Reading Time: 2 minutes MFA Founder Nathan Runkle (Photo: YouTube)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vegan charity Mercy For Animals [MfA] has announced it has a new president – Matt Rice.

According to MfA Founder Nathan Runkle, the organization he started 20 years ago as a youngster on an Ohio farm, has grown so much he has been able to ‘step back from the day-to-day operations’.

‘Stepping out’

He adds: “In this new freedom I have been able to help launch new, exciting, innovative initiatives like co-founding the Good Food Institute or launching [festival] Circle V.

“It is my best place in the movement to continue with that innovative approach.

“Because of that, I will be stepping out of my day-to-day role at Mercy for Animals.

“I will remain on the board of directors and be intimately involved in high level decision making and strategy.

“My heart will forever be with the organization.”

New president

New president Matt Rice has worked with Runkle for almost a decade.

According to Runkle, Rice is ‘brilliant, kind, and an ideal team player and team leader’.

He adds: “I know that MfA will continue to achieve incredible progress on behalf of animals under his leadership.”


The new president has worked in a number of roles during his years at MfA – including director of investigations.

Rice, formerly in the US Marine Corps, says: “When I saw the conditions of factory farming I realized it is an atrocity, it has to be confronted, and I had to do everything I can in my power to end it.

“There’s so much to be proud of the work we have done at MfA and I’m proud to work with some of the best people I’ve ever known.”


Rice says one of MfA’s biggest goals in 2018 under his leadership is to protect chickens – who often suffer the most – and have the fewest laws in place to protect them. 

The group also wants to help fishes – saying they are often overlooked and ‘deserve protection’.

The charity will continue several food initiatives, – encouraging public organizations like schools to serve at least one vegan meal a week.

Welfare efforts will also be expanded to China and India.

Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.