Finding a Passion for Animal Welfare  

Clare Pedersen’s instant connection to Seattle Humane 

Clare has never shied away from what she wants in life and starting her position as a board member with Seattle Humane was no different. Prior to Seattle Humane, she was on the board for a different organization, but realized it wasn’t quite the right fit.  

“When you have time to think about what you actually want to spend your time doing after you’ve retired, you start to realize the issues and causes you are most passionate about.”  

Through volunteer work, she discovered that, for her, it was supporting animals and their journey to finding loving homes. Looking for opportunities to get involved with animal welfare, she began browsing LinkedIn and found former board chair John Wenstrup. As a management consultant, she was no stranger to networking and reached out to him right away. “I’m glad I took the initiative to do that because I feel like I’ve ended up in a really great place.” 

Born in South London, Clare started her career at Lloyds of London Insurance Market. Eventually she took a position that led her about 100 miles outside of London where she met her husband, Kaj. When Kaj was offered a job in San Francisco, the ever-adventurous Clare said, “let’s go!” and after several job changes, the two ended up in Seattle where they have stayed ever since. Once in Seattle, Clare joined Slalom Consulting where she became part of the leadership team and helped support its growth from a 350-employee company, to one with close to 10,000 employees, “so that was a really fun ride,” she says.

Growing up, the only pets she had were two tortoises that her grandfather bought for her— one of which is still alive to this day! But Clare has always had a passion for working with animals and animal welfare. She adopted her cats, Sunflower and Peony, from Emerald City Pet Rescue about five years ago after being charmed by both of their personalities as well as Peony’s insistence of sitting in Kaj’s lap and refusing to get up. Outside of their two cats, Kaj and Clare have a son, Sebastian, who is attending Columbia College in Chicago for video game design. 

Clare Pedersen with her cats Sunflower and Peony.

Reflecting on some of her favorite parts of the board so far, Clare spoke of reaching out to donors following 2021’s Tuxes &Tails in September.  

“I really enjoyed making phone calls after the gala and dropping gift bags off the week before. I had some amazing conversations with donors and having that connection at such a personal level was really meaningful for me.”  

She also enjoyed organizing and facilitating a recent board retreat. “I get excited about any opportunity to learn and know more and so I’m looking forward to continuing those kinds of experiences in the future.”   

As one of the newer members of the board, Clare is excited to jump in and take action. “I’ve had a great connection with everyone I’ve met so far. I have lots of ideas for how we can keep moving forward and keep ourselves accountable.” Since joining the board, she has taken on the role of co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee and has joined the Fundraising Committee. She’s also started working as a volunteer in the Adoptions Lobby. “So, I’m all in,” she laughs. 

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