Kathleen Conlee

Vice President, Animal Research Issues

Kathleen Conlee is the HSUS's Vice President of Animal Research Issues.

Kathleen Conlee, headshot

She has worked for the HSUS since 1999 and oversees the wide array of activities that the HSUS carries out on behalf of animals in laboratories, with the long-term goal of replacing the use of animals in harmful research.

Conlee's work involves educating the public about the plight of animals in laboratories, reaching out to the scientific community, regulators, policymakers and legislators to spur change, engaging in dialogue with corporations, publishing technical papers and representing the animal protection community on scientific and other committees.

Specific efforts of the Animal Research Issues department include:

  • Ending the use of chimpanzees in invasive experimentation and retiring chimpanzees to sanctuary through the Chimps Deserve Better campaign.
  • Ending the use of animals for chemical and product testing, including through our Be Cruelty-Free cosmetics campaign.
  • Eliminating pain and suffering in animal research.
  • Eressing for development and application of alternatives to the use of animals in research, testing and education/training.

Before joining the HSUS, Conlee worked for seven years at a primate breeding facility as the manager of breeding and behavior, managing a colony of 3,000 individuals, including four macaque species, owl monkeys and lemurs. In this position, she used environmental enrichment and other methods to reduce captive stressors, cared for psychologically disturbed individuals and managed the nursery facilities. She also did contract work with the National Institutes of Health on projects that examined correlations between immunological measures, behavior, reproductive success, serotonin levels, and mortality.

Conlee also worked at the Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation sanctuary as the supervisor of care, which involved daily care of the chimpanzees and orangutans, coordination of the environmental enrichment and volunteer program, and establishment of protocols related to all aspects of animal care.

Conlee received a Bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and has a Master's degree in public administration, with a specialization in public policy.