Board of Directors and Staff

The International Foundation for Ethical Research is guided by a Board of Directors who volunteer their time and expertise to ensure that the resources of IFER are used in the most efficient, professional and effective ways possible. Working together, they bring decades of experience in nonprofit management, finance, and legal expertise to the Foundation.


Peggy Cunniff is the former President of the International Foundation for Ethical Research and is Executive Director Emerita of the National Anti-Vivisection Society. She was the Executive Director of the National Anti-Vivisection Society since 1987 and served on its Board of Directors when NAVS founded IFER and has continued to support the Foundation. Peggy has also served as President of the National Council for Animal Protection and worked with numerous coalitions of animal advocacy organizations. Prior to her work in animal advocacy, she was a City Planner in the city of Chicago’s Department of Development and Planning.


Sylvia O. Decker is a retired attorney whose professional career stands in testament to the contributions of women leaders within the legal community. She was a Vice President in the Personal Trust Administration of The Northern Trust Company who helped to advise her clients on their long-term financial plans and how to wisely invest for their future and their legacy. Previously she was a partner in a large national law firm focusing on estate planning and tax strategies. While she is lending her professional expertise to ensure that IFER is managed by the highest professional and ethical standards, she is ensuring that her own legacy reflects her commitment to advancing humane, ethical science.


Kenneth Kandaras is the President of the International Foundation for Ethical Research and joined IFER in 2018. In addition to his work with IFER, Mr. Kandaras is the Executive Director of the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS). He joined the NAVS Board of Directors in 1999 and served as its President from 2001 to 2018. Before joining IFER and NAVS, Mr. Kandaras was a Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at the John Marshall Law School (UIC College of Law). His expertise extended to the fields of formal litigation, negotiation, arbitration, and mediation.


Thomas Moore is a highly respected attorney who successfully represents his clients with skill, experience and passionate advocacy. He is also an advocate for the “under dog” and understands that animal protection is a logical extension of other respected social justice movements.


Pamela Osenkowski, Ph.D. is a Science Advisor for both the National Anti-Vivisection Society and for the International Foundation for Ethical Research. Dr. Osenkowski earned her B.S. in Biology at the University of Michigan and her Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at Wayne State University. She conducted her postdoctoral studies in Alzheimer’s disease at Harvard Medical School and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Biology Department at Loyola University Chicago.


John Scheid is an attorney with extensive experience as a litigator and successful negotiator who wholeheartedly endorses the mission of IFER. He especially appreciates that it serves as an effective bridge between people who care passionately about animals and those who work in science. He believes that implementing new advancements in technology offers the greatest opportunity for ending the use of animals as research tools and for finding solutions to serious human health problems.