Olson to lead new animal welfare initiative for the American Humane Association

Olson to lead new animal welfare initiative for the American Humane Association

Feb 24, 2011
By dvm360.com staff
Washington -- Patricia Olson, DVM, PhD, has been named chief veterinary advisor the American Humane Association, just three months after she left her position as chief executive officer of Morris Animal Foundation (MAF).

Olson was scheduled to retire from MAF in 2012, but announced in November 2010 that she decided to leave sooner for personal reasons. Her resignation was effective immediately. Olson had joined the organization as executive director in 2004 and was named president and CEO the following year. She guided the foundation as it grew its animal-health and welfare research funding from a $4.2 million in 2005 to $9.3 million by 2011.

MAF could not be reached regarding the status of its search for Olson’s replacement.

In her position with the American Humane Association, announced Feb. 22, Olson will lead a new initiative centering on animal welfare and research. She will be responsible for identifying research opportunities to advance the health and welfare of children and animals, using science to define key elements that advance and sustain the human-animal bond; promoting and developing programs to advance veterinary medical education in animal welfare, identifying strategies for research opportunities into disease and injury prevention for animals, using science to advance legislative/regulatory changes for the benefit of animals, and developing alliances to advance animal health and welfare.

“I am thrilled to work for an association that strives to make our world a better place for animals and children,” Olson says. “Strategic science should help both of these vulnerable populations enjoy happier and healthier lives. As both a veterinarian and a grandmother, this is a goal that I am happy and honored to work toward.”

Olson previously worked for American Humane from 1995 to 1998 as director of veterinary affairs and studies.

“Dr. Olson brings a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge to this position,” says American Humane Association President and Chief Executive Officer Robin Ganzert. “This important new work will increase our impact on, and enhance our value to, a broader constituency, including the millions of animals we are dedicated to protecting--and the people who interact with them on a daily basis. Dr. Olson’s exceptional background in veterinary science, research, education, animal welfare and human-animal interaction, along with her strategic insight, maker her an ideal leader for our Animal Welfare and Research Institute.”