Marianne Thieme and Karen Soeters
Marianne Thieme is not only the co-founder of the Party for the Animals, but also its party leader. Following her law degree at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, she worked for a governmental advice bureau for several years (from 1998 to 2001). Her career in animal protection began as a fauna consultant for the Dutch Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Following this, she worked as policy adviser for Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals), an organization for the protection of fur-bearing animals. In October 2002, she set up the Party for the Animals together with some other animal protectionists. In February 2004, the Party chose her as party leader for the European elections of 10th June 2004. After these elections, Marianne Thieme became the director of Stichting Wakker Dier, an organization that campaigns for the abolition of the factory farming industry. In her capacity as director of this organization, the agricultural magazine Boerderij proclaimed her the most influential woman in the Netherlands with respect to the social and economic position of farmers. In November 2006, she won a seat in the Dutch House of Representatives and also became party chair. In addition to her political post, Marianne Thieme is also a board member of the Stichting Faunabescherming, an organization for the protection of wild animals.
Karen Soeters was appointed as director of the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation in August 2007. She is also the project manager for the much-discussed documentary "Meat the Truth." In addition to these activities, she also works as a lecturer at the Institute for Media and Information Management, Hogeschool van Amsterdam and is a board member of the Dutch Vegetarian Society. She has also been active for the Party for the Animals in the province of North Holland. During her Communication Science studies at the University of Amsterdam, she followed courses in law and political science alongside those in policy and media studies. Karen Soeters has been interested in animal welfare and environmental issues for as long as she can remember. After graduation, Soeters also worked as a researcher for, amongst other employers, an international research agency in New York. In addition, she has been active as a consultant for a variety of organizations.