WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, January 22, 2020 — When the disastrous California wildfires drove thousands of animals from their homes, Marean Spero Steen jumped into her car and drove with many of her American Humane colleagues to deliver food, critical relief supplies – and love – to help the homeless and frightened creatures. The mission of mercy served as a brief break from her day job, working to protect nearly 100,000 animals employed each year on some 1,000 production sets around the world.
After six years of dedicated work, during which she also served as managing director of its Hollywood office, American Humane has now promoted Marean Spero Steen to the position of national director of “No Animals Were Harmed®,” a certification program which helps ensure the humane and safe treatment of animal actors. She will oversee the program with American Humane Hollywood’s renowned Chief Veterinary Advisor, Dr. Thomas Edling, former Vice President of Veterinary Medicine for Petco, faculty member of the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, and alumnus of Colorado State University (DVM) and Johns Hopkins University (Master of Public Health Program). Together, Marean and Dr. Edling will continue to work closely with the organization’s Certified Animal Safety Representatives around the world to oversee the rigorous enforcement of our Guidelines for the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Entertainment.
“Marean’s deep passion for animals is reflected every day in the dedication she shows for their safety and humane treatment,” said American Humane President and CEO Dr. Robin Ganzert. “Every animal-loving moviegoer can applaud this move. We are very grateful to have her take on this expanded role for the sake of all our beloved animal actors.”
Ms. Steen’s duties now include overseeing all aspects of ensuring animal welfare on sets around the world, advising productions on how best to ensure animal safety beginning with pre-production consultations, advising on locations and how to safely achieve animal action, safe and humane transportation of animals, and working with staff to identify and address potential safety risks in scripts and storyboards.
“As an animal lover and passionate movie-goer, I have always believed in the power of storytelling and am thrilled to bring my two passions together in this position,” said Steen. “Movies with animals have a unique power to promote the human animal bond, inspire kindness, and teach us about ourselves. I’m excited to support this wonderful tradition of storytelling by promoting the highest welfare standards to keep animals safe on sets around the world.”
After receiving her B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley and her J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, she became a lawyer and worked as a pro bono attorney for the Harriet Buhai Family Law Center and the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Project. For 15 years, she then worked as a creative and production executive in the entertainment industry. As Senior Vice President of Television Movies and Mini-Series for Hearst Entertainment, she shepherded projects from inception to green light to launch, overseeing the development and production of more than 100 hours of programming for cable and network television. She continued to apply her experience to the nonprofit sector, serving as director of operations for 18th Street Arts Complex, before joining American Humane.
About American Humane
American Humane is the country’s first national humane organization. Founded in 1877, American Humane is committed to ensuring the safety, welfare, and well-being of animals, and our leadership programs are first to serve in promoting and nurturing the bonds between animals and people. For more information or to support our work, please visit www.americanhumane.org.