Chief executive of Cats Protection to step down

James Yeates is to take up the same role at the World Federation for Animals

James Yeates
James Yeates

The chief executive of Cats Protection is to step down after three years to lead an international membership body for animal protection organisations.

James Yeates will leave Cats Protection in October to become chief executive of the World Federation for Animals, which advocates for animals at the United Nations.

The WFA, which is based in New York but has an office in Belgium and employees around the world, brings together animal welfare organisations from across the globe.

Yeates, who joined Cats Protection after six years at the RSPCA, is a qualified vet with degrees in veterinary science and bioethics.

Cats Protection said he had helped develop changes to the charity’s governance, set out a new strategy and steered the organisation through the coronavirus pandemic.

Linda Upson, chair of Cats Protection, said Yeates had made the charity a more dynamic organisation.

“James’s new role, advocating for animal welfare on the international stage, is an incredible opportunity for him and very well deserved,” she said.

“It is a loss for Cats Protection but it comes at a point where we have agreed our new 10-year strategy, which will see us build on our work and extend our reach to help millions more cats in the future.

“We are all very grateful to him for everything that he has achieved for so many cats.”

Britta Riis, president of the WFA, said: “We’re excited to have such a passionate, qualified and experienced person joining our team at the WFA.

“James will oversee the federation’s advocacy strategy, develop membership recruitment and engagement strategies and serve as the public face of the WFA and its vision for animal welfare.”

Yeates, who is expected to remain based in the UK, said: “I am incredibly excited at the prospect of leading the World Federation for Animals, which is the most important coalition for animals in a generation. Humans and animals face the biggest challenges we have ever met.

“We need to tackle these challenges with selfless empathy, collaborative passion and deep compassion.”


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