunteer, Elena helps plan a variety of events—from fundraisers to volunteer trainings. Before joining COK, Elena worked on events and educational programs for a national cat protection nonprofit and for a retail corporation. She is now a vegan chef and caterer who uses her knowledge of vegan ingredients to offer cooking demonstrations to the public. She shares her home with 3 black cats: Azrael, Buster, and Lucy.

ROBIN WALKER: Special Events Coordinator

With an extensive background in event planning and fundraising, Robin helps coordinate various special events at COK including the DC VegFest and our annual holiday celebration. Robin has been active with COK as a volunteer and team member for several years. She has also worked at the Washington Humane Society and PETA, and she also currently volunteers with Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary to help organize the 5K Run for Animals. Robin shares her home with the sweetest little four-legged dog, Wilma!

Compassion Over Killing’s Offices

Washington, DC – Headquarters:

301-891-2458 |

Los Angeles, California:

310-217-1519 |