GLOBAL ANIMAL TEAM is run by a team of animal lovers. Each person volunteers time and skills to make this daily news magazine and social community possible for other animal lovers and advocates worldwide. Here’s more about the individuals who make up the Global Animal team:


Leah Lessard Jeon, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Leah Lessard Jeon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Science and a Master’s degree in Professional Writing from the University of Southern California. She is a partner in the TV production company Om Base Productions. Her biggest accomplishment to date is teaching yoga to her dog, Stanley. Stanley’s practice includes ‘namaste,’ where he sits tall with paws together at his chest. Ms. Lessard began her career in journalism as a book reviewer for She later worked at CNN’s Los Angeles bureau on the Showbiz Today show and as a research producer on Larry King Live.

Leah has been wild about animals since an early age and decided as a kid that animals would always be part of her family. Leah lives with two dogs and a cat and loves to spend afternoons with the residents at Animal Acres Farm Sanctuary, where she is a supporting member. Leah’s other interests include yoga, traveling, toodling in her urban garden, and being swept away by the latest Bollywood film. (More about Leah Lessard Jeon’s professional credits.)

Arthur Jeon, Co-Founder & Publisher

Arthur Jeon holds a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Harvard University and a Master’s degree from the USC Film School. He is a partner in the television production company Om Base Productions, and the author of two books published by Random House: City Dharma: Keeping Your Cool in the Chaos, and Sex, Love and Dharma. But what he really likes to do is walk with his dog, Stanley, or play ‘crazy ribbon’ with his tabby cat, Omar.

A long-time animal lover, Arthur is a co-founder of the homeless and abused dog charity ‘Walk for the Underdog.’ This experience led him to want to start Global Animal and bring attention to the needs of all animals. A yoga practitioner for 15 years and teacher for eight, Arthur still occasionally flops around on his yoga mat. (More about Arthur Jeon’s professional credits.)

Amir Khan - IT DirectorAmir Khan, Director of IT

Amir Khan has been active in the Information Technology field for over 15 years, though he pursued a different direction in education. Amir holds a Degree in History and Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Aside from his passion for animals, Amir is actively involved with supporting and promoting The Painted Turtle Camp (Hole in the Wall Gang) and Doctors Without Borders.  His mission is simple – give those in need a voice.

Some of his hobbies include philosophy, poetry, hiking, cooking, drumming and playing hockey.


Global Animal’s founders collaborate with several U.S. universities to offer journalism and IT internships and training to exceptional students. Global Animal’s interns share a dedication to animal welfare as well as to learning. They are the people who make connecting readers to the animal world on a daily basis a reality.

Alisa Manzelli, Managing Editor

Alisa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Literature/Writing from the University of California, San Diego and a Master’s degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Loyola Marymount University. She currently resides in West Los Angeles and has been a part of Global Animal for five years.

In her free time, Alisa enjoys traveling, reading, playing guitar, snowboarding, and discovering new live music. A self-proclaimed cat lady, Alisa currently cares for a rescue cat, a feisty calico named Penny Lane. She also has a chubby Chihuahua named Roxy who she loves to visit back home.

alexandra-niskanen-editorial-contributor-global-animalAlexandra Niskanen, Editorial Contributor

Alexandra is currently finishing up her last year of high school and can’t wait to begin her college adventure. Even though she is undecided on a major, she is excited to see what the world has in store for her.

When Lexie isn’t working as a Recreational Aid with Dementia patients, she loves to play tennis with her teammates and take care of her fur babies. Bitten by the travel bug, Lexie enjoys traveling, exploring, and immersing herself in different cultures. She’s not one who enjoys staying in one place too long and hopes to add some miles to her journey.

Compassion for all living things comes easily for Lexie and she hopes to continue making a difference in the world, however possible.

kayla newcomer and dogKayla Newcomer, Editorial Intern

Kayla is currently attending the University of California, Los Angeles where she is pursuing a double major in Pre-Med and English. Born and raised in So Cal, Kayla currently resides in Westwood. She hopes to go into psychiatry or clinical psychology, but will always foster her love of language by having some sort of writing career on the side.

