State Communications Strategist
Kerry McKeel is the state communications strategist for Best Friends Animal Society. Prior to joining Best Friends in 2019, she spent 15 years in animal welfare. She was the senior communications manager for Harris County Pets (Houston, Texas), one of the largest municipal animal shelters in the country, where she led strategic marketing, communications and media outreach initiatives. As director of communications at the Houston SPCA, she led the communications, education and community outreach teams. She also served as communications manager for the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in Arlington, Virginia where she guided brand and communications strategies to accomplish critical organizational objectives.
In 2007, she founded Paws for A Cause, a nonprofit in eastern North Carolina with the mission to educate the public, financially assist local animal rescue organizations and mobilize supporters. Before transitioning to the nonprofit sector, she spent three years with Ruder Finn, one of New York City’s largest strategic communication firms. Her work focused on consumer PR campaigns, third-party partnerships, media relations and event marketing. For five years, Kerry helped to build dynamic and innovative travel brands as public relations supervisor with BCF, a midsize brand communications firm. She holds a master’s degree in strategic public relations from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from James Madison University. Kerry shares her home with husband Geoff, a former U.S. Marine Corps pilot, their three young children (Kieran, Clara and Nolan), pups (Marley, Bentley and Oliver), a kitty (Millie) and a revolving door of foster pets.