AZA News Releases

Peggy Sloan, Shedd Aquarium Executive, Sworn-In as New Chair of the Board at Association of Zoos and Aquariums

SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is announcing the swearing-in of Peggy Sloan, Chief Animal Operations Officer at John G. Shedd Aquarium, as the new Chair of the AZA Board of Directors.

“Peggy is an insightful, capable leader with a clear passion for protecting wildlife and wild places. Her experience in aquarium affairs and dedication to serving the AZA community makes her well-suited for this important position,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “I look forward to working with Peggy as we continue to advance the aquarium and zoo profession.”

Shedd Aquarium's Peggy Sloan speaks at AZA's September conference in Seattle, Washington.
Shedd Aquarium's Peggy Sloan speaks at AZA's September conference in Seattle, Washington.

As Chair of the Board, Sloan, along with three other executive officers and nine Board members, will be involved in every aspect of the national organization, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare, and conservation. Each year, AZA’s 233 accredited facilities collectively contribute $220 million to field conservation projects that help to protect species across the world, serve more than 195 million visitors, welcome more than 12 million students on educational field trips, contribute $22.5 billion to the U.S. economy and support 208,000 jobs.

“At a time when the world is experiencing unprecedented, massive species extinctions and the public’s connection with nature is weakening, the accredited zoo and aquarium community may be the world’s best defense at safeguarding wildlife while connecting and motivating people from all walks of life to join us,” said Sloan. “As a community dedicated to saving species, it’s up to us to work together and put our incredible passions and dedication to the test to find real solutions that make significant impacts in animal welfare, conservation and public education. I believe AZA is the vehicle that can get us where we strive to be, and it is an honor to serve as the Association’s new Board Chair.”

As Shedd Aquarium’s Chief Animal Operations Officer, Sloan provides strategic oversight and leadership for Shedd’s animal care and welfare, veterinary health and on-site animal science teams, including the aquarium’s dive safety program and animal rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Before coming to Shedd in 2018, she spent seven years providing executive oversight of operations and finances for the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, one of three state-owned aquariums governed by the state’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Before her selection as director, she served as the aquarium’s education curator for nine years. Sloan has also led education programs at Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Fla., and the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Fla. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Richard Stockton State College and her master’s in Marine Biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors for 4 years, Sloan has served on AZA’s Aquarium Affairs Special Committee since 2012 and serves as a board liaison on the Field Conservation Committee.


About Shedd Aquarium

The John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago sparks compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world. Home to 32,000 aquatic animals representing 1,500 species of fishes, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, birds and mammals from waters around the globe, Shedd is a recognized leader in animal care, conservation education and research. An accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and the first U.S. aquarium awarded the Humane Conservation™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals by American Humane, Shedd is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, and supported by the people of Chicago, the State of Illinois and the Chicago Park District.

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and eight other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

Posted by Ashley Jones at 10:00 AM
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