Oranit (Orie) Gilad, PhD. Founder and President. Orie is a Conservation Ecologist who has spent over 15 years working on wildlife related projects around the world. Orie was born and raised in an agricultural community in Israel. She served in the Israeli Army as an Artillery Training Officer and at the age of 21 came to the United States. Orie graduated from Texas A&M University in 2006 with a doctorate in Zoology and founded Balanced Ecology Inc. a year later. Some of the projects she has led include Giant Panda research in China, Arabian Oryx study in Israel, the establishment of a wildlife reserve in Costa Rica, and research involving Desert Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Lions in Texas. Orie served as a Zoologist in the US Army where her research focused on zoonotic diseases.
Michelle Cunningham, MD. Vice-President. Michelle is a physician who graduated from Baylor College of Medicine in 2001. She is an Internist with a focus in Geriatrics and Wound Care. Michelle has a strong commitment to a healthy life and a healthy, sustainlable living environment. She and her husband and three children have great love for open spaces and wildlife and Michelle is dedicated to promote cooperative conservation and education. Michelle practices medicine and resides in Houston, Texas.
Todd Swannack, PhD. Board member. Todd is a Conservation Biologist with over 10 years of
experience working with endangered or rare species. He graduated from Texas
A & M University in 2007 with a doctorate in Wildlife and Fisheries
Sciences, with a specific emphasis on modeling the dynamics of rare and
threatened species. Some of the species he has worked on are the Whooping Crane, Dusky Dolphins and the Houston Toad. He currently resided in College Station, Texas and enjoys photography and good jazz.
Monica Morrison. Monica is a professional project manager with 15+ years of experience in a variety of top industries. She is also a dedicated, active participant in wildlife projects and has over 10 years of volunteer experience in a variety of wildlife organizations, including the Dallas Zoo, two big feline sanctuaries, and US and Brazilian jaguar conservation organizations. Her background encompasses fundraising, education and training, volunteer coordination, construction, animal care, and newsletter editing. Monica is the Project Director of BEI's Texas Mountain Lion Conservation Project. Monica resides in Dallas, Texas.