Robert G. Roop is president of Humane Society University, a private, nonprofit institution offering a variety of academic degree and noncredit professional development programs in advocacy, animal care, education, and public policy. Based in Washington, D.C., HSU is the first higher education institution in the country licensed to provide Bachelor of Science degrees and graduate certificates exclusively dedicated to human-animal studies. Dr. Roop also serves as the vice president of Human Resources and Education for The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization, with more than ten million constituents and a staff of 600.
In 2003 he was named one of the 100 most highly effective human resource leaders in the world by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), an association of 170,000 human resource and academic professionals in more than 120 countries. This award was given by the SHRM Foundation, a nonprofit affiliate of SHRM that serves as a catalyst for leading-edge research and education to advance the human resources field and enhance the effectiveness of human resources professionals.
Dr. Roop began his career as a probation officer working with juvenile and adult felons in the Juvenile Domestic Relations Court in Roanoke, Virginia, and in the Circuit Court in Baltimore County, Maryland. Later he moved from criminal justice to the hospitality industry, joining the Marriott Corporation. He came to The HSUS in 1996.
From 2002 through 2009 The HSUS received the Workplace Excellence Seal of Approval presented by the Maryland Work-Life Alliance. The Maryland Work-Life Alliance is a statewide coalition of private, public, and nonprofit organizations committed to empowering employers nationwide to create and be recognized as excellent places to work. Dr. Roop has led the HSUS effort in creating a workplace where employees can achieve success in their professional and personal lives.
As president of Humane Society University, Dr. Roop has led its growth from a traditional onsite training resource to an award-winning provider of distance learning to animal care professionals throughout the world. Since its inception in 1999, HSU has reached more than 12,000 students — offering a range of credit and non-credit courses, professional certificate programs, and onsite workshops in animal care, shelter management, humane education, and advocacy throughout the United States. Dr. Roop has successfully formed educational partnerships with seven leading universities to expand the university’s outreach efforts to a global stage.
An active and compelling speaker, Dr. Roop has made over 125 presentations to nonprofit board members, physicians, clinical social workers, executive directors, managers, and staff on a variety of management and leadership topics. He has gained national recognition for his presentations on the emerging problem of compassion fatigue. In 2002 he became a certified compassion fatigue specialist and is in the forefront of compassion fatigue training in the animal care and control community. His book Compassion Fatigue in the Animal Care Community, coauthored with Charles Figley, Ph.D., was published in 2005.
Dr. Roop teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in management at Webster University and at the Catholic University of America. He holds a master’s degree in community counseling psychology, a Ph.D. in human resource management, and is a certified senior human resource professional. In 2004 he became a certified association executive. In 2005, after serving on its supervisory committee for several years, Dr. Roop was elected to the board of directors for the Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
Dr. Roop lives in suburban Maryland with his wife, Mary. They have three grown daughters.