Director - Fota Wildlife Park

Posted: 8 December 2023| Full-Time|Cork, Ireland


Fota Wildlife Park, a not-for-profit organisation, is part of the Zoological Society of Ireland, and is located on one hundred acres at Fota Island 10km east of Cork City. Fota Wildlife Park has an annual attendance of circa 450,000 visitors.

Fota Wildlife Park’s vision is to inspire people to understand and conserve the biodiversity of our natural world. The Park’s core values of conservation, education, research, and visitor experience have ensured that it is uniquely placed to foster greater public understanding of the threats to plant and animal habitats and decreasing global biodiversity. Fota Wildlife Park has made considerable investment in the past decade upgrading its infrastructure and developing 27 acres of additional land that focuses on Asian animals including Sumatran tiger, Indian rhino, and Asiatic lions. A state-of-the-art Education and Conference Centre will be completed by the end of 2023 and will provide a fantastic facility for the Corporate, Education and Conservation sectors to enjoy.

role overview

Fota Wildlife Park wishes to recruit a Director with a strategic commercial mindset to assume the role following a handover period with the current Park Director upon his retirement in 2024.

As the leader of the senior management team the Director is the senior executive responsible for the leadership, growth and development and management of Fota Wildlife Park ensuring that all activities support its commercial objectives and the conservational, educational and animal welfare ethos of the Wildlife Park.

The role will lead the senior management team and will hold overall accountability for all operations and activities and for the development and implementation of the expanding Wildlife Park’s long term strategic goals. The role will assume overall responsibility for all stakeholder relations both internal and external. The Director reports to the Board of Governors.

person specifications

The role requires an individual with a proven track record of leadership within the Zoo, Wildlife Park, Conservation, Animal Welfare and Public Amenity sector, or similar organisation with these core attributes. With an appropriate primary degree in Zoology, Veterinary Medicine, or a related discipline, you will lead a team of experienced individuals dedicated to delivering a sustainable future of growth, education, research and positive visitor experience for Fota Wildlife Park.

You will direct operations across all activities including animal welfare, capital development, marketing and business development, stakeholder relations with Government, Regulatory Authorities, the Education sector, Industry, and the general public. You will take responsibility for ensuring a positive employee culture in Fota Wildlife Park and for the performance, development and wellbeing of the Team to ensure that they deliver on the strategic and operational plans for the Park.

You will optimise all commercial activities to ensure that all visitors to Fota Wildlife Park enjoy an excellent experience which will underpin the Park’s financial success and sustainability. 


Fota Wildlife Park has retained Lansdowne Executive Search to manage this recruitment process.

To pursue your interest in this role, please email a comprehensive CV and supporting letter to:

For a confidential discussion please call Tom on +353 87 741 3085. Closing date for all applicants is January 12th 2024.

Candidates for this role will be sourced through both advertising and executive search processes.

Fota Wildlife Park is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for team members who share those same values.

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.

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