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Vice President, Engagement 


We are seeking to hire a visionary, innovative and strategic leader to oversee our Engagement programs and initiatives. The Vice President of Engagement reports directly to the President and CEO, is a member of the zoo’s Executive Leadership Team, and plays an integral role in organizational strategy and decision-making. In addition, the Vice President is a senior executive with a great responsibility for community engagement, relationship-building with key community leaders and strong aptitude for managing crises when needed.
Based in Seattle, a hub of innovation and opportunity, the new Vice President of Engagement will maintain the high standards that have identified Woodland Park Zoo while also exploring new directions and innovations in the field. Woodland Park Zoo is in the midst of a programmatic expansion following an ambitious strategic plan ( Our strategic plan purposefully defines Woodland Park Zoo as a conservation organization that saves wildlife and their habitats while providing meaningful action and inspiration for a broad social movement for wildlife conservation.

The Vice President will help lead the institutional goals of attracting and engaging diverse audiences to participate in our mission, and advancing growth in our earned, public and philanthropic revenue streams. This position oversees the development of comprehensive strategies across Engagement, integrating external and internal communications, brand, design, media relations, marketing and advertising, audience engagement, membership, government relations and community affairs. This position deepens the zoo’s presence in the greater Seattle community through strategic relationship-building and public and private partnerships, and serves as a zoo liaison with local and regional constituencies. With XX direct reports, this person oversees departmental budgets, evaluation of organizational outcomes, and accountability to the strategic plan. This is a full-time, regular, and benefited position.


  • Oversee the development and execution of comprehensive external communications strategies, leading teams specializing in owned, earned and paid media to drive awareness of, engagement with and financial support of the zoo’s mission and activities. Team functions include: media relations, social media, advertising, marketing (including marketing sponsorships), web, photo/video, magazine and report production, graphic design, and on grounds messaging (in collaboration with other zoo teams).
  • Increase public and private support by elevating the zoo’s reputation and positioning with key audiences, including leaders and partners in government, business, nonprofits, media, philanthropy, and other relevant sectors.
  • Oversee a zoo-wide government affairs strategy to secure partnerships, funding and support for public-serving priorities such as educational programming, major repairs, improvements and operations, and conservation policy. Public campaigns for zoo-endorsed ballot measures may also be included in the legislative agenda .
  • Champion the zoo's conservation based brand identity, and assure its consistency across all external and internal communications.
  • Foster the zoo's values by overseeing internal communication of goals, plans and progress of various departments in support of the zoo’s mission, business plan and organizational culture.
  • Serve as the co-lead of the zoo’s Advancement division comprising Engagement and Development; in partnership with VP of Development, lead internal integration and external engagement to engender success of operational and comprehensive campaign revenue goals
  • Promote use of data and research to inform strategies, analyze trends, understand audiences, and increase impact of programs.
  • Engage in local and national thought leadership opportunities to advance the zoo’s reputation and positioning, including serving as an internal advisor. Support the President and CEO and VP of Development in developing strategies to further encourage Board member participation to achieve public and private support goals
  • Staff the board’s Public Affairs Committee, and provide periodic updates on this committee to the President and CEO, senior staff leadership, board chair, and members of the board of directors.
  • Provide strategic direction for zoo-wide access and community relations efforts in close collaboration with Learning & Innovation and People & Culture divisions
  • Provide oversight and direction for sustainable growth of membership revenue, retention and engagement, as well as their coordination with other departments that contribute to the membership vertical including relationship data services, admissions and others.
  • Provide oversight and direction for sustainable growth in sponsorship and corporate revenue, ensuring zoo-wide strategic relationship development and collaboration.
  • Identify key community partners and develop strategic cause marketing campaigns in partnerships with various community organizations.
  • Ensure the strategic vision becomes alive though the departmental operations processes and policies.
  • Identify the need for change, envision change, and empower employees as champions for change culture. Provide clear vision and communication regarding change.
  • Participate and/or initiate board interaction, such as presenting to the board, reporting updates as needed, attending board events, fundraising events, and supporting the mission and vision of the zoo.
  • Align decisions to the strategic and operational plans.
  • Perform other position-related duties, as applicable and/or assigned.


  • Master’s (M.S.) degree in arts, sciences, or a relevant business-related field from an accredited college or university and 10 or more years of directly relevant experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and maintaining relationships with external stakeholders, media partners and public officials on a local, regional, and/or national level, including an established network of contacts.
  • At least seven years of proven experience managing people and functional areas/departments.
  • Valid Washington State Driver’s License.
  • Ability to obtain registered lobbyist designation as needed.
  • Ability to gain an intimate understanding of the zoo, its mission, vision, values philosophies and how Engagement impacts the operations and long-term sustainability of the organization.
  • Must be comfortable working in a very mission- and values-driven environment, with a strong understanding of and appreciation for how the zoo’s mission relates to larger conservation issues.
  • Must be articulate, well-spoken and capable of effectively representing the zoo to various audiences, both within and outside of the organization; outstanding written communication skills and strong interpersonal and listening skills are also required.
  • Demonstrated track record of strategic, results-oriented decision making.
  • Ability to effectively integrate and coordinate a variety of disciplines.
  • Must have a high level of energy, be self-motivated and confident, and make strong, compelling presentations to diverse audiences.
  • Must be a team player with the ability to establish strong working relationships, both internally and externally, and work effectively with others throughout the institution.
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule, which may include evenings, weekends, and holidays.


  • This position may be required to lift up to 30lbs.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to perform essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to a typical office environment and/or outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

APPLICATION DIRECTIONS: Applications are accepted online through our Jobs Page ( or this posting. No other forms of application will be accepted. Cover letter and resume are required.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in employment on any basis including race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.

Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Req Number COM-19-00001  
EOE Statement Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in application and employment for any reason, including race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, age, disability or medical status including genetic information, and/or veteran’s status.

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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