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The Wilds

Vice President of The Wilds

Directs the day-to-day operation of the Wilds and ensures fiscal sustainability of the organization while pursuing its mission.




  • Responsible for animal management, veterinary services, wildlife and restoration ecology, education, visitor operations and facilities maintenance of the 10,000 acre conservation science center.
  • Ensures adequate and appropriate accounting and controls for funds, physical assets and other property; understands and implements adequate safety and risk management requirements and controls for the organization.
  • Demonstrates strategic vision and exceptional leadership skills in working with senior Zoo leadership, Board members, staff and other key constituents to determine long-term goals, short and long-range implementation plans and to follow through on successful delivery.
  • Builds a positive working relationship with the Wilds Committee members, tapping the potential of direct relationships and supporting the Committee to fulfill its governance and fundraising functions.
  • Works closely with the Philanthropy Department and the Wilds Committee to sustain and grow funding, while establishing new relationships and engagement opportunities with prospective donors to increase the organization’s resources and donor pool.
  • Oversees the development of the budget and works within budgetary constraints to effectively deliver core programs.
  • Attends Zoo Sr. Team meetings and ensures that senior Zoo leadership are regularly informed on the organization’s financial status through proper and timely financial reporting.
  • Plans, assigns and reviews work of, acts on disciplinary problems, completes performance reviews, recommends salary increases, recommends disciplinary actions when appropriate, interviews candidates for hire, and prepares formal long-range plans of employees.
  • Actively expands awareness and impact of the Wilds by serving as the primary spokesperson for the organization; ensuring that its programs are consistently presented in a strong, positive image.
  • Builds collaborative relationships with local community and clearly articulates its mission, vision, programs and local impact to gain local support.
  • Establishes and maintains good working relationships among the zoological communities both nationally and internationally.
  • Constantly strives to further the mission of the organization and avidly supports the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay and Safari Golf Club.
  • Implements sustainable practices in daily tasks whenever possible.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Experience Required

Bachelor’s degree in related field required. Master’s degree or Ph.D. in related field preferred. Minimum of five years of relevant senior-level leadership experience in a conservation-related organization required. Experience and interest in field research, in situ/ex situ conservation or habitat restoration preferred. Knowledge/skill in fiscal management; facilities management, conservation research, animal management, fund raising and guest relations required. Ability in representing the employer before a variety of external venues such as but not limited to public events; media outlets; political entities; and law enforcement required. Proven success in dynamically building widespread support for a non-profit organization required. Strong history successfully developing staff required. Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends and holidays required. Ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing required. Ability to plan strategically and organize business plan in an efficient, cost-effective and collaborative manner required. Ability to provide excellent guest service by positively interacting with guests and donors required. Ability to develop and maintain strong working relationships with team members across the entire Zoo organization and contacts regarding company business required. Ability to adhere to standard operating procedures including but not limited to safety protocols required. Possession of a valid Ohio motor vehicle operator’s license and a good driving record required within three months of placement in position. Proof of negative TB screening prior to placement and annually thereafter required. Ability to be surety bonded upon placement into position and ability to retain bonding throughout tenure in position. Ability to adhere to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s drug-free workplace policy including but not limited to pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion and follow-up treatment required. Ability to successfully complete a criminal history background check annually required.

How to Apply

Apply online at: 

The Wilds
14000 International Road
Cumberland, OH 43732
Fax: 6147243599

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