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Carney Anne Nasser Program Research Fellow

Carney Anne Nasser is a career animal protection attorney and big cat expert who has been described by Rachel Nuwer of the New York Times as “the go-to person in the country for laws pertaining to big cat ownership.” Indeed, it is Carney Anne who pitched the wildlife trafficking case against the infamous “Tiger King” Joe Exotic to the Department of Justice and federal investigators that triggered a five-year investigation leading to his conviction for multiple federal crimes.

Carney Anne became the second full-time animal law professor in the world when Michigan State University hired her to be its founding director of the animal welfare clinic at MSU College of Law. She has expertise in litigation, regulatory matters, public policy, lobbying, communications strategies, and social media branding. Most of her eighteen years of legal practice has focused on combatting the exotic pet trade and wildlife trafficking, with a significant focus on protection and conservation of tigers and other big cats.

Prior to her role at MSU, Carney Anne worked in the non-profit sector, where she served as Associate Director of Captive Animal Law Enforcement at the PETA Foundation, and previously as senior attorney for wildlife and regulatory affairs at the Animal Legal Defense Fund. She has provided private consulting services to political candidates, elected officials, and major advocacy organizations to help craft their messaging and strategies on animal welfare priority initiatives. 

Carney Anne serves on the Board of Advisors for the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance and spent the last four years participating in the making of the award-winning documentary, The Conservation Game, which exposes the dark reality behind tigers and other big cats used on television by “celebrity conservationists.” Critics have described The Conservation Game as having “the same impact as Blackfish and The Cove.” 

Carney Anne is published on the topics pertaining to legal loopholes that facilitate the trafficking and trade in tigers and other big cats and is an internationally recognized expert on big cats and wildlife trafficking. She is a regular participant and contributor at international anti-trafficking treaty meetings and frequently invited to guide state and local legislative bodies on legislative drafting and other legal changes that aim to preserve public safety and promote animal welfare.

Carney Anne holds a B.A. in political science from U.C. San Diego, a J.D. from Tulane University, and a graduate degree in community advocacy from the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. She is a recognized speaker on the national and international circuit and has served as a media spokesperson on a wide range of animal protection issues, including contributions to Al Jazeera, The Dr. Oz Show, National GeographicLos Angeles TimesWashington Postthe Wall Street JournalLongreadsNew York Times, CNN, and ​NBC’s  Today Show. Her podcast, ​​​​​​Tiger Talk with Carney Anne Nasser, has listeners in twenty-six countries on six continents and is available on Spotify, iTunes, and Anchor.

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