Animals and Society Institute Names Maya Gupta, Ph.D., as New Executive Director

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The Animals and Society Institute, an international nonprofit research, education, and public policy organization, has named Maya Gupta, Ph.D., as its new executive director.

This organization takes a unique approach to the issue of human-animal relationships.

Gupta will oversee three major programs devoted to animal abuse prevention and treatment, the academic field of Human-Animal Studies, and public policy measures that improve animal protection. She has already worked with the ASI to train mental health providers to use an assessment and treatment program called AniCare, which is used to address the underlying causes of violence toward animals.

Gupta previously served as executive director of Ahimsa House, a Georgia nonprofit organization focusing on the link between animal abuse and domestic violence.

She is a graduate of Columbia University and the University of Georgia, where she earned degrees in psychology and clinical psychology. She is the training director and past chair of the American Psychological Association’s section on Human-Animal Interaction. She currently serves on the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys’ Animal Cruelty Advisory Council and on the steering committee of the National Link Coalition.

“I am excited to be assuming this role as the ASI enters its fourth decade of working on behalf of animals,” Gupta said. “This organization takes a unique approach to the issue of human-animal relationships.”

Gupta succeeds former acting executive director Beatrice Friedlander, who now serves on the ASI’s Board of Directors. “Maya’s experience with domestic violence issues and the psychological aspects of animal abuse make her very well suited to advance the ASI’s goals,” Friedlander said.

The Animals and Society Institute is an independent research and educational organization that works to enhance understanding of society’s complex relationships with other animals, and to stop the cycle of violence and promote stricter animal protection laws. Its headquarters is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. More information is available at

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