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Milwaukee County Zoo

Executive Director Milwaukee County Zoo

Milwaukee County, WI seeks an inspiring, visionary and innovative Zoo Director with team leadership skills to guide the Milwaukee County Zoo to its greatest potential and impact. The Milwaukee County Zoo was established in 1892. It has been a continually accredited institutional member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums since 1976. It is the largest cultural attraction in Wisconsin with an annual attendance of over 1.2 million visitors. It most recently was awarded the 2018 Governor’s Tourism Stewardship Award for its ongoing sustainability and conservation efforts. The Zoo is a certified Travel Green Wisconsin destination and committed to contributing an equivalent of 3 percent of its operating budget toward conservation and research efforts through field conservation, education, staff programs and green practices.  Milwaukee County Zoo is home to more than 2,200 animals representing 225 species. The Zoo’s mission is to inspire public understanding, support and participation in global conservation of animal species and their environment by creating a unifying bond between our visitors and the living earth and provide an environment for personal renewal and enjoyment for our guests. The Zoo is committed to providing the best welfare and management for the animals in its collection.

The Zoo Director reports to the County Executive as a department head. This position directs the planning of all zoo programs and exhibits and oversees and manages all zoo activities and operations. The Zoo is organized into four divisions: Animal Management & Health, Administration, Finance & Operations, Buildings & Grounds and Marketing & Communications.  The position is also responsible for maintaining AZA accreditation. The Zoo Director is the primary liaison to the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, the Zoo’s nonprofit partner. The 2021 budgeted total expenditures for the Zoo are over $24 million. There are 200 employees budgeted for 2021  including mostly full-time, but also seasonal staff. 


  • Operations, services and activities of a comprehensive zoological & aquarium program
  • Program development and administration
  • Zoo & aquarium exhibit planning, design and construction
  • Principles of animal welfare
  • Principles and procedures for caring for the zoo’s animal collection
  • Governmental agency budget preparation and administration
  • Principles of supervision, training and performance evaluation
  • Pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes and regulations


  • Plan, organize, direct and coordinate the work of lower level staff
  • Select, direct, train and evaluate staff
  • Direct the planning of zoo & aquarium exhibits
  • Oversee the expansion of zoo & aquarium facilities
  • Analyze and assess programs, policies and operational needs and make appropriate adjustments
  • Identify and respond to sensitive community and organizational issues, concerns and needs
  • Develop and administer department goals, objectives and procedures
  • Prepare administrative reports
  • Administer large and complex budgets
  • Analyze problems, identify alternative solutions, project consequences of proposed actions and implement recommendations in support of goals
  • Research, analyze and evaluate new service delivery methods and techniques
  • Interpret and apply Federal, State and local policies, laws and regulations
  • Communicate clearly and concisely
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of work


Experience Required

MINIMUM EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in zoology, biology, business administration or public administration; and five (5) years of managerial experience in the operation and maintenance of zoological or aquarium programs.


County Executive Compensation Plan

How to Apply

To apply, follow the link below to the Milwaukee County Human Resources application site.

Milwaukee County Zoo
10001 West Bluemound Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226

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