25 February, 2019

My History and Future with ACE

I've been a close advocate of Animal Charity Evaluators from the very beginning. When the effective altruism movement was still quite young, I participated regularly in forums about there not being an official animal advocacy arm of EA, and how the animal cause deserved to be a significant pillar of the EA movement. I wasn't the loudest voice, and I certainly wasn't the most persuasive, but I gave my support and attention, hoping to see animals represented more heavily by EAs.

At the time, I was working in a non-EA charity helping to fight domestic childhood hunger. I had been a vegetarian for several years at that point, but had never before volunteered or participated in any type of animal advocacy space. In fact, I regularly worked closely with employees at large animal meat companies like Tyson Foods, as a part of my job to get food to hungry children. I was not a fan of many fat-shaming pro-vegan ads put up by organizations like PETA or PCRM, and didn't think much of the low efficacy of local shelters. My opinion of the general animal advocacy movement was quite low. My philosophical stance was quite clear: the systematic torture of pain-capable beings was not justified -- yet I didn't really have anything more than vaguely positive feelings toward any specific animal advocacy organizations.

When 80,000 Hours started Effective Animal Activism as a spin-off project, I was among the first people to sign up as a member. Mostly my contributions back then were limited to facebook posts and working through arguments via email. Eventually, I spoke with Rob Wiblin to learn how I could do more. Within a few months, EAA hired its first Executive Director, Jon Bockman, and I met with him on his very first day, successfully angling to become his first hire.

I served as the Director of Communications for the first two years at ACE. Later, I scaled back to part-time, so I could do earning-to-give in a second job. Overall, I worked as Data Scientist for over two additional years. My last day was at the end of last year.

Today, I accepted a position on the Board of Directors at Animal Charity Evaluators.

I'm glad to know that I can continue to add my skills and experience to help direct an organization with which I so strongly personally identify. I truly want to make the most of this opportunity to help make Animal Charity Evaluators as strong as I'm able.

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