Lawrence Humane Society hires new executive director

Kate Meghji is the new executive director of the Lawrence Humane Society.

A nonprofit director with a strong background in finance — and a love of animals — has been named to the top management spot at the Lawrence Humane Society.

Kate Meghji began serving as executive director of the humane society on Monday. She comes from the Champaign, Ill., area where she had served as a director for a synagogue and previously as a manager for the community’s humane society.

“I’ve really been wanting to get back into the animal welfare field for at least two years,” Meghji said. “Coming to Lawrence was a situation where I could just tell the community was a really good fit and the organization was a good fit.”

Katy Ibsen, chairwoman of the Lawrence Humane Society’s board, said Meghji’s broad background in the nonprofit field was appealing.

“What she brings to the table is a wealth of knowledge on management,” Ibsen said. “She has a very strong financial background, and that is important because we have great partnerships with the city and the county, and it is very important that we be good stewards of those funds.”

Meghji said she wants to spend time evaluating the shelter’s facility needs, with a focus on how the existing facility at 1805 E. 19th St. can be used more efficiently. She said she also plans to do an in-depth review of the agency’s finances to get a clear picture of what initiatives the organization can undertake.

“I really want to see the Lawrence Humane Shelter be an example for small animal shelters everywhere,” Meghji said.

Ibsen said she doesn’t anticipate any major operational changes that will impact people who adopt or bring animals to the shelter.

Meghji replaces Dori Villalon, who resigned in November.