Leadership

We are dedicated to providing quality compassionate service to animals and our community. At Seattle Humane, our leadership team reflects the values we embrace.

Christopher Ross
Chief Executive Officer

Christopher has over 25 years of leadership positions in service-based organizations, delivering strategic planning, relationship management, and always anchored in the art of change management. Christopher began his career with Starbucks in 1991 when they had only 87 stores, and left 16 years later when they topped more than 15,000 stores worldwide. Since then, he has served as CEO, COO, and VP for nonprofit and for-profit organizations with increasing complexity levels. In 2009, Christopher pivoted to nonprofits, choosing to focus on mission-based work. Most recently, Christopher was the COO for Compass Housing Alliance, a local nonprofit focused on providing housing and services for low-income individuals and shelters for homeless persons. Now at Seattle Humane, Christopher is shifting gears to help address another challenge dear to his heart, the care and sustainment of animals in our region and across the country. Christopher has always had two constant through-threads in his life: being a caregiver, and his love and devotion to animals. Those two elements have defined him over the decades. Joining Seattle Humane becomes his career capstone, allowing him to bring the two defining aspects together with a great organization. Christopher shares his life with his husband and two golden retrievers. When not working, you can usually find the four of them walking around Seward Park.

Libby Jones
Chief Operations Officer

Libby began her career in animal welfare in 2008, caring for wild and companion animals in both zoological and veterinary settings. Through her hard work and commitment to the humane care of animals, Libby assumed leadership roles in private, government and nonprofit organizations. Her focus: building and elevating teams to increase their life saving capacity and achieve operational efficiency and excellence. Her work in the southeast has led to thousands of homeless pets finding their new beginnings. Libby continues to follow her passion and commitment to end pet homelessness through community access to affordable pet care and resources here with Seattle Humane.

Libby and her family recently relocated to the Pacific Northwest from North Carolina. She is joined by her husband, their three sons and two rescue dogs. When not working, you can find Libby and her loved ones enjoying the outdoors through gardening, hiking, kayaking and camping.

Jessie Swisher Spiers
Chief Advancement Officer

Jessie has worked in development and non-profit management at vibrant cultural organizations in Washington, DC, London, New York City and now Seattle! Most recently, she served as the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Events at The New York Public Library. In her role as Chief Advancement Officer at Seattle Humane she brings a wealth of experience in fundraising, marketing, board development, team building and a personal passion for helping others. Jessie and her husband, Matt, are proud parents to two delightfully ornery cats, Bean and Busby, and one cuddly brown pup, Leia. Jessie is an avid reader, quick with a book recommendation, and when not at work, you can find her hiking, biking, cooking, or exploring Seattle’s local delights!

Ken Farmer
Chief Financial Officer

Ken joined Seattle Humane in 1984 as an accountant. He has held numerous financial positions since then, including Controller and Finance Director. Ken originally came to Seattle from Chicago to attend Seattle Pacific University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, and he has lived in the region ever since.

Lisa Drake
Chief of Community Programs

Lisa joined Seattle Humane in 2011 after starting her career working in small animal and emergency veterinary practices. As the Chief of Community Programs, Lisa oversees our Intake, Adoptions, Volunteer Services, and Humane Education departments, as well as our Pets for Life program. While at Seattle Humane, she has also served in leadership positions in both Veterinary Services and general operations. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and obtained her LVT license after graduating from Pierce College’s Veterinary Technology program.

Emily Keegans
Chief of Animal Behavior

Emily joined Seattle Humane in 1999 as an adoption advisor. After attending the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers and receiving a Certificate in Training and Counseling, she became one of our dog training instructors and developed our public training class program. She then served as our Behavior Program Director. After a 2-year sabbatical, Emily returned to Seattle Humane as our Dog Training Program Director and is now our Chief of Animal Behavior. Emily is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Behavior Counselor-Canine. She lives in Seattle with two cats (Marble and Fennel, both Seattle Humane alums) and a husband.

