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Category Administration  

Organizational Overview:

Founded in 1876, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is committed to engaging people with the wonder of the living world. Our staff works in a welcoming, exciting, and historic environment, with a mission to inspire and educate others to support the conservation efforts of wildlife and wild places. The Maryland Zoo is committed to serving its communities by engaging people with the world through personal encounters that foster lifelong relationships with nature. Our dynamic and growing organization continues to be integral in local and international efforts to Save Animals From Extinction. Our conservation efforts are many and varied, local and international, including work in South Africa on behalf of African penguins, efforts to pave the way to reintroduce Panamanian golden frogs into the wild, and work in Western Maryland on wildlife management of American black bears.

The Zoo consists of 1,500 animals, 250 employees, approximately 135 acres and hundreds of volunteers. It is a public/private entity, owned by the City and the State, located inside a large City park, and managed by the private Maryland Zoological Society. It is an economic contributor to the local economy and has a vibrant personal and corporate membership roster. Its animal husbandry and visitors services are second to none. In order to continue to operate at the highest level possible in the face of increasing costs of operations, the stability of the Zoo’s finances is of paramount importance.

The current operational structure of the Zoo includes an animal department with a veterinary hospital and additional departments of conservation, finance, advancement, education, human resources and government affairs. The staff includes animal caregivers, educators, conservationists, fundraisers, visitor services providers, human resource experts, horticulturists and government affairs professionals. A challenge the Zoo faces over the next few years is incorporating those personnel compensation changes necessitated by new minimum wage laws and accompanying adjustments to salary structures.

We are proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which is a conservation-minded organization focused on providing a better future for all living things. It is representative of excellent care for animals and a great experience for visitors. Fewer than 10% of the approximately 2,800 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA accredited. And, we look forward to co-hosting the 2021 annual conference of the AZA.

General Summary:

The President/ CEO is responsible for implementing the mission to save wildlife and wild places and for the effective management of all operational functions across the zoo property. This position reports to the Maryland Zoological Society Board of Trustees.

The President/CEO is the face, voice, and inspirational leader of the organization whose culture of excellence and cooperation is a hallmark of its identity. The President/CEO provides innovative and strategic leadership for the organization by working with the Board and executive team to establish and implement long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies. The President/CEO establishes strong relationships with top leaders in the community, including those representing the highest levels in business, government, and non-profit sectors in order to assure continued successful operations of the Zoo.

Position Requirements

Essential Functions

  • Ensure that the Zoo’s animal collection is properly cared for in accordance with industry best practices and legal requirements; that the Zoo’s staff is provided all appropriate and available resources and support; and that the Zoo’s facilities are maintained to the highest possible standards;
  • Be passionate about the mission of conservation of wildlife and engaging people with the natural world, skilled at communicating that passion internally and externally, and able to develop and accomplish a vision for the Zoo’s future as a conservation-focused organization;
  • Be a dynamic and innovative leader who understands and values all parts of the organization and is able to effectively solve business and management challenges;
  • Be accountable for the operational and fiscal integrity of the organization;
  • Play an active leadership role in both generating the revenues necessary to operate the Zoo and overseeing the operations of the Zoo in a way that ensures fiscal integrity, ultimately creating a sound working budget;
  • Communicate effectively, orally and in writing, in a variety of media;
  • Be responsible for building and sustaining wide-ranging and robust fund-raising and development activities;
  • Lead and collaborate in communications to government officials throughout the year to keep the Zoo top-of-mind while promoting the organization as an economic generator for the region;
  • Be responsible for providing a fun, engaging, safe and hospitable visitor experience;
  • Generate support for the Zoo’s mission by performing and overseeing outreach to all relevant communities, including participating in community programs;
  • Be responsible for the Zoo’s status as an accredited institution of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums;
  • Oversee risk management and safety for Zoo animals, employees, guests, volunteers, contractors and organizational assets;
  • Assure compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements and rules;
  • Maintain compliance with the lease between the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore and the sublease between the State of Maryland and the Maryland Zoological Society;
  • Facilitate communication between the executive staff and the Board;
  • Enhance the Zoo’s standing in the community by acting as a liaison with government officials and the greater community for the purpose of presenting its mission and goals, as well as its achievements and challenges, to these audiences; and,
  • Engage in personal interactions with donors and prospects, drive cultivation and stewardship efforts, leverage personal and professional contacts into fundraising opportunities, and engage the Board to assist in those efforts.

Minimum Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Master’s degree strongly preferred.


  • Ten years of senior strategic leadership;
  • Experience at a non-profit strongly preferred;
  • Experience in building revenue and increasing philanthropic support;
  • Demonstrated interest in conservation;
  • Knowledge of government, political and community constituencies;
  • Business and financial acumen with strong problem-solving abilities;
  • Demonstrated supervisory ability leading to a culture of excellence, collegiality, and integrity;
  • Ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds and promote a positive working environment;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills which transcend diverse audiences and reflect an understanding of today’s media outlets; and
  • Proven success in the creation and management of fiscally responsible operations and capital budgets.

Desirable Traits:

  • Inspiring and motivational leadership style;
  • Visionary and strategic thinker who can present and implement plans for the future;
  • Approachable and collaborative problem-solver;
  • Energetic, optimistic, open and collegial leader;
  • Effective communicator with diverse audiences in diverse venues;
  • Entrepreneurial skills which encourage new ways of approaching problems and opportunities; and
  • Ability to work with individuals from a wide variety of diverse backgrounds.

Working Conditions:

  • Must be able to travel large areas of the Zoo as needed;
  • Must be able to travel to offsite work locations locally and nationally, as needed.


The statements above are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by employees assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of all personnel so classified. Therefore, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change.

To apply for this position, please use the link below to access the online application. In addition to completing the online application, please upload a copy of your resume/CV.

For technical support, please use the online chat feature or call 888-772-9773, M-F 8:00am-8:00pm ET.

Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Shift -not applicable-  
Position President/CEO  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Open Date 10/10/2019  
Location The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore  
About the Organization Founded in 1876, The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is the third oldest zoo in the United States and is internationally known for its contributions in conservation and research. More than 1,500 animals are represented in the Zoo's varied natural habitat exhibits in areas such as Polar Bear Watch, the Maryland Wilderness, African Journey and the award-winning Children's Zoo. Situated in Druid Hill Park near downtown Baltimore, the Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. For more information, visit  

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