Julie Castle


Best Friends Animal Society

Julie Castle has dedicated her life to saving animals. Starting at Best Friends Animal Society in 1996 as employee No. 17, the CEO of Best Friends understands exactly what it takes to reach a no-kill America by 2025. Julie started in the proverbial mail room and as she rose through the ranks, she set high goals and achieved them, including leading Best Friends’ community programs and services division where she launched No-Kill Los Angeles (NKLA) and also helped launch No-Kill Utah (NKUT). During her tenure leading the marketing, communications, and development at Best Friends, she grew Best Friends’ fundraising by nearly 50 percent to reach an all-time annual revenue high of $137 million. Under her leadership, Best Friends was named The Harris Poll’s Non-Profit Brand of the Year in animal welfare five times. In 2016, Julie set a bold goal on behalf of Best Friends to take the entire country to no-kill by 2025. 

Julie is a staunch believer in the importance of culture and innovation within a workplace, and her focus on those areas has resulted in numerous other awards for the organization, including Energage’s 2022 Top Workplaces USA award and a Top Ten Most Innovative Company in the World award from Fast Company. Julie herself was also celebrated by InStyle magazine’s list of 50 Badass Women who “show up, speak up and get things done.” She leads her staff to find their “grand passion” to create a better world and continues to lead the no-kill movement to achieve its mission. Follow Julie on Twitter and Instagram.