President and CEO, Washington Humane Society
One of the nation’s most respected animal welfare professionals, Lisa LaFontaine has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Washington Humane Society (WHS) in the nation’s capital since 2007. She brings extensive leadership and strategic capability to the organization, as well as experience heading a successful capital campaign that resulted in a state-of-the-art animal adoption and community center and an expanded endowment fund for her prior organization.
Lisa has made many life-saving policy and procedural changes while crafting a solid, forward-thinking vision for her organization as a progressive animal welfare agency. Leveraging WHS’s status as the open-access shelter in the nation’s capital, Lisa effectively cultivated relationships with organizations within the private and public sectors. Ensuring better welfare and protection of animals in the District, Lisa has dramatically increased the live release rate for animals throughout the District of Columbia and advocated for new legislation before City Council. Legislative progress during her tenure includes the Animal Protection Amendment of 2008 and the Wildlife Protection Act of 2010. Lisa also successfully argued against breed ban legislation.
Lisa recruited a high quality leadership team and staff to WHS, who work with her to introduce ground-breaking services and programs. During her tenure, WHS opened the National Capital Area Spay & Neuter Center, which has sterilized nearly 50,000 animals to date; and developed CatNiPP, a shelter-neuter-return program serving the Metro DC region.
WHS also opened a Behavior & Learning Center that houses innovative programs such as Dog Tags and the PACK, a dynamic running group made up of 200+ District residents who regularly run with adoptable dogs in local and national parks.
Before joining WHS, Lisa was CEO of the Monadnock Humane Society, an open admission, full service adoption and learning center in New Hampshire. There she led the transformation of the organization into a leading regional agency providing comprehensive services to animals and people.
Throughout her career she has provided training, mentoring and consultation to humane societies and animal welfare professionals. Lisa serves as the Chairman of the National Federation of Humane Societies, the Vice Chairman of the DC Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and is a member of Vistage International.
Lisa and her husband Matt Kayhoe share their home with their four-legged family that includes their dog Guinevere; cats Crystal, Harold and Gregory Xavier Pibb, and an ever rotating and always welcomed family of foster animals.