Inspector of the Year: Operations

Dwight Lawson, PhD, Executive Director/CEO, Oklahoma City Zoo

Dwight Lawson is the Executive Director/CEO of the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. Dwight and the OKC Zoo team are currently implementing an exciting new master plan, which includes the expansion of the zoo’s Asian elephant program, a new African savanna exhibit, and upgrades to visitor amenities throughout the park.  Dwight previously served as Chair of the Chelonian Advisory Group, and currently serves as Vice-President of the non-profit Turtle Survival Alliance. Dwight is a current AZA Accreditation Commissioner, and has participated as an accreditation inspector since 2002. Prior to joining the Oklahoma City Zoo, Dwight worked in several different roles at Zoo Atlanta, including Director, Senior Vice President of Collections, Education and Conservation, and General Curator. Dwight has a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s degree in biology and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington.  Dwight specialized in the taxonomy and ecology of African amphibians and reptiles and spent several years living and working in the rainforests of Cameroon.

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