Center for Species Survival Program Officer - San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance

Posted: 4 January 2024| Full-Time |$78,400 – $86,680


San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. Empowering people from around the globe to support our mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships, we support cutting-edge conservation, and bring the stories of our work back to our two world-famous front doors — the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park — giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The deep and extensive knowledge gained from more than a century of experience in wildlife care, health, veterinary services, nutrition and conservation makes us invaluable in the global effort to save species. Our team members play a crucial role in driving our conservation efforts forward and bringing us closer to a world where all life thrives.

The Center for Species Survival Program Officer oversees, supervises, and manages strategic, scientific and/or educational programs focused on the protection and restoration of biodiversity through strategic Biobanking. This position reports to a Scientist level or higher in the SDZWA Conservation Science Wildlife Health department, and coordinates activities with the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Director of Strategic Partnerships.

what you will do

  • Oversee conservation program staff including, but not limited to, interviewing, hiring, training and performance management.
  • Identify opportunities for organization-wide and collaborative involvement in the protection and restoration of biodiversity through strategic biodiversity banking.
  • Plan, implement and oversee conservation strategies for organizational and global biobanking efforts.
  • Understand scientific method and strategic analysis approaches.
  • Develop, negotiate, obtain, and manage large-scale grant and contract partnerships and writes annual reports to funders.
  • Establish and maintain communications with internal and external groups and organizations for the organization’s conservation efforts.


The SDZWA is looking for an innovative problem-solver to strategically manage our partnership with the IUCN Species Survival Commission as a Center for Species Survival focused on Biobanking.  The Program Officer will work closely with the biodiversity banking teams at the SDZWA, with the larger global biobanking community, and with the relevant IUCN Specialist Groups, to evaluate the current state of biobanking for conservation, facilitate the development of a biobanking resource hub, and foster the development of a global community of contributors to biodiversity banking for conservation. Familiarity with the IUCN Red List, conservation strategic planning and other relevant tools or conservation frameworks is a plus.


    • 3 years of experience in supervising conservation projects in multi-stakeholder systems.


    • Master’s Degree in relevant field and/ or equivalent specialized training required.
    • A PhD in conservation relevant field is advantageous. 


    • Knowledge of grant and contract administration. 
    • Demonstrated ability to manage complex projects while adhering to established budget. 
    • Strong working knowledge of relevant environmental laws and regulations. 
    • Demonstrated ability to lead a highly effective team. 
    • Able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing. 
    • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with others in a diverse culture. 
    • Able to prepare materials for publication in conservation-related journals. 
    • Able to operate moderately complex computer software programs. 


  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Program


  • Location: Escondido, CA
  • Position Type: Salaried Full-Time Exempt Position
  • Salary Range: $78,400 – $86,680

application details

Be an ally for wildlife by joining our team!

At San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, we thrive on celebrating our differences. Diversity is vital for the benefit of our team members, our guests, our community, and our wildlife.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status.

If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.

As a Federal Contractor, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is required to participate in the E-Verify Program to confirm eligibility to work in the United States. 

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a drug free workplace.

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