National Volunteer Coordinator
Mikael Nielsen serves as national volunteer coordinator for Mercy For Animals, recruiting and training activists throughout the United States, assisting with the development of MFA’s effective advocacy resources, and serving as MFA’s spokesperson in the greater Chicago area.
Mikael holds a bachelor's degree in economics and mathematics and worked for thirteen years in the international for-profit sector, focusing the last two on wind farm development all over the United States and Canada.
Born in Denmark, Mikael moved to the United States when he was ten years old. While always a lover of animals, it was watching a friendly turkey on TV that was to be killed for Thanksgiving in 1996 that brought animal protection ideals to the forefront for Mikael and motivated him to go vegetarian and then vegan a few years later.
Inspired by one of EarthSave Chicago's Conferences for Conscious Living in 2002, Mikael became involved with the group, coordinating outreach events, conferences, and the Compassion On Wheels (COW) TV van. He was also one of the founding organizers of the hugely popular Chicago VeganMania.
Having volunteered with MFA since January of 2006, Mikael became one of the organization's outreach coordinators in the spring of 2008. Since that time he has opened thousands of eyes to our powerful documentary Farm to Fridge through our Paid-Per-View program, passed out tens of thousands of leaflets, tabled hundreds of hours at festivals, and delivered many humane education presentations in Chicago public schools and elsewhere. Mikael has also planned several fundraisers, including Viva Las Vegan and the hugely popular Chicago Vegan Chef Showdown, as well as launched the "Why Love One but Eat the Other?" car magnet and window decal project, which has helped hundreds of drivers plant seeds of compassion wherever they go.
During MFA's 2008 Celebrating Compassion Gala, Mikael was honored for his dedication to protecting animals with the Activist of the Year award. Whether he is training new volunteers, staffing a table at a festival, or leafleting on the street with his fellow activists, Mikael always maintains a positive attitude and always has a smile.
Mikael currently resides in Chicago with two rescued dogs, Oliver and Pepper, and three rescued cats, Maeby, Camille, and Winston.
Mikael says that working for Mercy For Animals is a dream come true.