Our People

Our Trustees


Phyllis joined the GAWF board in March 2015 and became Chair a year later. She has substantial experience of work as a trustee over many years, especially supporting children and young people. She was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to children and families arising from her role as Director of Education and Children’s Services in a London borough.

Phyllis has a strong personal commitment to animal welfare and has been involved in cat and dog rescue for over twenty years.

Involvement in GAWF brings together her professional expertise and personal interests.


Anna Stamatiou was born of Greek parents, in 1955. In 2007 having lived most of her life in London where she grew up, she moved to Greece and now lives in central Athens. She is an active member of the GAWF Board and has also served as Chairman of Animal Action, Hellas. She resigned from that post in 2020 but remains on the Animal Action Board.

Her interest in animals and the environment led her in 2005 to become a founder-member of Chios Nature – a group dedicated to the wildlife of Chios, the Aegean island that her family is originally from. Anna is also a Board Member of MEDASSET (working for the conservation of sea turtles in the Mediterranean).

She contributes principally to the communication and awareness work of the organisations she supports, and particularly enjoys devising innovative educational programmes and games for young people. She has shared her life with her husband, Andreas, two sons, four grandchildren (so far) and, to date, six English bull terriers (though not all at the same time)!
Anna harbours an as-yet-unfulfilled ambition one day to swim in the sea alongside a wild turtle.


Maria Marinos, came to GAWF with a background in financial reporting, editing and Public Relations for major institutes both in the UK and in Hong Kong.

Maria was brought up in Essex surrounded by both horses and dogs and she is the proud owner of Leo, whom she rescued from a life on the streets of a Greek Island.


David had lived all his life in London. He studied veterinary medicine at Oxford and has been working as a small animal vet in Streatham for the past twenty years.

In his surgery he treats mainly cats and dogs, but he also often sees rabbits, mice, hamsters and other small rodents as well as reptiles. David has served as a Councillor in the Borough of Lambeth. He has three children and cats.


Having served as Chief Executive Officer of Greek Animal Welfare Fund and Animal Action Hellas since March 2018, in October 2020 Paul returned to his role as Trustee & Treasurer, which he held for 6 years before becoming CEO.


Paul is also the Director and President (of the Board of Directors) of Animal Action Hellas.

Paul has a life long love of Greece and animals, having been charmed in his youth by reading Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and other animals’ trilogy. He also cemented this love when as one of a group of 10 fellow Tasmanian’s he was on a canoeing expedition around the Greek islands, back in 1983. Fast forward to the present, this job allows him to pursue both passions – animal welfare and Greece!

Paul has had a 20 year career in local government, having been an elected local government councillor in Lambeth from 1998 to May 2018, when he stood down. In that time he was Deputy Leader of the council (2014 to 2018), and was a cabinet member with responsibility for Finance for seven years until 2017. Professionally, Paul has wide experience as an accountant and senior manager in both the private and public sectors. He has over his career worked in Australia in the hotel industry, Germany in the Film and TV sector and then for some years in the music industry based in the UK, working for international HQ of PolyGram International, then one of the 3rd largest music companies in the world.



Sophia Kyriakopoulou joined GAWF/Animal Action as an Operations Manager in 2017. She is responsible for the management of our operational animal services . She holds a BA in Communication and Media as well as a MA in Conflict and Communication from the University of Athens.

Sophia is passionate about animal welfare and in her spare time she volunteers at a local animal shelter. She loves to travel but not as much as she loves cats. Her spoiled adopted cat Tourko can confirm this.


Serafina holds a BSc in Marketing Management from Deree College and a MBA in Marketing Communications from New York Institute of Technology.

After many years of professional experience in a multinational business environment she has decided to dedicate her life to what she loves most – helping animals. She has been a volunteer in the area of animal welfare for almost 20 years and has now taken the role of Animal Action’s Neutering Officer.

She lives in Athens with her three rescue dogs King, Claire and Mickey who is also a Pet Therapy dog.


Jada joined GAWF in Summer 2018 and has been working part-time at the London office since then. Her role involves processing supporter donations and book-keeping, amongst other things.

She is currently studying Medicine at King’s College London. Her passion for animals began at the young age of 5 with her first pet goldfish, Goldie, and now she adores spending time with her family Golden Retriever, Ben.


Jon joined GAWF in late 2020 to oversee the charity’s communications and fundraising, having spent the last 3 years working with a number of animal welfare charities around the world.

He has a BA in Sociology from the University of Sussex and a professional background in music events and hospitality business management, but in the last few years he has dedicated his life to improving the welfare of animals across the globe.

Jon has a particular affinity towards cats but will happily make friends with any animal (and regularly does).


Elisa Geskou (DVM, MRCVS – Veterinarian & Equine Project Coordinator)

Elisa Geskou is a Greek veterinary surgeon and in 2003, not long after graduating, she noticed a GAWF announcement at her University in Thessaloniki, offering training to vets interested in equines. This is how her relationship with GAWF began.

Aris Vlahakis (Farrier)

Aris has been a professional farrier since 2004, but he first came across GAWF at one of the Seminars we held in Crete in 2006. Since 2008 he has been a stalwart of the Equine Team, joining us on many of our outreach visits all over Greece, while also continuing to work independently throughout Crete, which is his home.

Alkis Gkeskos (Dentist technician)

We’ll have a profile for Alkis soon…