Debra Curtin is New England Primate Conservancy’s President and Founder. In 2002, Debra left behind her 35-year career in business management, organizational and program development, training, sales, and marketing, which spanned across multiple industries, to take a life-changing plunge into the non-profit sector. Her passion for animal protection called her to apply her well-honed organizational development and leadership skills to build New England Primate Conservancy into a globally respected conservation education and animal protection organization. As well as leading the organization, Debra designed the NEPC website, develops education programs, produces educational videos, designs educational activities, and leads the talented and diverse Education Team that carries out the Conservancy’s mission to leave a legacy of hope and tools to build a better tomorrow for all the Earth’s citizens… because education is the heart of animal protection.

Debra earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, in Ancient Greek from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York. You never know where life may lead you!


Laura Bahr, M.A., Ed.D. Candidate, is an author, filmmaker and educator.  She has been working with the New England Primate Conservancy since March 2020 as a Writer and Educational Content Creator. 

As an educator, she has over a decade of experience in the work of developing student-driven projects and outside-the-box programs, including facilitating the Young Expert program at Bridges Academy. She has worked with K-12 students, teaching everything from mathematics to vocal performance. 

Her educational background includes B.A, Theatre Arts, Brandeis University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Gertrude Caronvsky Award for excellence in Theatre Arts, Justice Brandeis Scholar Award for excellence in writing and academics.  M.A., California State University Northridge, with distinction, Robert H. Schiffman Memorial Award for highest quality of scholastic, personal and community achievement. Current Ed.D. Candidate, Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity. 

As a creative professional, she has spent her life working in the expressive arts in different media. As an author, filmmaker and performer she has won multiple awards, including Best Feature, Boned, Toronto Independent Film Fest (Writer/Director), 2015, the Wonderland Book Award for Best Novel (Haunt, 2011) and Best Collection (Angel Meat, 2017). The translations of her work by Orciny Press in Spain have won acclaim Long-Form Religious Porn/Porno Religioso Improvisado (Winner of William Baskerville Award for Best Translated Novel 2019) by Libros Prohibidos. She was the 2018 Spring Writer-In-Residence at The Kerouac House. She has served in the past on the Board of Directors for the independent movie company Movie Farm and the Eclectic Company Theater.

She is passionate about kindness and respect for all inhabitants of planet Earth. None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something.



Carolina Celis-Curtin is a talented, dedicated and passionate Executive Chef at a Boston-area restaurant. She has established a reputation as one of Boston’s finest chefs and she has graced the kitchens of many of Boston and Maui’s finest restaurants. In addition, she has appeared on the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped, and has been scouted for others. Carolina holds two culinary degrees from the University of Hawaii’s Maui Culinary College and brings 18 years of experience in the retail, customer service, and food services industries to her role as board member of New England Primate Conservancy. 

Throughout her busy career, Carolina has rescued and fostered pets from homelessness and abuse. She has provided input into New England Primate Conservancy’s programs since the organization’s inception. Her creativity and sharp artistic eye bring fresh insights to our marketing and educational materials. Carolina brings a great deal of knowledge, experience, and insight pertaining to the mission, vision and goals of New England Primate Conservancy.