Valerie Benka brings a background in nonprofit management and animal welfare work to ACC&D.
Prior to starting at ACC&D, Valerie coordinated a feline adoption program in Virginia and interned at the International Fund for Animal Welfare and The Humane Society of the United States. As a student in the Animals and Public Policy Program at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Valerie explored strategies to expand humane canine population control in Kathmandu, Nepal. Closer to home, she conducted research on reduced-cost feline spay/neuter, including the factors that motivate people to have their pets sterilized and both the life histories and long-term outcomes of feline clients. Ms. Benka also has graduate degrees in Conservation Biology and Public Policy from the University of Michigan, where she focused on human-wildlife conflict in rural Kenya.
She has published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery, EcoHealth, and Humans and Animals: A Geography of Co-existence.
Ms. Benka lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, son, cat, and dog.