Welcoming Ana Paula Tavares as Executive Director of Save the Chimps

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Ana Paula Tavares as executive director of Save the Chimps, after an extensive search. Ms. Tavares will officially begin this new role on January 4, 2021. As executive director, she will serve as the chief executive officer at Save the Chimps, reporting to the Board of Directors.

Ms. Tavares comes to Save the Chimps with more than thirty years of professional experience in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, Ms. Tavares held the position of executive director of Audubon NY and Audubon CT-—state offices of nonprofit conservation organization National Audubon Society—where she oversaw six Audubon nature centers and conservation strategies including working lands, coasts, climate, water, and bird-friendly communities, as well as providing strategic advice to Audubon’s international program. In this role, Ms. Tavares also worked with the board and staff of Audubon NY and Audubon CT to create a vision as well as strategic plan for the nonprofit, raised funds to successfully deliver on said plan, integrated the two-state teams into one, and elevated the sights and ambitions of all involved to focus on transformational impact.

Prior to her tenure with Audubon NY and Audubon CT, Ms. Tavares spent 18 years at conservation organization Rainforest Alliance, where she served as the executive vice president and chief strategy officer. She conceptualized multi-country conservation projects and was closely involved with the development of long-term partnerships with governments and corporate partners. As a creative and experienced strategist, Ms. Tavares will be invaluable to the Save the Chimps team.

In assuming the position of executive director of Save the Chimps, Ms. Tavares will work closely with the Board of Directors to pursue our mission in all its aspects, providing strategic internal and external direction. She will lead all facets of sanctuary operations, including the management and collaborative decision-making with staff, committees, and volunteers to ensure the continued success and long-term sustainability of Save the Chimps. She will also spearhead the development of major donors and the expansion of Save the Chimps’ capacity to provide the best quality of life for our chimp residents. The latter initiative will find Ms. Tavares working jointly with Dr. Halloran to ensure that Save the Chimps is meeting the emotional and physical needs of the chimps currently in our care and also any chimpanzees who find refuge at the sanctuary in the future. There will also be space for Ms. Tavares to collaborate with Dr. Kirk to further develop our medical facilities and practices with the goal of solidifying our position as a leading center for primate veterinary medicine.

Bearing that in mind, we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to both Dr. Halloran and Dr. Kirk for their unwavering dedication & extraordinary leadership, which has been central to our ability to provide the best of chimpanzee care, particularly during these challenging and uncertain times.

In hiring Ms. Tavares, we hope to build on our existing strengths and advance our standing as one of the foremost sanctuaries for retired and rescued chimpanzees. We look forward to witnessing her energetic and visionary leadership, as well as principled administrative guidance and advocacy for Save the Chimps.

With our new executive director’s arrival, we would also like to remind our Save the Chimps friends and family that our core values and intention—providing chimpanzees with exemplary care and a life free from exploitation & endangerment—remains the top priority.

Please join us in welcoming Ana Paula Tavares into this exciting new chapter in Save the Chimps’ history!


Save the Chimps Board of Directors







An Aerial View of the Sanctuary