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Oregon Zoo

Deputy Director of Animal Care

Position summary:

Metro is committed to ensuring the health and safety for our employees and our community. As a part of this commitment, Metro has implemented a vaccine requirement policy for employees, paid and unpaid interns and volunteers. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination is considered a minimum qualification requirement for Metro job applicants and this proof will be requested during the hiring process. View: Metro COVID-19 Vaccination policy (Download PDF reader) (Download PDF reader)

If you require an accommodation under this policy for a medical condition or disability, or sincerely held religious belief, please email 

The Oregon Zoo is looking for a Deputy Director of Animal Care. This position will lead a passionate and diverse team of animal care professionals, building and maintaining trust through a transparent and participatory decision making process. Collaborating with other leaders within the Oregon Zoo and throughout Metro Regional Government in order to meet the goals of the strategic plan and to create a cohesive team. If this sounds like you, Come be a part of our team! 

This position is responsible for the administrative, operational and planning functions of the animal care division of the Oregon Zoo. The deputy director coordinates the activities of animal care, health, and welfare including record keeping, veterinary care, research and conservation. This position plans, organizes, coordinates, assigns and evaluates the work of senior veterinarian, conservation and research manager, zoological curators, and the registrar. This position exercises considerable independent judgment within established guidelines and policies, with general direction from the zoo director to support the mission and strategic plan of the Oregon Zoo. Along with the deputy director of operations and the zoo director, represents the zoo at a public level.


  • Establishes, implements and monitors strategic direction, policies and procedures for the effective, efficient operation of the division;
  • Directs staff in their animal care and welfare, conservation, research, record keeping, and animal health activities; 
  • Collaborates with others to develop new, innovative means for care of the animal collection that is safe for animal care staff, animals, volunteers and visitors; 
  • Guides care of animals over their lifetime, including nutritional and social needs, husbandry, breeding, as well as the physical and mental health needs of individual animals within the zoo's animal population;
  • Develops division leadership team by setting clear expectations, providing direct constructive feedback and professional development opportunities and a culture of accountability;  
  • Directs the administrative functions, to include monitoring and preparing the division's budget, overseeing the maintenance of animal record keeping systems and government permits, staff recruitment and performance evaluations; 
  • Assures operations of the division are in compliance with all applicable laws, Animal Welfare Act standards, American Zoo and Aquarium Association accreditation standards and related policies, as well as occupational health and safety procedures and practices;
  • Oversees the administration of two collective bargaining agreements and resolves contract disputes in collaboration with Human Resources;
  • Establishes and facilitates employee development and training program to maximize success of employees;
  • Provides oversight of effective and ethical research use, while ensuring individual animal welfare;
  • Develops and implements long range animal collection plan based on zoo's strategic direction, animal care and welfare, education and conservation goals;
  • Oversees and monitors the activities of the conservation and research teams' programs to assure research and conservation efforts are aligned with the zoo's Integrated Conservation Action Plan (ICAP) and goals;
  • Supervises professional and technical positions with responsibility for promoting, transferring, assigning, evaluating performance, initiating salary action, handling grievances and discipline;
  • Represents the zoo to the public and media regarding significant animal events; 
  • Participates in fundraising activities in collaboration with Oregon Zoo Foundation, including donor cultivation tours to support zoo revenue goals; 
  • Directs division staff in the design process for new and renovated exhibits; 
  • Prepares and delivers formal and informal presentations to other zoo divisions, volunteer groups, zoo visitors and the public; 
  • Oversees animal acquisition and transfer practices to assure they are in accordance with established zoo policies and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association Policy on Responsible Population Management and AZA Animal Programs recommendations by Species Survival Plans, Taxonomic Advisory Groups and others;
  • Serves as acting zoo director as needed;
  • Performs related duties as assigned.


We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying unless an item or section is labeled required. Please be clear and specific about how your background is relevant.


  • A Bachelor’s Degree, or equivalent years of experience, in zoology, biology, wildlife management, animal science or a related field; 
  • Advanced degree preferred. 
  • Seven to ten years relevant experience in the following areas: 
    1. Supervisory experience; 
    2. Experience in animal management, preferably of a zoo collection, with experience in coordinating field conservation projects. 

(1) Complete the electronic application; and
(2) Answer the supplemental questions.

Additional Information

The job classification as a Deputy Director (click to read the full classification). Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.
Additional Information Related to COVID-19: The health and safety of our employees and community is a top priority for Metro. Employees will be required to follow all Metro COVID-related policies and procedures, which may meet or exceed guidelines set forth by the CDC, Oregon Health Authority, and other federal, state and local jurisdictions. Learn more at

Hello, we're Metro: Across greater Portland in 24 cities and three counties, there's one local government that brings us all together. Led by an elected council, Metro helps Oregonians shape the future and provides services that make life better today. Metro's work spans parks and nature, land and transportation, garbage and recycling, and arts and events. We help make greater Portland a great place to call home.


$133,700.00 - $193,877.00

How to Apply

Oregon Zoo
4001 SW Canyon Rd
Portland , OR 97221
Phone: (503) 226-1561

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