A self-proclaimed wanderer, Kayla enjoys traveling, road trips, camping, biking, wakeboarding, snowboarding, and hiking with her Labrador, Bruce. She loves reading, writing and photography. A nature enthusiast, Kayla wholeheartedly supports the well-being of the environment and the countless creatures that call this earthly paradise home. Growing up in a house divided between dog lovers and cat lovers sent Kayla down an experimental road featuring rabbits, parakeets, turtles, bearded dragons and even a piglet. Her greatest achievement is teaching one of her three dogs, Chase, how to ride a longboard.

Cara Meyers and Grumpy CatCara Meyers, Editorial Intern

Cara received her Bachelor’s degree in English from The University of Iowa. She is from the Midwest and recently took the trek out here to Los Angeles with her kitten Cleo (leaving three other cats at home) all the way from Chicago.

Cara moved out here to pursue her dreams of becoming a comedy writer, and helping animals. She currently takes improv classes at both UCB and The Groundlings. Her free time is spent playing with the love of her life, Cleo. She describes herself as the definition of a cat lady, and could not be any happier.

Dorian Edwards, Editorial Intern

Dorian is a UCLA sophomore working towards a major in communications and minor in cultural anthropology. Her passion for animals and writing led her to the doorstep of Global Animal and she has become forever addicted to reporting the latest animal news. When she isn’t studying, publishing articles, exercising, looking up travel deals, drinking coffee with friends and family, practicing yoga, reading, singing along to music, or thinking of the best new play on words, she splits her affection between her French Bulldog Sofie (short for SoFierce), Bullmastiff Rubeus, and rent-a-pup Luna, an English Bulldog.

Her dedication to helping all living creatures, including humans, inspires her dream to become a non-fiction author of inspirational novels. Dori also hopes to become a world traveler and help revolutionize global animal welfare.

Rebecca Hartt with dogRebecca Hartt, Editorial Intern

Rebecca is a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is majoring in linguistics. She previously attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where she majored in news editorial journalism and received her yoga instructor certification. After college, she hopes to earn her graduate degree and become a professional editor or journalist.

Rebecca has always had a love for animals, and adopted both of her dogs from animal shelters. Rescuing abandoned animals has always been one of her passions, and as a kid she wanted to become an animal cop. When she is not spending time with her dog, Emmy, Rebecca enjoys the beach, yoga, and writing.

Sabrina Clinkenbeard with dog

Sabrina Clinkenbeard, Editorial Intern

Sabrina is a sophomore at Oklahoma State University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Strategic Communications. With her degree in hand, she plans to begin her lifelong dream of being a voice for animals in need around the world. She hopes to raise funds for conservation efforts, educate the public on endangered species, and make the world a much better place for all animals.

Sabrina has a Basset Hound named Zoey, who has hopelessly stolen her heart, and greatly magnified her love for animals. She dreams of a world where animals are respected and treated with kindness, and hopes mankind will soon realize that inflicting pain on animals is immoral. When Sabrina isn’t busy with the ongoing roller coaster of life, she most enjoys spending her free time with her longtime boyfriend and her dog Zoey Rey.

Pro Bono Professionals

Global Animal is further fortified by several professionals who contribute their immense talents to Global Animal’s animal advocacy efforts. The generosity of these pros makes so much possible.

Kallie Hinson, Graphic Designer

Kallie is the gal who created the gorgeous logos and look of , as well as Global Animal Foundation, you see throughout the site.

Stanley, Head of Security

Stanley Jeon holds a Master’s degree in Self-Esteem and is the (self-appointed) head of security at Global Animal. Stanley hails from South Central Los Angeles. Inexplicably, Stanley served time at the county pound until he was ‘discovered’ by the scouts of Much Love Animal Rescue.

The best guess is that Stanley is a Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix. He is very identified with the noble lineage of Lhasa Apsos acting as sentinels to protect monks in Tibetan monasteries. For this reason, when Stanley looks in the mirror, he sees a lion. He ensures the safety of our staff and multiple potted plants by patrolling the long hallways of Global Animal. Off-duty, he’s an avid hiker and foodie.


Lulu, Social Coordinator

Our newest member and office sweetheart, Lulu, comes to us from the incredible rescue organization Angel City Pits, and is yet another NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) success story. Our new Staffie member enjoys hanging out, telling jokes, and going for walks.

Lulu is a star with cats, dogs, kids and people, and woos everyone she encounters with her soulful eyes and unflappable gentle spirit. No wonder she’s Global Animal’s social coordinator! It’s all about getting the right team member in the right position.

Previous Interns

Click to see the great people from the early days who made progress possible.