Accreditation Commission

The role of the Accreditation Commission is to establish, uphold, and raise the standards of the association.  The Commission is tasked with reviewing applications for accreditation and certification, conducting interviews, identifying concerns, and evaluating all available information in order to make final decisions.  In addition, Commission members monitor accredited institutions and certified related facilities in between cycles, and provide mentoring, training and guidance. 

The Accreditation Commission consists of a Chairperson, eleven voting Commissioners, and four non-voting Advisors who specialize in the fields of operations, animal welfare and management, and veterinary medicine.  Commission members are required to maintain impartiality at all times and to take action based upon AZA standards and policies.  Appointees must actively serve as accreditation inspectors, must hold leadership roles at their institutions, and must be considered as experts in their fields.

Extraordinary Service to AZA

Service as a Commissioner or Commission Advisor requires countless hours evaluating voluminous materials, lengthy reports, agreements, policies, procedures, inventories, and standards. In addition, there are inspection-related duties, and attendance at exceptionally long meetings at which difficult decisions must be made that affect individuals, institutions, and AZA as an organization. Those who serve must fulfill these duties faithfully. Without their strong work ethic, willingness to scrutinize, dedication to fairness, and determination to apply our standards equally to all, the accreditation process could not exist. We owe all of them our thanks!

Although service on the Accreditation Commission is one of the most time and labor-intensive assignments in AZA, it continues to be an appointment highly sought by qualified colleagues.

Current Accreditation Commission

Here is the list of current Accreditation Commission members.

Past Commission Chairs

William G. Conway, ScD, New York Zoological Park (1974-1976)
Gary K. Clarke, Topeka Zoological Park (1976-1979)
Daniel Moreno, Cleveland Aquarium (1979-1981)
Palmer E. "Satch" Krantz, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (1981-1985)
David Zucconi, Tulsa Zoological Park (1985-1989)
George Felton, Jr., Greater Baton Rouge Zoo (1989-1992)
Ralph Waterhouse, Chaffee Zoological Gardens of Fresno (1992-1994)
Susan Engfer, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (1994-1996)
Clayton F. Freiheit, LHD, Denver Zoological Gardens (1996-1997)
Steve H. Taylor, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (1997-1999)
William R. Foster, DVM, Birmingham Zoo (1999-2000)
John D. Hewitt, IV, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (2000-2002)
Mary Healy, Sacramento Zoo (2002-2004)
Paula Schaedlich, National Aquarium in Baltimore (2004-2005)
Dennis E. Pate, Jacksonville Zoo (2005-2006)
Nancy McToldridge, Santa Barbara Zoo (2006-2008)
Bruce Bohmke, Woodland Park Zoo (2008-2010)
Ed Diebold, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden (2010-2011)
Don Moore III, PhD, Smithsonian National Zoo (2011-2012)
Gary Geddes, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek (2012-2013)
Jim Anderson, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo (2013-2015)
Chuck Wikenhauser, Milwaukee County Zoo (2015-2017)

