The Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation is the scientific bureau of the Party for the Animals. The NGPF’s goal is to conduct scientific research and increase public knowledge and awareness of social issues, most particularly with regard to animal welfare, animal rights, sustainability and nature. The NGPF explores and presents alternatives that can contribute to the realisation of a more pleasant, animal-friendly and sustainable society. In so doing, the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation endeavours to make existing scientific research and knowledge far more accessible to the broader public and to stimulate societal and political debate on such themes. In addition, the NGPF also initiates scientific research studies. www.ngpf.nl
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 organisation 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 organisation for the protection of wild animals.
Karen Soeters was appointed as director of the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation in August 2007. She was the project manager for the much-discussed documentary Meat the Truth, was responsible for its sequel Sea the Truth and was one of the makers of a visual document about religious slaughther without stunning. In addition to these activities, she also works as a lecturer of media psychology at the Institute for Media and Information Management, Hogeschool van Amsterdam and is a board member of the Dutch Vegetarian Society and Bont voor Dieren (Fur for Animals). 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 organisations.
Niko Koffeman is the founder and chairman of the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation and also the elected member of the Dutch Senate for the Party for the Animals. In 1992, he already thought that there should be a Party for the Animals. When this idea was turned into reality by Lieke Keller, Marianne Thieme and Ton Dekker in 2002, he supported them with words and deeds from the very start. Niko Koffeman has been passionately involved in animal, nature and environmental protection since he was 18. He prevented the establishment of a landfill site in the Lickebaert area by planting a protest wood, he ran campaigns against bloodsports and the genetic manipulation of animals, he was the co-founder of the Wakker Dier Foundation (an organisation that campaigns against factory farming) and achieved national fame as the result of the protests against the Royal Family’s participation in wild boar hunting. As the external campaign adviser for the Socialist Party, he managed to help them go from 0 to 25 seats in the Dutch parliament within a thirteen year period. Koffeman is also the originator of the Adopt-a-Chicken and Adopt-an-Apple Tree schemes and the VegaPolis (a health insurance policy for vegetarians). The film Meat the Truth was also originally the brainchild of Niko Koffeman.