Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.




Executive Director of Operations Bronx, NY

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) world-renowned Bronx Zoo seeks an Executive Director of Operations and Facilities (ED). The Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States and among the largest in the world. Opened to the public in 1899 by the New York Zoological Society, today the Bronx Zoo is home to more than 6,000 animals representing 780 species, and it welcomes approximately 2M visitors each year. The Zoo encompasses 265 acres of park lands and naturalistic habitats, and includes over 100 buildings, including seven with National Historic Landmark status, as well as a major cogeneration plant that supplies heat and electricity to the entire campus.

The Bronx Zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and one aquarium managed by WCS and accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. This system of zoos and aquarium relies on a close and vital partnership with the City of New York. The City, through its Department of Cultural Affairs, provides part of the annual operating support for the Bronx Zoo, and the city also provides significant funding for physical plant improvements.

The ED reports to WCS’ Executive Vice President and General Director of the Zoos & Aquarium. The ED manages an $18 million budget and oversees the departments of Operations (including the carpentry, electric, machine, and plumbing shops); Maintenance; Horticulture; Pest Control; and Cogeneration, encompassing approximately 100 total staff, almost all of them union members.

With a complex campus and  buildings of varying ages and uses, the operations and maintenance of the Bronx Zoo pose constant challenges. The role offers a versatile and talented leader the excitement of no one day being the same as the last. It calls for deft decision-making, careful resource management, and proven skills in collaborative team management.

WCS’s wildlife parks and staff are recognized as world leaders in animal care, environmental education, and exhibit design. Millions of New York schoolchildren are introduced to wildlife science and conservation through the park’s and school-based programs. The Zoo also works to save a selected set of threatened and endangered species and rescue those that are on the brink of extinction through captive breeding programs.

WCS also operates a renowned field conservation program, working in more than 60 countries to save wildlife and wild places. Collectively, the entire organization, with an annual budget of $280M is unique in its role and stature as a leading zoological and educational enterprise. It is a major New York cultural institution serving millions of visitors annually and a global conservation organization with an unrivaled emphasis on science and field work.

This search is being led by Natalie Leonhard with Julie Yermack.

WCS 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 future team members who share that same value. EOE/AA/M/F/Vets/Disabled.


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