Director of Animal Programs

Organization: National Aviary (AZA Member)
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, Country
Job or Internship: Job

The Director of Animal Programs manages all aspects of animal care and husbandry including keeper and commissary staff supervision, exhibit design and maintenance, acquisition and disposition of specimens, recordkeeping, and compliance with all government permitting and AZA requirements.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

• Responsible for collection planning and management including but not limited to: acquisition and disposition; transportation of animals; determining animal placement in exhibits; overseeing breeding programs and ongoing behavioral enrichment programs; and oversight of animal care, feeding and sanitation, including those animals used in education and interactive experiences.

• Oversee all aspects of personnel management for the Animal Programs Department including but not limited to hiring and training employees and interns, planning, scheduling, assigning and directing work; appraising performance and preparing annual performance evaluations; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints; and, resolving problems.

• Create and manage the annual Department operating and capital budgets.

• Manage Department staff to ensure that they adhering to the highest standards of animal husbandry and sanitation.

• Oversee ongoing training and development of animal care staff. Ensure that staff development activities are in compliance with organization human resource guidelines.

• Maintain exhibits and upgrade as appropriate, including design, construction, and horticulture.

• Maintain an adequate inventory of commissary food and supplies.

• Work closely with the Director of Education to ensure that all exhibit signage accurately represents the taxonomy and origins of the exhibit species.

• Work closely with the Director of Veterinary Services to develop and employ sound medical programs for the collection, including diet formulation, preventative medicine, testing and quarantine, and healthcare.

• Obtain and disseminate relevant ornithological and aviculture information on the collection.

• Supervise registrar activities, including daily reports, treatment logs, and other activity records.

• Act as the institution’s liaison with federal, state and local regulatory bodies. Maintain necessary permits.

• Act as the institution’s primary representative with the AZA and other pertinent professional organizations.


• A Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Zoology, or a related field.

• A minimum of 5 years of experience in at a zoological facility, with at least three years in a management position with supervisory and budgetary responsibilities.

• Must have the ability to communicate effectively - verbally and in writing - in English in public and in professional settings.

• Must be a leader and a consensus builder, within the National Aviary and with outside organizations.

• Excellent organizational and management skills.

• Commitment to the mission of the National Aviary.

Work Environment

• Physical demands - The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to sit and stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move items of up to fifty pounds.

• Work environment - The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Climate controlled office environment, bird holding areas and public visiting areas where the noise level in the work environment may be loud. This position requires working as specific projects dictate, sometimes Monday through Friday, on weekends and holidays and evenings.

The above job duties and responsibilities designated as essential job functions are subject to reasonable accommodation. All job requirements listed indicate the minimum level of knowledge, skill and/or ability deemed necessary to perform the job proficiently. This job description is not to be construed as an exhaustive statement of duties, responsibilities or requirements. Employees may be required to perform any job-related instructions as requested by their supervisor, subject to reasonable accommodation.

Reply to