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Nirva Patel

Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) Candidate 2021

• B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 2000
• J.D., Patent Law, New England School of Law, 2004
• Registered United States Patent Attorney and member of the MA Bar

What were you doing before entering the Masters in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) program?
Prior to joining MAPP, I focused my time on projects that directly impact farm animals in our supply chain. Whether we look at it from an ethical, environmental or health perspective, animal agriculture is not sustainable. In 2019, I became an Executive Producer for The Game Changers film which has been listed by multiple sources as THE most watched documentary of all time. The impact-film focuses on elite plant-based athletes and the nutritional & health impetus for a plant-based diet. Just prior to COVID, I organized a panel at HBS and Harvard Law School which turned out the be HLS’s largest turnout for a film screening. In the space of animal law, I wrote two research papers for a California based law firm on how the Federal Farm Subsidies & SNAP program are disproportionately favorable to the meat and dairy industry. I also work part-time for a South Asian domestic violence organization in Boston called Saheli. In my past, I was a patent attorney at Nixon Peabody in Boston and prior to that, a licensing associate with Wyeth Pharmaceutical in Cambridge.

What aspects of Master’s in Animals and Public Policy (MAPP) led to your decision to join the program?
The recent pandemic and its connection to zoonotic disease is very unsettling. The media and public sources focus on the nexus between the pandemic and wild animals but fail to recognize the impeding threat from farm animals. It is only a matter of time that other outbreaks occur. I recently came across a bunch of research studies that detail the presence of bovine coronavirus which then led me to research the many zoonotic diseases that originally stemmed from farm animals. I felt the urgent need to extend my studies to learn more about policies surrounding animals and ultimately the pathway to effect change.

What are your career goals?
I am not yet sure what my career goals are, but I would most likely want to pursue a career in public policy, research or education.

What are your outside interests?
I enjoy spending time with my husband and 4 kids – golf, yoga (I am a registered Yoga teacher). I enjoy reading and grabbing coffee with friends. I also enjoy vegan baking and cooking!

Number of pets? What?

We have one lop-eared bunny named Goji.

MAPP Externship: Using Law to Protect Animals

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