Director of Sustainability R & D


The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has launched a new initiative called the Center for Species Conservation. The Center will be an integral part of AZA with three primary areas of activity: Saving species in the wild and in zoos and aquariums, engaging people in conservation action, and conducting research and development projects to increase species sustainability and to strengthen the effectiveness of AZA member institutions in engaging people in conservation.


Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Conservation & Education, the Director of Sustainability Research & Development manages and supports programs in AZA’s Center for Species Conservation. The Director of Sustainability R & D will assist in work to: build the long-term sustainability of selected species in zoos and aquariums and the wild; develop policies and methods for increasing species sustainability and the success of public engagement in conservation action; and, increase recognition of the AZA community for its conservation and science education accomplishments.


  • Conducts analyses and assessments and develops reports and recommendations to improve the sustainability of AZA’s Species Survival Plans and the success of related animal population management methods and practices, with a primary focus on species selected for the sustainability R & D work of the Center for Species Conservation.
  • Contributes to the building of partnerships between AZA institutions, and with like-minded NGOs and agencies, to increase AZA-wide success in saving species and engaging people in conservation action.
  • Works to expand AZA institutions’ direct involvement in field conservation and support for conservation projects conducted by selected AZA partners.
  • Assists in developing public conservation policies that facilitate building sustainable populations in zoos and aquariums and in the wild and support the conservation and education work of AZA’s member institutions.
  • Assists in writing and developing grant proposals and research to quantify the learning that occurs in AZA institutions and methods for using this information to increase their science education impact and effectiveness in engaging people in conservation action.
  • Develops plans and preparations, and coordinates workshops, white papers, publications, and communications that engage the Center for Species Conservation’s Advisors in strategic planning and leadership positions on a range of topics related to best practices in zoos and aquariums and issues of importance to the AZA community.
  • Participates in research and contributes to publications that increase public recognition of the AZA community’s work in conservation and science education.
  • Assists in developing and monitoring budgets and long-range plans and the preparation of Board reports, communications, reports, and presentations on the Center’s work for AZA Committees, IUCN/SSC, CBSG, WAZA, and others.
  • Provides reviews of appropriate content and scientific accuracy for other AZA departments and their related Committees as needed
  • Works on special projects and provides other forms of support for AZA’s conservation action and public engagement programs as required.


  1. Skill in critical thinking, research and analysis, and interpreting scientific information for diverse audiences.
  2. Demonstrated skill in planning, organizing, coordinating, and implementing projects, meetings, and workshops.
  1. Accomplished in scientific and creative writing.
  1. Skill in orally communicating information and giving presentations at meetings and conferences.
  1. Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships and rapport with professional staff at all levels, the public, AZA members, and others.
  1. Ability to travel and participate in meetings and planning workshops as needed.


  1. Master’s Degree in conservation-related Biological Science required.
  2. A minimum of five years’ experience directly related to wildlife and habitat conservation and the management of zoological populations, and a deep familiarity with the practices and management of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums.
  1. Demonstrated strengths in scientific writing, the development of logic models and grant proposals, and the organization of meetings and workshops
  1. Computer literacy and proven, advanced experience with Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint programs required.

How to apply

Send Cover letter and CV to:

Paul J. Boyle, Senior V. P., Conservation & Education
Association of Zoos & Aquariums

Silver Spring, Maryland
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA)
Paul J. Boyle

8403 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD, 20910, US