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Woodland Park Zoo

Guest Engagement Manager

This position is responsible for the oversight and development of the overall zoo guest engagement experience and the alignment of volunteer and staff programming with the guest experience. The Guest Engagement Manager will conceptualize and direct the development, implementation and evaluation of a dynamic, accessible and inclusive slate of programs that utilize social science/behavior change science and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles to engage guests of all ages and abilities and drive the zoo’s strategic outcomes and impacts. This includes utilizing theory-informed and evidence-based interpretive platforms, content and programs that foster empathy, build conservation identity and engage and empower our audiences to save wildlife and their habitats. Specific program oversight includes volunteer docent programming and training, Zoomazium (early childhood programs) and other on-grounds guest engagement programs. This position will support staff and volunteers engaged in public programs ensuring that they are knowledgeable, informed on up-to-date zoo information and practices, able to best serve guest needs and forward our strategic initiatives.


  • Under direction of department leadership provide direction to create innovative, accessible, and culturally relevant guest engagement programming (volunteer/staff public programs, theater programs, keeper talks, etc.) for diverse audiences of all ages.
  • Manage and oversee all phases of the development and implementation of guest engagement programs.
  • Oversee all guest programming related training, including interpretive and other relevant training for staff and volunteers. Work with Learning Accessibility Specialist to ensure staff and volunteers are trained in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles.
  • Stay informed of new trends and research in behavior change, guest engagement, UDL design and inclusion best practices, and incorporate evidence-based methods into guest experiences.
  • Develop and integrate goals and outcomes related to diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the work.
  • Manage staff, including recruiting and hiring, develop work plans, conduct evaluations, address disciplinary concerns, and effectively train, develop, mentor and coach employees.
  • Serve on the department’s management team; work with other zoo managers and supervisors to ensure smooth, effective operations and programs to meet strategic plan goals.
  • Under the direction of department leadership, work with the development department to write grant proposals and reports; participate in fund-raising and donor cultivation efforts.
  • Develop and strengthen internal and external partnerships.
  • Research content and write articles, blog posts, fliers, publications, grant narrative information, communications/interpretive materials and other promotional and support materials and oversee similar staff efforts.
  • Collaborate with the zoo’s evaluation team to develop and implement comprehensive evaluation plans for assigned program and content area(s). Apply evaluation findings to achieve program improvements.
  • Develop and manage program and grant budgets, expenses and financial records.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • Graduate degree or equivalent background in environmental education and related interpretation, public programming/guest engagement, community engagement or related field of study and four (4) or more years’ related experience; and/or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Supervisory experience and ability in managing staff and operations of a work team and overseeing comprehensive program development, implementation and evaluation.
  • Experience engaging various audiences in informal learning environments and demonstrated ability to incorporate Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion into programming.
  • Ability to challenge current assumptions and push boundaries; able to imagine, explore and implement cutting edge and experimental programming that connects participants to the zoo’s mission.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to lead and motivate teams, bring in and support different perspectives, and to work with diverse populations and a variety of stakeholders (staff, volunteers, community members, donors, board members, educators, etc.)
  • Flexible and responsive with ability to prioritize workload and schedules in a fast-paced environment with multiple agendas
  • Ability to communicate complex information in a way that is understandable and engaging to broad audiences in varied settings.
  • Ability to evaluate problems and effectively solve them in a timely manner. Ability to respond to concerns with empathy and inclusivity.
  • Ability to delegate responsibilities, work with others and coach employees to develop their full potential.
  • Ability to provide helpful, behaviorally specific feedback to others. Ability to meet regularly with employees to review their development progress and express confidence in their abilities to be successful.
  • Ability to ensure strategic vision becomes alive through the departmental operations processes and policies.
  • Dedicated to shared and measurable goals for the common good by creating, resourcing, scaling, and leveraging strategies and innovations for broad investment and impact.
  • Excellent critical thinking and organizational skills


This position may be required to life and/or move up to 30 pounds. Reasonable accommodations may be made to perform essential functions.


While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to a typical office environment and/or outdoor weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Want to know more? Read the full job description here! 

Applicants must be at least 18 years old. A criminal background check will be required of the selected applicant. 

Woodland Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer, dedicated to a policy of non-discrimination in application and employment for any reason, including race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, national origin, age, disability or medical status including genetic information, and/or veteran’s status. 

Woodland Park Zoo is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in all of its services. If you need accommodation in the application or interview process, please contact our recruiting team at

How to Apply

Application Directions: Applications are accepted online through our Jobs Page at; no other forms of application will be accepted. Cover letter and resume are required. 

Woodland Park Zoo
5500 Phinney Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103

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