Dr. Jessica Reed
Chief of Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Reed received her bachelor’s degree in history from New York University. After graduation, she worked as a photo librarian in an historical picture archive until a pair of sick guinea pigs rekindled her childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. She graduated from Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine where she got hooked on shelter medicine. Lifelong New Yorkers, Dr. Reed and her husband moved West in search of trees and mountains. Eventually, Dr. Reed landed at Seattle Humane where she feels lucky to have the opportunity to work with amazing people and animals every day. Dr. Reed loves that shelter medicine is predictably unpredictable and is committed to providing the best possible care to our shelter/foster pets as well as to pets in need in our community.

When she’s not working, Dr. Reed spends her time with her husband Chris (an excellent cook), her pug mix Stanley (the best boy) and her Ragdoll mix Benny (a nervous soul who likes to sit close and participate in Zoom meetings).

Juli Ross
Chief of Animal Care

Juli joined Seattle Humane in 2012, but has been active in animal sheltering as both a volunteer and staff member at numerous other shelters since 2001. While at Seattle Humane, she has previously held the positions of Cat Foster Coordinator, Cat Program Manager, and Director of Animal Services. Juli got her bachelor’s degree from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and her Law Degree from University of Oregon. Since starting at Seattle Humane, she also received a Certificate in Shelter Medicine from University of Florida and was Northern Tier Shelter Fellow through University of Wisconsin. She proudly wears her “Shelter Nerd” title as a badge of honor. While Juli loves the animals, her favorite thing about working at Seattle Humane is the talented and passionate people. Juli lives in Seattle with her family, which includes dogs, cats, chickens, and foster pets.

Efrat Hurvitz
Chief of Human Resources

Efrat joined Seattle Humane in 2018. She brings with her a diverse HR experience across countries (Israel and the US), industries (government, tech, communication, consulting) and organizations of various sizes and cultures. Prior to Seattle Humane, Efrat worked for 501 Commons as an HR consultant, providing services in all HR practice areas to a wide variety of nonprofit organizations in the region. Being a life-long animal lover, the position at Seattle Humane was her dream job. She is beyond excited to be able to combine her professional and personal passions in her day-to-day work.

Efrat holds an MBA from Israel with focus on organizational development, and a non-profit management certificate from UW. She is also a certified senior HR professional (SHRM-SCP). She lives on the Eastside with her husband, three kids and two dogs – Java, adopted from Tillamook Animal Shelter in 2009, and Mocha – adopted from Seattle Humane in March 2020. She is a strong believer in the human-animal bond, and loves to hear her kids say things like, “Life is so much better with a dog!”

Seattle Humane Board Leadership

Leanne Webber
Chair

Global Tax Director
Russell Investments
Learn more about Leanne

Janette Adamucci
Vice Chair

Community Volunteer

Peter Segall
Vice Chair

Energy Services Director
ATS Automation
Learn more about Pete

Colin Duffy
Treasurer

SVP – Specialty Lending Group
Columbia Bank

Asher Bearman

Chief Strategy Officer
Trupanion

Deborah Gillotti

Chief Operating Officer
nVoq Incorporated

Ann Johnson

Corporate VP of Security, Compliance, & Identity Business Development
Microsoft

Clare Pedersen

Voice Actor

Karen Raines, J.D.

Corporate Counsel, Regulatory Compliance
Costco

Jim Schuler

Schuler Family Foundation

Lynda Silsbee

Founder and Principal Consultant
Performance Dimensions Group

Phil Sorgen

Venture Partner
Tola Capital

Jason Stoffer

General Partner
Maveron LLC

John Wenstrup

Partner & Managing Director
The Boston Consulting Group

Blue Ribbon Planned Giving Council

  • Julie Back
  • Mike Carrico
  • Gina Chang
  • Tiffany Gorton
  • Laura Hoexter
  • Karen Josephson
  • Kammie Keane
  • Tamara Morse
  • Sandra Perkins
  • RoseMary Reed
  • Kristina Udall