Michael Markarian

Michael Markarian is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HSUS, and also President of HSUS’s official lobbying arm, the Humane Society Legislative Fund (formerly the Fund for Animals). Like Wayne Pacelle, Markarian works on various ballot campaigns and claims credit for directing more than 15 successful initiatives.

In A Primer on Animal Rights, Markarian writes that hunting is “a tradition of killing, crippling, extinction, and ecological destruction.” In 2009, it was revealed in a court decision that Markarian (along with other advocacy groups) engaged in an alleged conspiracy to funnel nonprofit money to a witness in a federal court case against the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus—including help from their lawyers.

Before the Fund for Animals was swallowed up by HSUS, Markarian was its leader; he began working there in 1993. He also is Chairman of Humane USA, a political action committee (PAC) managed by HSUS.