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Humane Rescue Alliance names new Chief People Officer

The Humane Rescue Alliance has named Michelle Thevenin as its new Chief People Officer. 

In this newly created position, Ms. Thevenin will lead organizational priorities such as employee engagement and satisfaction, professional development, recruitment, organization development, and race, equity and inclusion initiatives.  

Ms. Thevenin will also support HRA’s organization’s overall business plan and strategic direction, and will focus on creating a healthy culture of disruption – both at HRA and in the broader animal welfare industry – to encourage continuous evolution during a time of learning, questioning and reshaping assumptions. 

“As animal welfare professionals, we must always remember to keep the human in humane,” said Lisa LaFontaine, President and CEO of HRA. “Michelle’s work will create a more robust framework for this philosophy to flourish.” 

“I have always loved animals, which initially drew me to animal welfare,” said Thevenin. “But even more, I love people and want our organization to work for the people – the staff, the volunteers, the communities we serve. It’s those people who bring our mission alive. I’m looking forward to cultivating an HRA where people thrive and achieve their full potential. We have the fertile soil and the tools – we just need to tend to our garden and people will blossom.” 

About Michelle Thevenin 

Michelle Thevenin’s passion, professional experience and graduate education make her an ideal choice for the role of CPO. Thevenin earned her MBA/MILR degree from Cornell, which has one of the leading HR programs in the country. Her focus there was on leadership development, change management and employee engagement.  

After interning at Harrah’s Entertainment in Las Vegas and IBM (a leader in diversity programs at the time), Thevenin worked at the Schwan Food Company, where she created and facilitated an award-winning leadership development program.  

In her prior roles as an executive director at smaller organizations, Thevenin was the de-facto HR director and transformed those organizations for the better. 

Most recently, her time as the director of development at Planned Parenthood shaped and informed her thinking about race, equity and inclusion in how we build programs that support our staff and our communities.  


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