Director of Animal Collections




Organization: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (AZA Member)
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is seeking qualified applicants to join our Animal Department in a full-time Leadership position as our Director of Animal Collections. This is a key, visible leadership position that requires a motivated, dedicated team player who is willing to make a significant commitment to the organization. This requires a tactful individual with strong problem solving, decision making and leadership skills, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with all levels of staff. Successful candidates will demonstrate the following leadership attributes: You Model the example for others to follow; You Inspire others to work towards an exciting future and shared vision; You Challenge yourself and others to look for innovative ways to improve the organization; You Foster collaboration and trust and build spirited teams; You Recognize contributions and celebrate accomplishments. Position Summary: Reporting to the VP/Chief Operating Officer, this position is responsible for promoting the mission of the CZBG and directing all aspects of the daily operations of the Animal Department. The Director will be an integral member of the CZBG management team and will be responsible for demonstrating a strong, consistent and positive leadership direction to the entire department. The Director will be responsible for upholding and maintaining the CZBG’s tradition of excellence in animal care and husbandry, exhibitory, and guest experience; interfacing with appropriate departments and divisions as the principal representative and advocate for the Animal Department; and providing leadership to AZA conservation programs. Develops short-term and long-term department collection goals and strategies, and makes recommendations to Zoo administration regarding collection composition, organization, exhibit concepts, design, construction, and presentation, and relevance to overall Zoo objectives, conservation directives, and mission statement.Responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to: • Development and implementation of animal husbandry programs consistent with outstanding professional standards of care• Directs the acquisition, disposition and care of the Zoo’s animal collection, including permit applications and animal transports. Develops and administers the CZBG collection plan.• Direct supervision and evaluation of curatorial staff including the animal records manager, day-to-day supervision of animal management operation; provide overall leadership and direction of entire Animal Department staff. • Responsible for ensuring compliance with the safety policies and procedures; ensuring all employees work in a safe manner, with appropriate protective equipment, and that all accidents and hazards within area of responsibility are promptly investigated and corrective action taken.• Develop new exhibit ideas and suggest upgrades and improvements for existing exhibits. Participate as a member of exhibit/project design teams to insure that proposed designs of animal facilities are appropriate and acceptable for the animal collection, and oversee acclimatization of animals to those exhibits and holding areas.• Assure compliance with relevant local, state, federal, and international wildlife and animal welfare regulations. • Represent, as required, CZBG in local, regional, national, and international professional activities• Responsible for the preparation, presentation and administration of the department budget to achieve financial goals. • Formally disseminate information to animal department staff via setting up and chairing keeper meetings, developing orientation programs, and providing feedback on job performance in an effort to keep lines of communication between staff and keepers as open as possible.• Participate in and provide leadership to AZA conservation programs (e.g., SSPs and TAGs) and be involved with other conservation organizations as necessary for the betterment of the animal department and CZBG.• Collaborates, as needed, with other departments and appropriate management staff in support of Zoo-wide visitor engagement activities. • Manages the selection of personnel, scheduling of department staff; reviews and evaluates staff performance, coaches corrective behavior and reports issues related to discipline, per Zoo protocols.Minimum Qualifications: • Bachelors degree in biology, zoology, or related field required• 10 years of relevant experience as a Curator in a zoological institution or similar animal care facility, with progressive experiences as an animal keeper, Head Keeper/Lead required• Practical experience in managing an animal collection and animal care staff are essential• Equivalent combinations of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job will be considered• A proven background in animal management, with extensive experience caring for, breeding and exhibiting a wide variety of species in a zoo setting, is essential.• Relevant experience in operant conditioning, positive reinforcement, behavioral training, and enrichment preferred.• Must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license and be insurable through the Zoo’s carrier.Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: • Knowledge/familiarity with AZA accreditation standards, code of ethics and representative husbandry standards. Familiar with AZA or other captive population management programs.• Proficiency with Microsoft Office products• Ability to effectively communicate with all staff levels, Board, senior and middle management, union, staff, donors and volunteers• Demonstrated knowledge of regulatory requirements (e.g., USDA, FWS & AZA guidelines) relating to the care and keeping of animals in captivity. Demonstrated ability to translate/interpret laws, rules, regulations and practices to convey an appropriate course of action.• Analytical, interpersonal, public relations, presentation, and communications skills (verbal and written). • Requires an individual who is highly professional, motivated, persistent, and helpful, who is able to gain cooperation through expertise, credibility, and building positive working relationships• Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as part of a team; Demonstrated sensitivity to the “Mission” of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical GardenWorking Conditions: Employment is contingent upon passing a post-offer, pre-employment drug & nicotine screen and background check. While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to stand, walk, and utilize manual dexterity to use computer mouse and keyboard and other office equipment. The incumbent is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions and must be able to lift/move/carry up to 50 pounds without assistance. Requires a valid driver’s license and be insurable through the Zoo’s carrier. The ability to work a flexible schedule, including holiday and weekend hours is required. Zoo Benefits: This position is full-time, overtime-exempt, and subject to the successful completion of a 180-day probationary period. This position is not represented by a bargaining union and is eligible for the Zoo’s benefit programs for non-union employees. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers a comprehensive benefits package including affordable medical, dental & vision coverage; 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; generous paid time off (vacation, holiday and sick leave); company-paid disability & life insurance; park discounts and free passes.To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must apply via our online application on our website at http://cincinnatizoo.org/about-us/job-opportunities/. Cover letter and resume, and contact information for three (3) references should be included in your online application.Founded in 1873 and officially open in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the second oldest Zoo in the United States. Rated by peer zoological parks as one of the best zoos in the nation, the Cincinnati Zoo continues to set the standard for conservation, education and preservation of wild animals and wild spaces. Over 1.2 million people visit the Zoo annually. The Zoo features more than 500 animal and 3,000 plant species, making it one of the largest Zoo collections in the country. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was rated the #1 attraction in Cincinnati and one of the top five zoos in the nation by Zagat Survey. It has also been recognized by Child Magazine as one of "The 10 Best Zoos for Kids." The Zoo is an accredited member of the American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA), and is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants, and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide.To learn more about our organization, please visit us at www.cincinnatizoo.org. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer and does not and will not discriminate against any applicant or employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or other protected status.