PASA Welcomes Kelly O’Meara as New Executive Director

Kelly O’Meara joins the Alliance as PASA’s new Executive Director. Her leadership will be instrumental in the fight to protect primates.

By Jean Fleming

For just the fourth time in our history, we have a new leader at PASA – and we’re excited to introduce her to you. Meet Kelly O’Meara! She joins us after 22 years with Humane Society International, where she built international programs that improved the lives of animals – and people – around the world. Now, she’s turning her attention and skills to help PASA expand our reach so that we can achieve our mission – to secure a future for Africa’s beloved great apes and monkeys. 

A little bit about Kelly: 

She grew up in New England, on the east coast of the US and her love of animals started early. “As a child growing up, our family always had many animals, so my connection to the animal world was immediate and very deep.”

After graduating from the University of Massachusetts, she joined a very young Humane Society International, and helped take the organization from grassroots to global over her career there. Initially focused on street dogs, under her leadership that program grew to have over 100 dedicated people working on the issue across three continents. 

Kelly is an avid traveler who has experienced first hand how transformational it can be to see new places and meet new people. She has traveled to over 30 countries, with extensive time spent in Asia and Africa to engage with local partners on the ground and work with government officials to adopt humane standards and protocols for animals worldwide. 

Now, she brings her expertise to help PASA enter a new era. Since our founding in 2000 by a group of visionary sanctuary leaders, PASA has been committed to the power of working together. And given the challenges facing Africa’s great apes and monkeys – and the communities that share their homes – it’s a critical time to find new ways forward. 

“I’m especially excited to build on all that PASA already has accomplished,” she said. “The team is strong. The organization has won some impressive grants, and is creating programs that will drive lasting change – while always maintaining focus on how we can best support our members.” 

When she’s not working on animal welfare and conservation issues, Kelly enjoys any time she can spend outdoors with her family, including her two dogs Bella and Fig. Hiking, skiing, and swimming are among her favorite activities, but she always finds time for a good old-fashioned board game too. 

Join us in welcoming Kelly to the PASA family! 

A woman veterinarian examines a chimpanzee.

Kelly enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and two dogs Bella (pictured) and Fig.