Board of Directors


Michele Waldman


Founder and President of Rosie's Farm Sanctuary. Michele is a licensed psychotherapist focusing on trauma and relationship issues. Michele graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies, hence her love of nature and ecology. She received a Master's in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integrated Studies in San Francisco and a Master's in Latin American Studies with a focus in International Marketing from UCLA. Michele also trained with Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Michele was born in Auckland, New Zealand, and spent her childhood in Australia. She has worked and lived in 40 countries around the world.

Michele is deeply involved with animal activism and animal rights. She was first made aware of the suffering of animals in the food industry by PETA when she was a student at UC Berkeley. She became a vegetarian right away and became vegan later in life – after learning about the atrocities of the dairy and egg industries. Michele started her journey in animal activism by volunteering at animal sanctuaries in California and helping to rescue calves from the dairy industry. It was her lifelong dream to open an animal sanctuary.

Michele opened Rosies in 2022. She is working three jobs: a practicing psychotherapist, President of Rosie’s Farm Sanctuary, and a mother of 2 teenage boys.

Craig Waldman

Co-founder of Rosie’s Farm Sanctuary, Craig's day job is as co-chair of Jones Day's global Antitrust & Competition Law Practice. Craig has more than 20 years of experience representing companies in antitrust government investigations and private litigations and counseling them on how to manage antitrust risk in daily business activities. He has served as an adjunct professor at both Berkeley and Hastings Law Schools, has lectured at Stanford Business School, and has served in numerous roles within ABA Antitrust Leadership. In addition to his legal work, Craig is passionate about charitable endeavors. For over ten years, he has served on the board of directors of Global Strategies, an international charity whose mission is to reduce early mortality and treat survivors of sexual violence in impoverished and war-torn regions of Africa.
Craig Waldman

Peggy Cusack

Peggy is a DC based attorney who currently serves as the Interim Executive Director for the Nonhuman Rights Project, a nonprofit fighting for legal rights for nonhuman animals. She has more than thirty years of experience with strategic planning, campaign management, special events production, and nonprofit operations, working with some of the world's highest profile individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations. Notable accomplishments include six years working in the Office of Vice President Gore during the Clinton Administration, an experience that included planning roles with three presidential campaigns, two presidential inaugurations, and multiple planning committees for the Olympic Games. Peggy is particularly well known for her many decades of work with the Democratic National Convention, holding executive level positions with the convention planning committee going back to 1992, including two years as chief of staff for the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, publicly labeled the "largest political convention in American history." Peggy volunteers with many animal advocacy organizations, supporting a wide variety of causes with everything from dog walking and barn cleaning to fostering and transport.

She provides pro bono legal counsel and general operational guidance to shelters and sanctuaries around the United States and serves on the board of the Open Sanctuary Project, a nonprofit organization that provides free compassionate resources and information for animal sanctuaries & caregivers worldwide. Peggy lives on Capitol Hill with three rescue cats, four rescue bunnies and a large number of community cats and other critters that share her front and back yards.

DJ Rosenthal

DJ Rosenthal is a Member of the Board of Directors at Rosie’s Farm Sanctuary and serves as Executive Director at ProShares in Bethesda. DJ is committed to raising awareness of the plight of farm animals raised for meat, as well as the devastating environmental impacts of industrial agriculture. DJ believes that most people care about the well-being of animals and would adopt a plant-based lifestyle if they “make the connection” between the food they eat and the suffering of innocent animals that it required. He believes in Rosie’s and its mission of raising this type of awareness.

DJ previously served in a variety of national security roles in government, including in the U.S. Department of Justice as senior counsel to the assistant attorney general for national security, as an attorney for the Director of National Intelligence, and as Director for Counterterrorism at the National Security Council in the Obama administration. He is a visiting Fellow with the National Security Institute at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, and serves on the faculty of the Honors College at the University of Maryland, where he teaches the award winning course, National Security Dilemmas.

His national security thought pieces have been published by The New York Times, CNN, U.S. News and World Report, Politico, Lawfare, and Law360, among other publications. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, Honors College, and earned his juris doctor at the George Washington University Law School.

Carrie Frey

Carrie has been involved in animal rescue and animal activism for over four decades. At the age of 10, she spontaneously associated the steak on her plate at dinner with some cows she had seen earlier in the day and from that moment on, she, her mother, and her sister all became vegetarian. As they became more educated on the cruelty of the dairy and egg industries, they embraced veganism. At the University of Pennsylvania where she received her B.A. in Communications and English in 1996, Carrie was the President of Penn Students for Animal Rights and completed internships at PETA and HSUS. For years she worked in Marketing at Animal Planet/Discovery and has since gone on to earn an integrative nutrition certificate with a focus on plant-based nutrition. She loves cooking, baking, and sharing delicious vegan recipes and taking people on “grocery store tours” to learn more about compassionate food choices. She is also very involved in companion animal rescue, serving as the President of the Board of Directors of PetConnect Rescue, and adopted Rosie to the Waldman family.

Elissa Free

A vegan since 2008 (and vegetarian for many years prior), Elissa has a deep love of all animals. She is fully committed to educating people about the horrendous cruelty, climate change consequences, and negative human health impacts of the animal agriculture industry.

A native Washingtonian, Elissa has an extensive background in journalism and communications. After getting her start at CBS News, she worked in the Washington bureau of CNN for 21 years where she held a variety of positions including producer, executive producer, and newsroom manager. After leaving CNN, she served as executive director of communications at Georgetown University Law Center for a dozen years. She now devotes most of her time to animal and vegan advocacy. She has served on the board of the Veg Society of DC since 2016.

Elissa lives in DC with her husband Bill, two cats (Babycake and Leo), and little dog, Chucky. Her daughter Amanda, who inspired her to go vegan, is a therapist in Durango, Colorado and runs ultra-marathons.

Elissa with Dani or Sunshine