CEO, Michelson Found Animals Foundation
Brett Yates is the Chief Executive Officer of Michelson Found Animals Foundation (MFA), an animal welfare non-profit that believes people and pets are better together. The foundation operates a range of initiatives, including grants and programs that put resources in the hands of communities in need, research that promotes pet-friendly policies, and more. At MFA, Brett combines his passion for helping animals with his expertise in investments, program development, and operations. Since joining MFA in
2018, he has elevated the organization in the launching of all new impact programs, including Leap Venture Studios, the Better Neighbor Project, the Pet-Inclusive Housing Initiative, and several others. Brett also leads the Michelson Prize and Grants in Reproductive Biology, a $75 million research initiative, on its journey to find a non-surgical sterilant for dogs and cats.
Brett is energized about bringing great minds together and progressing MFA as a leading-edge thinking tank in animal welfare. By employing advocacy, grantmaking, investments, and programs, MFA works to address every opportunity to support pets and their people. Brett’s relationship with key players in the larger pet care space, both for-profit and nonprofit organizations, offers a unique perspective when addressing issues across the industry. His strategies and innovation help to drive MFA goals into an environment where we confront the industry's broken legacy systems that keep people from experiencing the joy of having a pet as a family member.
In addition to his responsibilities at MFA, Brett also serves in the dual role of Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Michelson Philanthropies, a network of foundations established by Dr. Gary K. Michelson and his wife, Alya, to drive positive change in animal welfare, higher education, and human medical research. The foundations include Michelson Found Animals, Michelson Medical Research Foundation, Michelson 20MM Foundation, and Michelson Institute for Intellectual Property.
Previously, Brett held senior roles for companies such as First American, Fiserv, and Janus Mutual Funds. He is also an entrepreneur who has consulted for multiple startup organizations. Originally from Orange County, CA, Brett holds a degree in finance and real estate from the University of Denver.