New Chief Executive of The Donkey Sanctuary

Marianne Steele was announced as the new chief executive of The Donkey Sanctuary.

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Marianne Steele, CEO
Marianne Steele | Courtesy The Donkey Sanctuary
On Oct. 7, The Donkey Sanctuary announced the appointment of Marianne Steele as the charity’s new permanent chief executive following a thorough, rigorous, and competitive global search.

Marianne joined the charity in 2010 as director of fundraising and communications, where she oversaw a period of rapid growth.

More recently, she stepped into the role of acting CEO, successfully steering the charity away from any negative impact of the COVID pandemic while moving forward to develop a new five-year organizational strategy.

Paul Lunn, BVSc, MS, PhD, MRCVS, Dipl. ACVIM, chair of trustees, said, “I am confident that, in Marianne, we have found an outstanding leader who is the right match for our charity.

“Her passion, commitment, and vision for The Donkey Sanctuary won through and, I believe, under her guidance, we can move forward with a clear sense of purpose.”

With a brief to launch the charity’s new organizational strategy early next year, Marianne added, “I am delighted to lead The Donkey Sanctuary on the next stage of its journey.

“For five decades the charity has been a powerful and enduring force for good, driven by an extraordinary heritage of scientific and veterinary excellence to make the world a better place for both donkeys and the communities who depend on them.

“It’s a privilege to lead our cause and to serve the phenomenal staff, volunteers, and partners who help deliver it.”

The Donkey Sanctuary is the world’s largest equine welfare charity. Our vision is a world where donkeys and mules live free from suffering and their contribution to humanity is fully valued. We run 10 sanctuaries around the UK and Europe, giving lifelong care to more than 7,000 donkeys and mules. Our hospital treats sick donkeys and trains veterinarians nationwide and worldwide. Our donkey-facilitated learning program helps vulnerable children and adults develop life skills by connecting with donkeys on an emotional and physical level. The charity operates programmes worldwide for animals working in agriculture, industry, transportation, and meat and skin production.


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