Deputy Director of Animal Welfare & Learning & Engagement -
Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Posted: 5 February 2020   |   Full-Time   |   Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, USA

Job Details

The Los Angeles Zoo is seeking a visionary, dynamic, collaborative leader with a proven track
record to oversee the Zoo’s animal welfare, animal care, animal health and learning and engagement programs, and to assist with managing the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens (LA Zoo) as Deputy Director of Animal Welfare and Learning and Engagement.

The Deputy Director will assist with carrying out a bold vision for the LA Zoo, with a progressive approach and deep understanding of animal welfare in the 21st century. This executive must be an exceptional leader who develops, embraces, models, inspires and communicates the Zoo’s mission, vision and goals, as well as directly manages specific divisions and functions. The Deputy Director must provide leadership that ensures the Zoo’s vitality and success in institutional planning and the implementation of strategic initiatives. Most importantly, the Deputy Director must be driven by a passion for the mission of the LA Zoo and increase our capacity to provide excellent care so the animals can achieve exceptional animal welfare based on the latest relevant research and the application of best practices. This position may serve as the Acting Director in the Zoo Director’s absence.


The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, located in one of the nation’s largest urban parks, Griffith Park, is a destination for nearly two million visitors annually, a global conservation leader, a hub for environmental sustainability, a regional gateway to nature, and a welcoming place for all. The Zoo embodies caring for one another, our planet, and our shared experiences, and the Zoo department has developed a Vision Plan to build on past successes in order to further transform the Zoo into an environmentally sustainable, world-class destination and wildlife conservation center. The LA Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is home to more than 1,400 mammals, birds, amphibians, and reptiles representing more than 270 different species, of which more than 58 are endangered. In addition, the Zoo’s botanical collection is comprised of several planted gardens with more than 800 different plant species and approximately 7,000 individual plants. The Zoo is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. The Zoo Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Zoo. It is comprised of five Mayoral appointees and an ex-officio member. In addition, the Zoo works in partnership with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA), a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that has been providing financial support for the Zoo’s programs and capital projects for more than 50 years.


A Bachelor’s degree or higher from a recognized four-year college or university
AND at least five years of management experience in an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium working with a diverse collection of species. An advanced degree is highly desirable.
Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of animal welfare and wellness assessment, progressive zoo management concepts, the value of learning and engagement programs, zoology, animal biology, species conservation, wildlife care, conservation education or management experience working with individuals with that expertise or in an organization
devoted to those fields are strongly encouraged to apply.

More information and full job description

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The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.