Job Description: 

Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, education, and guest experience. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. We provide extraordinary experiences every day for our animals and visitors and our core values of Protect, Honor, Innovate, Serve, Engage, and Empower are evident in everything we do.  We value the different strengths our staff bring to Denver Zoo. We expect our staff to embrace and to commit to our core behaviors for engagement: Passion, Respect, Innovation, Diversity, and Excellence.

Denver Zoo’s Learning Experiences & Guest Engagement Department has an opportunity for a full time Director of Conservation Leadership Programs. This newly created position will focus on conservation-leadership development with teens and adult audiences by building programs that promote individual voice, conservation ethic and community leadership and actively seeking partnerships with key stakeholders that contribute to the zoo’s educational mission.

Areas of Responsibility

In this role, you will:

  • Provide strong, strategic leadership and vision to the Conservation Leadership Team.  Motivates, teaches, encourages and creates a collaborative and creative learning environment that encourages employee growth.
  • Lead the team in development and communication of a strategic vision and long-range plan. This strategy should target a cohesive programmatic pipeline that attracts new and diverse audiences, leads to deeper audience engagement and results in greater shared impacts.
  • Oversee the Teen Programs team (3) actively providing feedback and direction to current programming (Zoo Crew, High School Intern Program, Teen Advisory Council and Career Events) while developing and advancing a broader cohesive vision for Conservation Leadership programs, including increased opportunities for teen hands-on engagement and leadership in community-based and zoo-led conservation initiatives.
  • Oversee the Graduate & Adult Programs team (2) actively supporting the team in oversight and implementation of the Advanced Inquiry Master’s Program (AIP) and in the establishment of new programming aimed at increasing adult engagement with Denver Zoo.  Support students in an advisory capacity and/or facilitate courses as needed. Lead engagement of the Graduate & Adult Programs team in developing a broader cohesive vision for Conservation Leadership programs, including increased opportunities for AIP student and alumni, and adult engagement and leadership in community-based and zoo-led conservation initiatives. Supports team in maintaining and further strengthening the existing relationships with Project Dragonfly staff at Miami University and with other Master’s Institutions under the AIP umbrella.
  • Lead the Conservation Leadership team, in partnership with Audience Research & Evaluation staff, to develop comprehensive evaluation strategies for assessment of long term impacts of programming and partnerships upon the individuals and communities served.
  • In partnership with the Vice President for Learning & Engagement (VP) and other departmental Directors, provide overall, vision, leadership and direction for department, ensuring effective coordination and communication within the department and across teams.
  • Actively partner with the VP and other departmental Directors collaborating with Development staff in securing funding in support of Conservation Leadership programs and overall zoo education programming.
  • Serve as Denver Zoo’s primary representative for the Metro Denver Nature Alliance, a growing coalition of non-profit, government, research and private sector partners seeking to align nature-based efforts to ensure more equitable access to nature and to promote healthy people, communities and natural places.
  • Actively partner and collaborate with internal partners, with a focus on Field Conservation and External Relations, to ensure cohesion of work plans and strategies that strengthen all teams and associated impacts.
  • Refine and enhance the functions of the Conservation Leadership team, placing an emphasis on teamwork, departmental cooperation, forward planning, effective budgeting and enhanced productivity.
  • Assume responsibility for the preparation and justification of the annual budget for the Conservation Leadership Team and maintains strict fiscal budgetary control over the team’s budget expenditures.
  • Participate in strategic short and long range planning.
  • Adhere to and promotes Denver Zoo’s mission, core values, and strategic initiatives.
  • Value and consistently apply Denver Zoo's ROADMAP (Reaching Our Audiences by Developing Mission Aligned Programs) process and resources in engaging and educating guests at Denver Zoo.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to Denver Zoo’s Safety and Sustainability Policies by adhering to all environmental, safety, and health regulations, procedures, and goals
  • BA in Education, Biology, Environmental/Natural Sciences, Public Administration or related discipline. An advanced degree is preferable.
  • At least five years professional experience in non-formal/formal environmental or science education in a zoo/museum/related setting.
  • At least five years’ experience in a professional management or administrative position in a large, labor intensive organization.
  • Exceptional leadership skills and demonstrated ability to foster teamwork within and across teams, and across multiple disciplines.
How To Apply

Completed applications must be submitted by April 16, 2018

Denver Zoo reserves the right to close the position prior to the above date.

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer



Please apply through


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