Bernard Unti

Senior Policy Adviser, Special Assistant to the President & CEO

Bernard Unti is Senior Policy Adviser and Special Assistant to the President and CEO of the HSUS.

Bernie Unti, headshot

As Senior Policy Adviser and Special Assistant to the President and CEO, Bernard Unti works organization-wide on strategic planning, policy, advocacy, budget, fundraising, grant-making, charity compliance, corporate relations and communications priorities for the HSUS.

Since assuming his position in 2004, Unti has represented the HSUS and its affiliates in a broad range of domestic and global campaigns and initiatives.

A scholar and recognized authority on the animal protection movement, Unti is the author of Protecting All Animals: A Fifty-Year History of The Humane Society of the United States (2004), as well as a series of essays on cruelty to animals as a historical and contemporary issue. He is a frequent speaker on university campuses, at conferences and at HSUS events.

His expertise includes the history and sociology of the humane movement, the development of pet-keeping, animal sheltering and the kindness-to-animals ethic, the human-animal bond and the evolution of attitudes toward animals, the humane education of children, the science of animal welfare, animal studies as an academic discipline and the place of animal protection within American social reform and philanthropy. His comments on these and other issues have appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, and other media outlets.

Unti holds enterprise-level positions within several HSUS affiliate entities. These include:

  • Humane Society International (HSI), for which he has worked on chimpanzee protection in West Africa, animal related-disaster response in Haiti and Japan, dog roundups in China, Iran and elsewhere and whaling issues (senior policy adviser).
  • Humane Society University (HSU), which is dedicated to animal studies and the professionalization of animal care in the United States (trustee).
  • Humane Society Institute for Science and Policy (HSISP), which promotes the science of animal welfare as an instrument of policy and institutional decision-making processes (deputy director).

He is also a trustee of the William and Charlotte Parks Foundation. 

He received a Ph.D. in U.S. history from American University in 2002 and a Bachelor's degree in history from Temple University in 1982. He is writing a book on the 19th century animal protection movement in the United States.