Wayne Pacelle is the CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States, or HSUS. Pacelle served for almost 10 years as the chief spokesman and lobbyist for the organization before assuming the leadership role.
According to information published in 2017, Pacelle is currently earning a salary of $392,017 per year.
Pacelle joined HSUS in 1994. He has been an integral part of passing dozens of federal statutes that have protected animals. This includes the landmark legislation in 1999 that made it illegal to sell videos that showed animal cruelty. In addition to this legislation he has also worked with state legislatures and HSUS to pass more than 500 state statutes to protect animals as well.
Pacelle earns income from book royalties as well. He has published books in 2011 and 2016, as well as contributed to several other books. Pacelle may also receive compensation from various articles, opinion pieces, and guest columns which he is sometimes asked to write.
Why Is Wayne Pacelle Called the “$4 Million Man?”
Some activists, blogs, and websites have nicknamed Pacelle the “$4 Million Man” because of the total salary he has pulled from HSUS while serving in its C-Suite. It should be noted that Pacelle’s salary was under $100,000 annually until 1999.
Although his compensation package would put him in the top 1% of earners in about half of the states in the U.S., the fact is that his compensation is much lower than other CEOs or Presidents that serve in non-profits in the United States. The American Red Cross, for example, pays its CEO a salary of over $450,000. The American Kennel Club offers a salary to their CEO of over $730,000.
And at for-profit companies, CEO compensation packages are often eight figures, not the six figures that Pacelle is currently earning.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in fact, was paying their CEO over $566,000 in 2013, which was nearly double the salary that Pacelle was earning.
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send Natalie a message here.