Heather Veleanu, Director of Development

Heather-Veleanu

Once I learned about the injustices being committed against animals, humans, and our planet, I knew I wanted to be a part of the solution and to avoid, in whatever way I could, being a cog in the wheel of violence and oppression. My background is in law, but when I was offered the chance to run a small animal protection organization in Florida, I couldn’t refuse. My path in life took a sharp and wonderful turn, and since then I have spent most of my professional and personal life advocating for society’s most vulnerable members.

Through my work, I have heard stories and have witnessed heart-wrenching abuse of humans, animals, and the earth. Whenever I think about the individuals responsible, I wonder how their journeys as humans would have been different had they been engaged in humane education. What if they had had an opportunity to nurture the innate compassion and creativity in all of us? What if they had had the skills to think critically, while considering the interconnectedness of all humans, other animals, and our planet? I’ve seen the spark in the eyes of students who have taken part in humane education programs — the eagerness with which they grapple with and seek solutions for real world issues. They are empowered as changemakers — as solutionaries. Every child has the potential to emerge as a kind, compassionate, empowered individual prepared to enter the world as an adult with the skills needed to navigate our ever-changing world.

Heather’s professional experience has been a combination of legal and public interest work, with a focus on development, public policy, education, and legislative campaigns. As Director of Development for IHE, Heather hopes to engage supporters at every level of giving and make sure each understands his or her critical connection to the success of IHE’s work.

Heather’s proudest achievements include initiating a thriving humane education program in South Florida (now led by an IHE graduate); raising necessary funds to open a mobile spay/neuter clinic that provides free spaying/neutering for low income families; working with three Philadelphia youth organizations to implement comprehensive policies to prevent child sexual abuse; and raising a kind and self-declared vegan son.

Heather lives in Philadelphia. She loves to be immersed in nature, hiking or trail running with her dog, vegan cooking, yoga, dancing, and live music.

 

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