Past Commissioners

Wilbur Amand, VMD, American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (1979-1982)
David Anderson, San Francisco Zoological Gardens (1987-1993)
Jim Anderson, Fort Wayne Children's Zoo (1995-2000, 2011-2017) 
Jackson Andrews, Tennessee Aquarium (2008-2014)
Edward D. Asper, Great Plains Zoo and Delbridge Museum (1987-1991, 2000-2002)
Barbara Baker, DVM, Pittsburgh Zoo and SPPG Aquarium (1988-1994, 1997-2000)
Robyn Barbiers, DVM, Lincoln Park Zoo (2006-2008)
Ilze Berzins, DVM, The Florida Aquarium (2004-2010)
William Boever, DVM, Saint Louis Zoological Park (1979-1981, 2002-2007)
Bruce Bohmke, Woodland Park Zoo (2004-2013)
Bill Bryant, DVM, Sedgwick County Zoo (2013-2019) *
Robert Bullermann, Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens (1981-1988)
Hayes Caldwell, Caldwell Zoo (1991-1998, 2015-2018) *
C.J. Casson, Seattle Aquarium (2011-2017, 2017-2020) *
Paul Chaffee, DVM, Fresno Zoo (1987-1990)
Joseph Choromanski, Ripley's Aquarium (1996-2001, 2005-2008)
Gary K. Clarke, Topeka Zoological Park (1974-1980)
William G. Conway, ScD, Bronx Zoo (1974-1979)
Gregg Dancho, Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo (2000-2006)
Ray Darnell, Albuquerque Biological Park (2002-2006)
Ed Diebold, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (2005-2014, 2017-2020) *
Craig Dinsmore, Utah's Hogle Zoo (2001-2007, 2008, 2015-2017)
Louis R. DiSabato, San Antonio Zoological Gardens and Aquarium (1976-1981)
Glenn Dobrogosz, Greensboro Science Center (2012-2018) *
Susan Engfer, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (1991-1996)
Nancy M. Falasco, Brandywine Zoo (1991-1999)
George Felton, Jr., BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo (1986-1992)
Jim Fleshman, Cameron Park Zoo (1999-2004, 2005)
William R. Foster, DVM, Birmingham Zoo (1994-2000)
Clayton F. Freiheit, Denver Zoological Gardens (1981-1987, 1991-1997, 2004-2007)
Gary Geddes, Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and Northwest Trek (2008-2014)
Gregory B. Geise, Binder Park Zoo (1980-1983)
Ronald Glazier, Seattle Aquarium (1983-1984)
Clinton Gray, DVM, National Zoological Park (1974-1978)
Perry Hampton, Aquarium of the Pacific (2014-2017) 
Mary Healy, Sacramento Zoo (2000-2006, 2009-2012)
John D. Hewitt, IV, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (1998-2007)
Gordon Hubbell, DVM, Miami Metrozoo (1985-1986)
Robert Jenkins, Steinhart Aquarium (2000-2004)
Stacey Johnson, Lehigh Valley Zoo (2006-2012)
Peter Karsten, The Calgary Zoo (1979-1981)
H. Doug Kemper, Jr., Seattle Aquarium (1979-1981)
Palmer E. "Satch" Krantz, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden (1979-1985)
Mervin W. Larson, Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (1974-1976)
Dwight Lawson, PhD, Oklahoma City Zoo (2012-2018) *
Gerald S. Lentz, Busch Gardens Tampa (1978-1983)
John Lewis, Los Angeles Zoo (1994-1997, 2005-2012)
David Lonsdale, John G. Shedd Aquarium (1993-1997)
J. Stephen McCusker, San Antonio Zoological Society (1989-1995, 2007-2010)
Edward McToldridge, Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens (1985-1991)
Nancy McToldridge, Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens (2002-2011, 2011-2017, 2017-2020) *
Thomas Meehan, DVM, Brookfield Zoo (2000-2006, 2010-2016) 
Jill Mellen, PhD, Disney's Animal Kingdom (2014-2016) 
Manuel A. Mollinedo, San Francisco Zoological Gardens (2001-2002)
Don Moore III, PhD, Smithsonian National Zoo (2006-2015)
Daniel H. Moreno, Cleveland Aquarium (1979-1981)
Mike Murray, DVM, Monterey Bay Aquarium (2008-2017, 2017-2020) *
Murray A. Newman, PhD, Vancouver Public Aquarium (1974-1978)
Jackie Ogden, PhD, Disney's Animal Kingdom (2010-2011)
Dennis E. Pate, Jacksonville Zoological Gardens (2000-2009)
Craig Piper, Wildlife Conservation Society (2017-2020) *
John H. Prescott, New England Aquarium (1981-1987)
Randy Rieches, San Diego Zoo Safari Park (2014-2017) 
Jim Robinett, John G. Shedd Aquarium (2005-2011, 2016-2017)  
Karen Sausman, Living Desert (1997-2000)
James Savoy, DVM, Phoenix Zoo (1982-1990)
Paula Schaedlich, National Aquarium in Baltimore (1999-2008)
Lee G. Simmons, DVM, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo (1991)
Pat Simmons, North Carolina Zoo (2013-2019) *
Brandie Smith, PhD, Smithsonian National Zoo (2017-2020) *
George Speidel, Sr., Milwaukee County Zoological Park (1974-1978)
Beth Stevens, PhD, Disney's Animal Kingdom (2000-2002)
Steve H. Taylor, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (1993-1999, 2000-2007)
Scott Terrell, DVM, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (2017-2020) *
Rich Toth, Audubon Nature Institute Downtown Facilities (2017-2020) *
Bob Truett, Birmingham Zoo (1974-1979)
John Walczak, Louisville Zoological Garden (2007-2013)
Ralph Waterhouse, Chaffee Zoological Gardens of Fresno (1988-1994)
John E. Werler, Houston Zoological Gardens (1981-1987)
Maylon White, North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island (2016-2019) *
Charles Wikenhauser, Milwaukee County Zoo (1983-1989, 2012-2018) *
Jeff Wyatt, DVM, Seneca Park Zoo (2007-2016, 2016-2019) *
Stephen R. Wylie, Kansas City Zoo (1998-2000)
David G. Zucconi, Tulsa Zoological Park (1981-1989)

* Current Commissioner or Advisor


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