The International Bird Rescue staff and response team bring a multitude of skills, experience and background to the organization.
These skills include emergency management, veterinary medicine, human nursing, scientific research, human relations, physical therapy, captive breeding and management, wildlife biology, and wildlife rehabilitation.
Together, they are the most qualified team in the field.
Chief Executive Officer
JD Bergeron thrives on inspiring people to take action by exposing them to the natural wonders all around us., and he is passionate about birds as indicators of the health of nature.
JD joined International Bird Rescue in 2015, an opportunity which allowed him to bring together his passion and work experience to benefit wild birds in a changing world. He values integrity, curiosity, and mindfulness in his leadership of more than 300 staff and volunteers in an organization advancing wildlife conservation through emergency response, rehabilitation, innovative research, and knowledge sharing with peers and the public.
Previously, JD served in progressive leadership roles in international development and founded Chooda, an incubator with the mission to help inspire change through outdoor adventures that engage individuals with world challenges. He specializes in organizational change, fundraising, team development, and public speaking.
JD received his Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature and Russian Language and Literature from Washington University in Saint Louis, but he counts his time in the Peace Corps, international travels, and a month on Midway Atoll among a million albatrosses as the true lessons of his life.
JD lives in Martinez, California, with his husband and two rescue dogs.
Response & Training Manager; Regional Representative for Northern California
Michelle is a seasoned wildlife rehabilitation expert with over 15 years of experience responding to more than 25 oil spills around the world, while also simultaneously managing the San Francisco Bay Rehabilitation Program.
Her response work transported her to both national and international locations, including remote areas such as Unalaska, Alaska and Chubut, Argentina. Additionally, Michelle has worked at large-scale responses such as the Ventura Oiled Bird Incident, Los Angeles 2005, Cosco Busan, SF Bay 2007, and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, where she oversaw the modification and operations of one of four primary care facilities in the Gulf.
Her experience both within the clinic and on location appoints her as a preferred leader within the Response Services Industry.
Senior Director of Response Services; Regional Representative for Pacific Northwest & Canada
Barbara is an internationally-experienced and recognized emergency response and management professional who received her B.S. in Biological Science from the University of Alaska. She has worked in oiled wildlife response, response management, and rehabilitation of aquatic animals over the course of 20 years and is certified in Federal Emergency Management.
Barbara has been Response Services Director at Bird Rescue since 1997 and has held the position of Bird Unit Deputy Leader in the Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010; the Incident Command Wildlife Coordinator for the Rena Spill in New Zealand in 2011; and has been the on-scene coordinator in numerous other national and international spill events.
Barbara has authored multiple papers on seabird rehabilitation and oil spill response. She has also presented at wildlife and other conferences nationally and internationally.
Communications & IT Manager
Russ manages the organization’s technology systems and oversees communications. He started as a volunteer back in 1997 when he stepped up to solve some IT issues at the old bird center in Berkeley, CA. After a new modern facility was opened in Fairfield in the early 2000s, he was instrumental in helping implement the internet/telcom build out and also launched the organization’s first website and blog.
He comes from a communications background and for many years worked as a newspaper and magazine photojournalist and photo editor. Using his interest in storytelling, Russ helps communicate Bird Rescue’s long held commitment to caring for water birds in crisis. His favorite social media platforms include Twitter and YouTube.
He has first hand experience with spill response having participated in events in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Arcata, and in Cape Town, South Africa – during the Treasure oil spill in 2000.
Rebecca Duerr, DVM MPVM PhD
Director of Research
& Veterinary Science
Dr. Rebecca Duerr is the clinical veterinarian and research director at International BirdRescue’s two wildlife clinics in California. She completed her DVM, MPVM, and PhD degrees at UC Davis, with graduate work on the care of oiled Common Murres and on the nutritional energetics and physiology of Common Murres and Western Grebes. She co-edited the second edition of Hand-Rearing Birds, co-wrote the wild orphans section of Merck Veterinary Manual, just finished Seabird Medicine and Orphan Care chapters for a new textbook on wildlife medicine, and is slowly getting all her graduate papers from the intersection of seabird biology and clinical wildlife medicine published.
She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and is a frequent lecturer at UC Davis on avian physiology and pediatrics.
Director of Business Development and Partnerships; Regional Representative, Alaska & Gulf Coast
Matt joined International Bird Rescue in June of 2021 after 14 months of COVID-19 Response work with the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management. A lifelong Alaskan with 23 years’ experience in emergency management, oil spill response, environmental services, and oil & gas industries, Matt brings executive experience from both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. Matt holds a BA in Environmental Studies and a master’s degree in Organizational Management, both from New England College.
Director of Operations;
Regional Representative, Southern California
Julie Skoglund received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State University Long Beach, and has worked for International Bird Rescue (Bird Rescue) since 2004. She spent seven years as the Rehabilitation Manager at Bird Rescue’s Los Angeles Center, and eight years as the Operations Manager, and was promoted to the Director of Operations for Bird Rescue in 2020.
During her time with Bird Rescue, Julie has worked on over 20 spills, often in leadership positions, including the Deepwater Horizon Spill off the Gulf Coast in 2010, the Cosco Busan Spill in San Francisco Bay in 2007, the Rena Oil Spill in New Zealand in 2011, and the Mystery Goo Spill in San Francisco in 2015. She has participated in and contributed to multiple oil spill trainings and drill exercises, and has delivered extensive presentations and speeches at professional conferences and workshops related to oiled and non-oiled aquatic bird rescue and rehabilitation.
Julie’s specialties include large-scale and individualized animal care management, emergency response, clinic staff training, and event management. She also has research experience, having been published on several occasions, and an extensive administrative background.
Nancy Smith-Fagan Director of Philanthropy
Nancy joined the Bird Rescue team in April of 2021. She brings to this position extensive experience in non-profit administration and philanthropy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of San Diego, and a Master’s Degree from Temple University. Nancy brings to Bird Rescue more than 20 years’ experience in fundraising and development in the non-profit arena, including time as a member of the founding staff of the grant-funded Natural Lands Restoration and Environmental Education Program in Philadelphia, PA. Her approach to philanthropy is centered on building relationships and connecting people deeply to the mission of Bird Rescue. From her home along the American River she enjoys bird walks and regular sightings of a favorite resident Great Blue Heron.
Projects Specialist & Response Team
Volunteer Programs Associate
Marketing & Communications Associate
Northern California Program
Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, SFBD
Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician II, NorCal
Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, NorCal
Senior Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, NorCal
Jesse Menne, RVT
Relief Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, NorCal
Kelly Beffa, RVT
Wildlife Center Manager, NorCal
Facilities & Safety Coordinator, NorCal
Program Support Coordinator & Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician II, NorCal
Relief Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician III, NorCal
Nikki Becich DVM
Relief Veterinarian, NorCal
Projects Specialist & Relief Senior Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician II, NorCal
Southern California Program
Relief Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, SoCal
Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, SoCal
Senior Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician II, SoCal
Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician II, SoCal
Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, SoCal
Wildlife Center Manager, Southern California
Lisbeth Montenegro, RVT
Program Support Associate & Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician III, SoCal
Marianne Dominguez DVM
Relief Veterinarian, SoCal
Relief Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician I, SoCal
Facilities & Safety Associate, SoCal