smling Chris sits behind a golden labrador

Chris Muldoon (Chair)

Hong Kong Guide Dog Association

Chris trained as a GDMI with post graduate OMI certification over 30 years ago with Guide Dogs Victoria in Australia. He has worked in most Australian states as a manager and developed the RSB Guide and Assistance Dog Service in South Australia. He has also worked for Guide Dogs UK as a Service Manager and in Research and Development. More recently he has worked with Dogs for Good in the Assistance Dog field. He currently works for Hong Kong Guide Dog Association. As part of his role with HKGDA he is a member of the Asian Guide Dog Breeding Network. He has a B.Sc. and B.A( Psych), post grad cert O and M, a Masters (Vision Impairment) and two PhDs. Chris serves on the European Standards working group for CEN/TC 452. He serves as an International Assessor of Guide Dog Schools with IGDF as well as serving on the Education Committee and the Trainers Certification Committee with ADI. He is strongly committed to engagement with clients in all aspects of the work we do, service improvement through standardisation and in the welfare and wellbeing of the dogs we work with.

Chris was appointed AC Chair in May 2024.

Tim Stafford

Tim Stafford (Board Liaison)

Director of Canine Affairs The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, UK

Tim has worked for Guide Dogs (UK) since 1985, qualifying as a guide dog mobility instructor in 1989 working in the UK and New Zealand.  Tim holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Animal Behaviour and a master’s degree in Anthrozoology.  Tim progressed through a succession of management roles before being appointed as Director of Canine Assisted Services in 2014 to lead the re-design and development of the canine system of breeding, puppy development, dog training, behaviour, welfare, and partnership services. Tim moved into his present role as Director of Canine Affairs in 2020 to strengthen engagement and collaboration with national and international partners and provide executive directors with subject matter expertise. Tim represents Guide Dogs and IGDF as part of the European Consortium on European Standards for Assistance Dogs (CEN/TC 452) where he is also the co-convenor of the working group for Lifetime Welfare.  In addition to being a Director/Trustee of the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) he is the current Chair of Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK).

Susan Armstrong in a park kneeling next to a yellow lab wearing a walking harness.

Susan Armstrong

Vice-President of Training, Client, and Veterinary Operations
Guide Dogs for the Blind Inc (USA)

Susan began her career at Guide Dogs for the Blind in Boring, Oregon in 1995 and was a practicing GDMI for 15 years before moving into various management roles at both the California and Oregon campuses. Now in her 26th year at GDB, she is currently the Vice President of Training, Client, and Veterinary Operations. In 2009, Susan received her master’s degree in Orientation and Mobility from Western Michigan University and is a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist.

Susan is passionate about both dogs and people and is honored to be a part of such a life-changing industry. Her focus in her career has been continually seeking ways to improve the way we train dogs and creating an open, collaborative culture where clients and staff can thrive.

Susan loves to travel and has enjoyed being an assessor for IGDF. She is also an avid sports fan, poker player, and student of photography. She lives in Portland, Oregon. with her partner and their enthusiastic, photogenic Border Collies.

Dave Grice sitting at a computer desk facing camera.

David Grice

David has spent all of his 34 year career to date in the Guide Dog industry working at Guide Dogs for the Blind in the UK. He has spent much of his time working in operational and technical roles, initially as a GDMI for 12 years before moving into operational management.

David has led the organisations’ canine, ophthalmic and psychosocial research team and worked to support service continuous improvement in the role of Head of Technical Developments and Implementation. During this time David majored on developing a standardised approach to guide dog training and puppy raising which imbedded the use of positive reinforcement practises.

David’s current role as National Head of Dog Training and Behaviour allows him to indulge in his passion to maintain and improve the organisations’ ethical and scientifically based approaches to dog training and puppy rearing. David has served the IGDF for the last 5 years as an assessor and now a member of the AC.

Paul Adrian kneeling in a park next to a yellow lab.

Paul Adrian

Training Manager, National Programs
Vision Australia

Paul began his career in the dog guide industry in 1984, qualifying as a Guide Dog and Orientation and Mobility Specialist in 1987.

Since that time he has worked in a number of agencies within Australia and throughout Europe. Roles have varied from direct client services to staff training, from operational management to executive leadership. His current role is that of Training Manager with Vision Australia Seeing Eye Dogs.

Paul is currently serving as a member of both the IGDF Education and Accreditation committees. His passion is the provision of quality and innovative dog guide services to people who experience blindness or partial vision.

Paul is proud to be a promoter of ethical, science based training practices, ensuring best outcomes for clients, dogs and the organizations that engage in providing dog guide services.

