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American Humane Appoints Cheryl Lesko as Chief Development Officer

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, August 15, 2022 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, has named Cheryl Lesko as its Chief Development Officer.

Lesko brings more than two decades of experience helping notable nonprofits meet their missions. As an accomplished leader and fundraiser, Lesko brings a unique combination of expertise in annual, major, and planned giving, among many other talents.

“At American Humane, our mission to serve animals whenever and wherever they are in need comes before everything else,” said Dr. Ganzert. “Cheryl’s unique talents will be of tremendous importance in our quest to further our reach and help even more animals and veterans in need. We are thrilled to have her lead our philanthropy team in this critical role.”

In her most recent role at the National 4-H Council, she developed the national strategy for the organization’s agriculture platform, growing major national corporate partnerships. She was soon named the organizations Vice President of Individual Giving & Events, a role in which she developed a long-term growth strategy and doubled individual giving revenue during her tenure.

Prior to her role at the National 4-H Council, Lesko advanced major philanthropic activities across a variety of campaigns for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Wilds and Canine Companions for Independence. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

Lesko is the latest in a growing roster of top-tier executives charged with carrying out an ambitious agenda championed by American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert to help further extend the nonprofit’s charitable impact around the world.

“I have great respect for the critical work that American Humane has done for more than a century to ensure the safety and well-being of animals,” Lesko said. “I’m thrilled to combine my personal passion and professional experience to drive mission-focused support. It’s an honor to join this talented team of dedicated colleagues, and to partner with board members, volunteers and supporters to continue to build this legacy.”

Lesko joins the senior leadership of an organization that puts a premium on responsible stewardship of charitable dollars. American Humane is the only national humane organization with top ratings and endorsements from the key charity watchdog groups. American Humane has earned Charity Navigator’s highest “Four-Star Rating” for the fourth time in a row, has earned the gold level seal from GuideStar USA, and is one of the few charities that meet all of the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance’s 20 Standard for Charity Accountability.

About American Humane

American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, overseeing the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information or to support our lifesaving work, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.

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