Wayne Pacelle (PUH’-cell-ee) has been the president and chief executive officer of The Humane Society of the United States since June 2004. During his tenure, Pacelle has spurred major growth for the organization, which is now the nation’s largest animal protection organization with 11 million members and constituents, annual revenue of $130 million, and assets of $200 million.
The growth has partly been achieved through successful mergers with other animal protection organizations. In 2004, Pacelle and Michael Markarian (president of The Fund for Animals and Chief Operating Officer at The HSUS) helped engineer the corporate combination of The HSUS and The Fund for Animals, the national organization founded by Cleveland Amory. In 2006, he was the architect of a combination with the Doris Day Animal League, founded nearly 20 years ago by iconic actress Doris Day, and also one of the major American animal protection organizations.
More recently, he created the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, after the formerly named Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights was brought into the HSUS family. Pacelle has also dramatically grown the animal care programs of The HSUS, which now provides services for more animals than any other organization in the United States.
Since 1990, Pacelle has played a central role in more than 25 successful statewide ballot measure campaigns. He has also worked for the passage of more than 500 new state laws just since 2001, and he has helped to pass more than 25 federal statutes to protect animals in the last decade. He has also testified before U.S. House and Senate committees on a wide range of animal protection issues.
Pacelle is founder of Humane USA, the non-partisan political arm of the animal protection movement, and the founder of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization that lobbies for animal welfare legislation and works to elect humane-minded candidates to public office. In 2