Minna kneeling down next to a yellow labrador

Minna Leppälä 

Nakovammaisten Keskusliitto ry:n, Finland 

Minna started her career in the guide dog industry with the Guide Dog School of Finnish Federation for Visually Impaired in 1997. She has gained very extensive experience in many sectors of the industry, including guide dog training and client work, breeding and puppy training supervising, and working as a laboratory assistant in the school’s semen bank, Opvet. 

In 2008 she moved to Central Finland with her family and little by little started running her own guide dog school, with her first guide dog starting work in 2010. Minna’s school was accepted as a full member of IGDF in 2017, and in 2020 she gained membership of the SDBF (Service Dog Breeders Fellowship) collaborative group. In 2022, Minna’s organisation joined with Nakovammaisten Keskusliitto ry:n. 

Minna knows the challenges for running a small guide dog school, the importance of good quality dogs, training, and client work. Her passion is to find ways for schools to collaborate and improve their quality on every aspect. 

Tamer (Tommy) Mourad

Vice – President of Guide Dogs Training Operations
Fidelco Guide Dogs Inc, USA

Tommy has spent all his 20-year career in the guide dog industry working at Fidelco Guide Dogs in the USA. In his current role he oversee the Pup house and early puppy development, the puppy raiser department, and the Training and Client Services departments. Prior to joining Fidelco, about eighteen years ago, he enjoyed a very successful career in international law enforcement.  His specialty was canine explosive detection.  He is a graduate of the Connecticut State Police Canine Troop Class 67, in 1995.  

Tommy is passionate about finding ways to improve the quality of guide dog training using ethical and scientific approaches to insure the best outcomes for the visually impaired community.  During his tenure, he has developed new and improved existing programs which increase the quality of Guide Dogs.

Tommy is an avid sports fan, loves to ski and play golf. He lives in Glastonbury, CT with his wife, 2 daughters, 4 cats and 2 joyful, affectionate rescue dogs.  

female sitting behind a black labrador

Daisy Holt

Lead Guide Dog Mobility Instructor
See Differently – Royal Society for the Blind, Australia

Daisy started in the Guide Dog industry after completing her university in Animal Science, commencing in the puppy department in 2010 and working up to training and qualifying as a Guide Dog mobility instructor completing in 2016. Working in a small school Daisy has had the opportunity of being involved and having experience in all aspects of the Guide Dog journey, from whelping to retirement and gaining practical insight into all components of training.

In 2021 Daisy became the lead of the Guide Dog department, whilst continuing work with training people and guide dogs whilst taking a more active role in the development and management of the team in day-to-day operations.

Daisy is very passionate about her work and the future of guide dog mobility and how we continue to incorporate guide dogs in this constantly evolving world. Daisy is looking forward taking an active role within the guide dog industry.

Daisy was originally born in Milan, Italy and moved to Adelaide, Australia at the age of 17, having completed her schooling in Italy Daisy is fluent in both Italian and English.

Smiling Aaron kneels next to a black labrador

Aaron Horsington

Guide Dog Services Manager
Guide Dogs Victoria, Australia

Aaron started his Guide Dog career in 1996 at Guide Dogs for the Blind UK and has been with Guide Dogs Victoria since 2007. Prior to that Aaron worked in the Royal Air Force as a RAF Police Dog Handler and served in the UK, Falkland Islands and Belize.

Aaron started his GD career as a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor and now manages the Puppy Raising, GD Training and GD Client Services teams. He is passionate about positive client outcomes and quality programs to benefit the blind and low vision community living a life of their choosing.

Aaron enjoys paddle boarding, fishing and sailing with his Ambassador Dog Delphie (pictured).

Aaron joined the AC in April 2024.

Ivana Merryman Boncori

Dogs for Life, Slovakia

Ivana Merryman Boncori started working in the Guide Dog field in 1998 in Slovakia, achieving a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) qualification in 2002 after one-year scholarship at Guide Dogs Victoria (GDV). The experience at GDV allowed Ivana to discover the professionalism and client-focus in the work of a GDMI and opened her way to the international Guide Dog world. Since then, she has been passionate about paying forward by helping to develop Guide Dog schools in several countries.

Ivana has worked with small organizations during her career, which allowed her to gain experience from all technical parts of a Guide Dog program and understand the challenges and possibilities of smaller organizations. She has been particularly involved in development of staff education programs and providing GDMI education; and in supporting development and collaboration in Guide Dog Breeding. From 2014 to 2022 Ivana worked for the IGDF’s Development Committee (DC), serving as a Chair for one year.

Outside the Guide Dog field, Ivana worked as an Orientation and Mobility Instructor in Rome, Italy; she worked as a specialist for barrier-free design at the Slovak Blind and Partially Sighted Union; and she has a PhD in Civil Engineering.

Currently Ivana lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. She works for two organizations – Dogs for Life, Slovakia (sponsor of Ivana’s work for the IGDF) and the Danish Association of the Blind, Denmark.

Ivana joined the AC in May 2024