It was almost a year ago that I accepted the role of acting president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. At that time, I promised you that we, along with our affiliates, would pursue our work with dedication, purpose and compassion toward the animals we seek to protect, and also with the highest respect and regard toward all persons. We’ve kept that promise and continue to give it our best each day.
Last Friday, the board of directors of the HSUS asked me to take the position of president and CEO as a permanent appointment. I was proud to accept, because I have given my heart and soul to the animal protection mission of the HSUS and to growing our work globally for more than a quarter century. To lead the organization at such a critical and promising juncture is the highest honor, and I am grateful for the trust and confidence that so many people who support our campaigns and programs have shown in me and in my colleagues during the past twelve months.
I’m all in, and I’m not alone. I am so very fortunate to work with an extraordinary group of advocates, and over the course of the last year I have witnessed them step up to meet the challenges of our mission, one after the other. From the start, no matter what, we shared a vision — a vision that has long compelled my own passion and commitment. It is a vision of a world made better, stronger and more humane by our efforts.
It is also a vision with which I grew up, one nurtured by my mother, a lifelong humane activist. She showed me, with her own example, that compassion for animals was an important value to live by. And I have done that at every step, as a mom, as an advocate and as a leader.
I came to the HSUS for the same reasons that so many others, be they staff members, board members or supporters, have joined its ranks, and I have never had occasion to regret my decision. I believe it is an extraordinary force for good in the world, and I believe that the things we are doing have tremendous value and importance for animals, for people and for the planet. I have never been more excited about the future of this organization and its affiliates.
This is an exciting time for animal protection, one with great potential for enduring gains and successes. Around the country and throughout the world, we’ve seen amazing changes. In 2018, we achieved a number of victories that promise to have a long-term impact on the status and treatment of animals. We’ve hit the ground running in 2019 too, and there is every reason to believe that it will be another banner year in our work.
This is an organization with a robust history and a legacy of achievement. When a handful of advocates formed the HSUS in 1954, they did so with great sense of purpose and conviction. They wanted to take on the worst cruelties. They wanted to tackle those cruelties with every available means. They wanted to spur large-scale change and reform. And they wanted those who supported the HSUS to know with confidence that they had made a good investment.
That’s still how we feel and that’s what drives us each and every day at the HSUS and all of our affiliates. If you are a supporter, we want you to know that we are working with energy, urgency and discipline — every day — to end animal cruelty, to minimize animal suffering, and to keep all animals safe from harm. We will work to earn and keep your trust, and we will continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard because we are trying to achieve nothing less than a world without needless animal suffering. Thank you for standing strong with us to bring this vision ever closer to fruition.