Executive Team

Gabrielle Amster, Executive Director

Gabrielle Amster brings 20 years of non-profit management and fourteen years of animal welfare experience to her position at the Palm Springs Animals Shelter. Prior to PSAS, Gabrielle served in leadership positions at the Sante Fe Animal Shelter, the ASPCA New York, NY, and Animal Trustees of Austin in Texas. Gabrielle holds a B.A. in Communications and Journalism from the University of New Mexico.

Gabrielle’s passion and commitment to the PSAS mission, combined with her knowledge of animal welfare and advocacy, marketing, and fundraising will fuel her goals of building sustainability and growth, expanding lifesaving programs and introducing innovative approaches to lead the way to a no kill Coachella Valley.

Gabrielle lives in Cathedral City with three rescued dogs.



Briana Mackey, Development Director

Briana Mackey has spent the past 12 years honing her skills in nonprofit development and fundraising. After more than 20 years building a career in corporate marketing and large-scale business-to-business events, Briana transitioned to the nonprofit world, and she’s never looked back. She enjoys lending her skills and experience to improving the lives of others – both people and animals!

Briana is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton, and her diverse career has given her the opportunity to live all over the world. She has worked throughout the United States as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, China, and the UAE. As a nonprofit and development professional, she has raised funds and profiles for such organizations as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Cleveland Clinic, Keep Memory Alive, Light of the World Childhood Cancer Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Casa de Luz, American Cancer Society, and many others.

A California desert native, Briana was delighted to have the chance to return to the town of Yucca Valley in 2019 after her daughter, Hope, moved to Los Angeles to study toy design. Briana enjoys living close to her family and spending time outdoors with her partner, Tim, and their two rescue dogs Lily (black lab) and Burton (chihuahua mix). She is very excited about getting to know the many people who have made Friends of the Palm Springs Animal Shelter such a wonderful organization, and putting her skills to work on behalf of the homeless animals and pet owners of the Coachella Valley.



Sylvia Nagy, DVM, Veterinary Medical Director

Dr. Sylvia Nagy came to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter from Sonoma Humane Society Public Hospital, where she served as the hospital’s medical director. Prior to that, Dr. Nagy was a senior veterinarian at North Shore Animal League in New York. There she performed an array of clinic services – from routine procedures to emergencies – conducted shelter exams, soft tissue surgeries, and performed canine and feline dentals, including full mouth extractions. She also performed high volume spay-neuter and provided oversight to a large animal nursery. Dr. Nagy is passionate and progressive about shelter medicine. Her professional interests include advances within shelter standards, keeping animals in homes, decreasing illness and stress, and providing mentorship to medical team members and veterinarians in training. She received her veterinary degree from Ross University and performed her clinical year at Tufts University. She brings passion, experience and solid skills to the position.