Nicole Paquette

Chief Programs and Policy Officer

Nicole Paquette is chief programs and policy officer for the Humane Society of the United States.

Nicole Paquette, headshot

Paquette joined the HSUS in 2010 as the senior policy advisor to the chief operating officer. She then went on to serve as the HSUS's senior state director in Texas, where she worked to strengthen that state's cockfighting laws and pass landmark legislation to regulate puppy mill breeding facilities.

In 2013, she became vice president of Wildlife Protection where she oversees the HSUS’s work to end the worst forms of cruelty facing wild animals including stopping trophy hunting and cruel killing methods, shutting down the exotic pet trade and wild animal acts and ending the use of lethal and inhumane methods to manage wildlife conflicts. In this role, Paquette assisted with the passage of landmark legislation protecting elephants from cruel treatment in traveling shows in Rhode Island, California, Illinois and New York, oversaw a team that assisted in defeating attempts to open up bobcat trophy hunting and trapping seasons and black bear trophy hunting seasons in multiple states and worked to ensure that longstanding protections for wolves are maintained in the Great Lakes region.

Prior to joining the HSUS, Paquette was senior vice president and general counsel for over a decade at the Animal Protection Institute/Born Free USA. She assisted countless states and cities with introducing and passing laws prohibiting the keeping of dangerous wild animals as pets, ending the use of wild animals in circuses, restricting commercial and nuisance trapping practices and a range of other wildlife and companion animal issues. She played an integral role in successfully defeating anti-animal welfare bills across the country.

Paquette received a law degree from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from San Francisco State University. 

Paquette serves on the Board of Directors for Emanicpet, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and South Florida Wildlife Center.