Newly Created Position – The Indianapolis Zoo Seeks Director to Lead Prestigious Animal Conservation Award Program

Posted: 4 November 2021   |   Full-Time   | Indianapolis Zoo  | Location: Indiana, USA


The Director of the Indianapolis Prize serves as a member of the Zoo’s leadership team and has overall responsibility for the Indianapolis Prize with direct responsibility for the nomination process, Prize communications and messaging, outreach programming, volunteer management, the emerging conservationist program, fundraising, Gala planning and production. Through successful staff management, clear goal setting and project oversight, the director is expected to meet annual program goals while managing revenue and expenses while ensuring quality and professionalism in all Prize programs and Materials. The director works closely with the Executive Vice President to achieve goals set forth in the annual business plan.

Ideal candidates are committed to advancing the Zoo’s mission to protect nature and inspire people to care for our world. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in a related field (Communications; Marketing; Public Relations; Fundraising) is required. A minimum of five (5), preferably ten (10) years, of relevant professional work experience is required. Prior experience with the successful implementation of large-scale event production, planning and management is strongly desired.

This position will require a self-starter personality with the proven ability to motivate others to achieve established goals. The successful candidate will have experience with budgeting, strategic planning, high-level fundraising methods, supervising staff and volunteers, and a demonstrated history of reporting to committee leadership structures. This is a full-time, 40 hours per week, position that will require the flexibility and willingness to work some evening and weekend hours to attend committee meetings and special events.

Position Responsibilities and Duties include (but are not limited to):

  • Responsible for all aspects of the Indianapolis Prize programs and Gala including revenue and expenses for Prize programs.
  • Leads Zoo leadership in visioning, long range planning and evaluation for the Prize including the development of new programs and initiatives.
  • Oversees the implementation and development of the Emerging Conservationist Program.
  • Develops an annual business plan for the Prize, including clearly articulated goals, objectives, action plans, timelines, resource assignments, budgets and risk analysis.
  • Provides direct supervision to the Indianapolis Prize Program Manager including hiring, scheduling, job assignment, performance review, and professional development.
  • Collaborates with Zoo staff at all levels and in all appropriate departments to successfully implement the Indianapolis Prize and Gala.
  • Responsible for fundraising for the Prize program including the Gala and endowment funds to support Prize programming.
  • Develops grant requests and administers grants as directed.
  • Organizes and participates in travel both internationally and domestically as required.
  • Oversees all aspects of the Prize Gala, including entertainment, audio visual aspects, and logistics of the event.
  • Works closely with the Director of Public Relations on the Prize films and video elements.
  • Investigates and forges relationships and partnerships with other entities to advance the Indianapolis Prize.
  • In conjunction with Public Relations staff, works closely with the current and former Prize
    nominees and their organizations to promote conservation and awareness of the Indianapolis Prize.
  • Works closely with the Hix Institute and Zoo’s Marketing Department to implement events designed to promote and raise awareness of conservation.
    • Supports other Indianapolis Zoo activities and events by seeking to incorporate Indianapolis Prize exposure, programming, and goals in ways that are mutually beneficial.
  • Ability to detect, assess, identify, and observe surroundings to make sound judgments, along with the ability to communicate verbally, comprehend and decipher information accurately, using a two-way radio and telephone.
  • Must be an advanced user of Microsoft Word and Excel. Experienced in electronic communication tools, website management and social media.
  • Must be an intermediate user of Power Point, Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft project as well as other management software programs in use at the Indianapolis Zoo. Experience with video editing software and techniques preferred.

Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of pre-employment testing including a criminal history and driving record check, and a drug test. The Indianapolis Zoo is requiring all Zoo employees and volunteers to be Covid-19 vaccinated unless individuals require a medical or religious belief accommodation. If hired, vaccination must be completed prior to first working day or accommodation request must be approved prior to first working day.

The Indianapolis Zoo offers a competitive benefits package to all eligible (full-time/ 40 hr./ week) employees. Benefits include Medical, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance; 403(b) Retirement Plan, generous Paid Time Off (PTO), Immediate Paid Holidays, and a complimentary Zoo membership for employees.

To apply:

  • Submit an online application on the Indianapolis Zoo website.
  • Applicants must include a resume, cover letter and salary requirements.
  • Please note, the Zoo reserves the right to remove this job posting at any time.

The Indianapolis Zoo is proud to be a Drug-Free/ Smoke-Free/ Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE)/ Child-Safe Work Environment.

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