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MSPCA picks Red Cross executive to run agency

Neil Litvack, chief marketing officer for the American Red Cross, will step into the role of president and CEO for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals next month.
Neil Litvack, chief marketing officer for the American Red Cross, will step into the role of president and CEO for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals next month.Dennis Drenner/American Red Cross (custom credit)/Dennis Drenner/American Red Cross

Neal Litvack, an executive for the Red Cross, will become the new president and CEO of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals next month.

Litvack is currently the chief marketing officer for the American Red Cross. He will replace the MSPCA’s current president and CEO, Carter Luke, on April 27, the MSPCA said in a statement Thursday.

Litvack said the new job “is a dream come true.”

“I’ve had animals in my life since day one,” Litvack said. “I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to do some really meaningful work for animals.”

Litvack currently has two rescue lab hound mixes, and he’s recently served on several boards for animal charities.

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He spent three years on the boards of the Animal Rescue League of Boston and the Buddy Dog Humane Society, and will continue to serve on the board of PetSmart Charities, which works to find homes for pets, while president of the MSPCA.

“Neal quickly revealed himself to be a highly qualified executive with experience in many various and relevant areas,” Vice Chair of the MSPCA-Angell Board Lynn Dayton said in the statement. “Neal has a great track record of success applying those skills thoughtfully to mission-driven organizations.”

The new MSPCA president and CEO has worked at the Red Cross since 2009. During his time there, Litvack brought in $630 million in annual fundraising and $2.7 billion in relief for major disasters, led the re-design of the Red Cross’s websites, oversaw strategy and brand development, and updated the organization’s database of donors, the MSPCA said.

Litvack was the chief operating and financial officer at Milton Academy in Milton from 2003 to 2009, according to the statement. He was also an Advanced Placement economics and psychology teacher at the academy during that time.

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Litvack said he will focus on leading the MSPCA in long-term projects.

“The MSPCA is really sound financially and is excelling in the animal care and emergency services it provides," Litvack said. "My perspective is more long term and strategic, and I’m going to look at what [the MSPCA] can do three or five years down the line.”

Litvack’s transition to the MSPCA comes while the Red Cross is dealing with a national blood shortage due to concerns over the coronavirus. He said he will still do all that he can for the Red Cross as he prepares for his new role in the coming weeks.

“I’m used to managing disasters so it’s not like this is a new or different challenge for me. It’s just one of those things where I’m at it all day long, and I’m OK with that — that’s what makes me tick,” Litvack said. “I feel like we’re making great progress [at the Red Cross] and I hope to do the same at MSPCA.”

Caroline Enos can be reached at caroline.enos@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.