Pacelle Steps Down As HSUS President; Kitty Block Acting President/CEO

by | 02.08.2018 | 11:00am
Kitty Block

After reports of sexual harassment allegations surfaced involving Humane Society of the United States President and CEO Wayne Pacelle, the organization reports Pacelle has stepped down, effective last week. Kitty Block, president of Humane Society International, has taken over as acting President/CEO, according to a press release.

Block, who is an attorney, joined HSUS in 1992 in an investigator role. Her policy focuses in her time at HSUS have included bans on the killing of dogs and cats for their fur in Asia and the protection of whales and dolphins. According to HSUS, she has also done extensive work in banning the slaughter of horses for human consumption in the United States, and discouraged international authorities from allowing the import of horse meat from America.

Pacelle came under fire by national media in late January when news surfaced he had been the subject of multiple sexual harassment complaints. Pacelle denied the allegations and called the accusations “a coordinated attempt to attack me and the organization.”

Pacelle had worked extensively with horse racing authorities to lobby for national legislation governing drug testing.

Block's full bio, provided by HSUS, is below.

Block has served as president of The HSUS' international arm, Humane Society International where she oversaw all of HSI international campaigns and programs, including HSI's campaign to end the dog meat trade in parts of Asia. Under her leadership, HSI developed programs and opened offices in Africa, Canada, the European Union, India, Latin America, Mexico, the United Kingdom and Vietnam. She nurtured the organization through major expansion in both impact and scope while also leading a team based in Washington.
Block joined The HSUS in 1992 as a legal investigator and was instrumental in bringing cruelties such as horse slaughter and the killing of dogs and cats for their fur in China to light. Her efforts led to major policy reforms in those realms, including European Union and U.S. bans on imports of dog and cat fur and bans on slaughtering horses for human consumption.
The protection of whales, dolphins and other wildlife have also been major areas of focus, with Block participating in numerous meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the International Whaling Commission, and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission, where her efforts helped secure and strengthen protections for animals. Block led The HSUS' efforts to secure protections for dolphins with successful litigation and landmark dolphin-safe tuna legislation. Block was one of the architects of a successful lawsuit brought against Japan by Australia over commercial whaling in the International Court of Justice.
Block has testified before the U.S. Congress, worked with international governments and agencies to help draft and enforce conservation and animal protection laws, and built coalitions with nongovernmental organizations and industry. She has served as an advisor to the White House on Trade and the Environment and has been elected to serve four consecutive terms on the International Dolphin Conservation Agreement International Review Panel, which works with governments on monitoring violations of the agreement.
Block received a law degree from The George Washington University in 1990 and a bachelor's degree in communications and philosophy from the University of New Hampshire in 1986.
She lives in Washington with her husband and daughter and their dog Lily, a street dog from Trinidad and Tobago, and Lily's two rescue sister and brother cats, Misty and Storm. 
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