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Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Animal Programs Coordinator

About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Founded in 1924, and located in Silver Spring, MD, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the independent accrediting organization for the best zoos and the best aquariums in America and the world, assuring the public that when they visit an AZA-accredited facility, it meets the highest standards for animal care and welfare. The Association represents more than 240 facilities in the United States and overseas, facilitates cooperative animal care and conservation programs, and is dedicated to providing members with the resources they need to be the best in this profession (

AZA offers a positive work environment conducive to gaining beneficial career and networking experience. 

General Statement of Position

Under general supervision, manages, supports, and works to strategically increase the successful operation and management of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA’s) cooperatively managed Animal Programs, including Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs) and Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Programs. Facilitates the work of AZA members and Animal Programs in population management, which includes assisting the Animal Population Management and Aquatic Collections Sustainability Committees in meeting their strategic plan goals; increasing Program Leader training and support; assisting in population management-related research initiatives; coordinating departmental communication efforts; enhancing the functionality of AZA’s Animal Program databases; and attending and presenting at meetings and conferences to foster relationships with Animal Program participants.

Liaises with relevant Committees, Scientific Advisory Groups (SAGs), and Task Forces. Advances AZA’s cooperatively managed animal population initiatives by providing strong member services and resources to AZA’s members. This position reports to the Director of Population Management Strategy and is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

*Please note that all individuals hired by AZA must present documentation of FDA-approved COVID vaccination.

Essential Position Functions

  • Support and facilitate the work of the Animal Population Management Committee and the Aquatic Collections Sustainability Committee.
  • Assist in compiling, organizing, and analyzing data relevant to zoo and aquarium collections within AZA and the global zoological community, including querying online databases related to AZA Animal Programs, including the Animal Programs Database, the SSP Sustainability Database and Search Portal, and PMCTrack.
  • Facilitate SSP Sustainability Partner application and Government Partner review processes, and maintain Sustainability Partner Policy resources, including the application, FAQs, and Guidelines.
  • Coordinate the implementation of AZA’s accountability framework for Program Leaders and AZA member facilities, and explore effective ways to track and evaluate accountability.
  • Update and maintain Animal Program Handbooks and resources; maintain consistent communication with Animal Program Leaders, Institutional Liaisons (ILs), Institutional Representatives (IRs), related Committees, and the staff of the AZA Population Management and Reproductive Management Centers.
  • Manage initiatives to celebrate Animal Programs that effectively and successfully manage their programs, such as SSP Highlights in Connect, the SSP Sustainability Award, and the Program Leader service awards.
  • Strengthen communication and engagement of current and incoming member facilities with AZA Animal Programs by compiling and developing various resources and designing targeted webinars for the AZA community.
  • Coordinate the update and maintenance of departmental sections of the AZA website.
  • Maintain SOPs for the Animal Program databases and processes.
  • Assist with developing Program Leader and Institutional Collection Planning curricula and resources, as needed.
  • Participate in and contribute to research, publications, workshops, and meetings to enhance AZA’s cooperative Animal Program endeavors.
  • Work on special projects and provide other forms of support for AZA’s Animal Program needs as required

Required Qualifications:

Education and Work Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree and/or background in biology, or other related field required; Master’s Degree preferred.
  • Minimum 3-5 years of experience closely related to animal care, population management, or population sustainability.
  • Strong computer literacy; experience with database management, Microsoft suite, internet resources, and online databases a plus. Experience in Association Management Software preferred.
  • Statistical skills, including understanding of common statistical methodology, experience with large complex datasets, and familiarity with writing and collecting survey data required. Experience with R statistical software preferred.
  • Experience in other zoo and aquarium related sciences including but not limited to conservation, education, and social sciences is a plus.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Well-developed interpersonal skills; ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with staff and members of the AZA community.
  • Strong critical thinking and analytical skills, including ability to query, clean, organize, and interpret data.
  • Proficient written and verbal communication skills, including interpreting scientific information for external audiences and comfort with speaking publicly to a variety of audiences.
  • Strong ability to prioritize tasks and coordinate ongoing projects. Ability to think critically and demonstrated time-management skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Highly self-motivated, with the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Professional, positive, and enthusiastic demeanor


Starting salary is $51,500

How to Apply

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to by Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Silver Spring, MD

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