Morris Animal Foundation Names New Executive Director

Press Release

Patricia N. Olson, DVM, PhD, will join Morris Animal Foundation as executive director on April 19. Olson brings more than 30 years of experience in the veterinary profession, education, non-profit, corporate, and public policy fields to the 56-year-old animal health-focused organization.

"I am truly enthusiastic about promoting the health of all the incredible creatures who share our planet," said Olson. "I view my new position with Morris Animal Foundation as a fabulous opportunity to do that--and I'm honored and humbled to be a part of the Foundation's important work."

Olson most recently served as the director of canine health and training for Guide Dogs for the Blind Inc., the largest guide dog school in North America, located in San Rafael, Calif. During her six-year tenure there, Olson directly supervised the heads of training, breeding, veterinary care, facility management, and managed field operations for more than 1,000 volunteer puppy trainers in an eight-state region.

Prior to joining Guide Dogs for the Blind, Olson held positions with the American Humane Association, the University of Minnesota, Colorado State University, Cornell University, the International Air Transport Association, and the United States Senate as a Congressional Fellow for the American Veterinary Medical Association. Olson founded Rice County Veterinary Clinic in Faribault, Minn., in 1972 and co-owned the clinic until 1977.

Olson earned her bachelor and veterinary degrees at the University of Minnesota. She also has a master's degree in theriogenology (animal reproduction) and microbiology from the same institution. Olson earned a PhD in reproductive physiology and endocrinology from Colorado State University.

"We're delighted to announce Dr. Olson's appointment as Morris Animal Foundation's new executive director," said Roger Bohart, chair of Morris Animal Foundation's board of trustees. "Her tremendous experience, combined with her understanding of science, interest in collaborating with other organizations and commitment to the human/animal bond, is key to Morris Animal Foundation's mission: improving the health and well-being of animals."

Olson replaces Robert Hilsenroth, DVM, who is retiring as Morris Animal Foundation's executive director after 12 years of service.

Morris Animal Foundation is a 56-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring a healthier tomorrow for companion animals and wildlife. Since its inception, the Foundation has funded more than 1,100 humane animal health studies with funds exceeding $32 million. One hundred percent of all annual, unrestricted contributions support animal health studies, not administration or the cost of fund raising. For more information about Morris Animal Foundation, call 800/243-2345, or visit
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