Wayne A. Pacelle (born August 4, 1965) is the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation's largest animal advocacy organization, with nearly 10 million members as of 2006. Pacelle took office June 1, 2004, after serving for nearly 10 years as the organization's chief lobbyist and spokesperson. Since becoming CEO, he has substantially expanded the organization's membership base and its influence on public policy.
Pacelle was born into an Italian-American and Greek family in New Haven, Connecticut. His parents are Richard L. Pacelle, Sr., and Patricia Pacelle. Wayne Pacelle is the youngest of four children. His older brother, Richard L. Pacelle, Jr., is a political science professor at Georgia Southern University. Wayne Pacelle was previously married to singer Kirsten Rosenberg; he is currently engaged to TV journalist Lisa Fletcher of WJLA-TV in Washington, D.C.
Growing up in New Haven, Wayne Pacelle enjoyed reading natural history as a child and developed an early concern about mistreatment of animals. He attended Notre Dame High School and subsequently graduated with degrees in history and environmental studies from Yale University, where William Cronon served as his adviser. Pacelle's environmental studies sensitized him to the fact that "a destructive attitude toward animals in the natural world, along with innovations in technology, could produce colossal damage to animals and ecosystems". His activism led to his appointment in 1989, at age 23, as Executive Director of The Fund for Animals, the organization founded by Cleveland Amory.