Dr. Sandra Marilyn Cruz Bedon, has been a close partner to Animal Balance on the Galapagos Islands for many years. She is a native Galapaganian and the first Executive Director of the Agency for Regulation and Control of Biosecurity and Quarantine for Galapagos (ABG), which was created as an agency of the Ministry of Environment in Ecuador.
Her role as the leader of this agency is to be in charge of controlling, regulating, preventing, and decreasing the risk of the introduction, movement, and dispersion of exotic organisms, by any means, in the urban and rural areas of the archipelago. Dr. Cruz, graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Higher Institute of Agricultural Sciences of Havana, Cuba, and has 16 years of experience in the management, monitoring and surveillance of Galápagos endemic wildlife. She has also provided technical advice in the area of control of introduced animals, and in response to health emergencies. In addition, since January 2011, she was the Provincial Director of the Ecuadorian Agribusiness Quality Assurance Agency (Agrocalidad) in Galápagos, an institution that until the issuance of the Decree 1319 partially fulfilled the functions of the ABG. While Dr. Cruz has wide-ranging responsibilities for monitoring all introduced species into the Galapagos Islands, she has always been sensitive to the importance of community-based programs to promote spay/neuter of Galapagos cats and dogs, in order to protect endemic animals the archipelago.