Roger Williams Park Zoo announces new Executive Director

The Rhode Island Zoological Society Board of Trustees on Tuesday announced Stacey Johnson as the new Executive Director of the Roger Williams Park Zoo, following a national search.
“Stacey brings experience, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to the Zoo. He exemplifies all the qualities we were looking for; he is the right person to lead this institution into an exciting future as we begin our 150th anniversary in 2022,” said Patrick LeBeau, Chairman of the Zoo’s Board of Trustees.

Johnson began his 30-year career as a zookeeper and worked his way to progressively higher levels of responsibility in education at Busch Gardens, in animal management as a curator for ZOOWORLD, Palm Beach Zoo and Forth Worth Zoo, and in zoo administration, having served successfully as executive director for Lehigh Valley Zoo and CEO of The Living Desert Zoo and Garden.

Johnson’s most recent role was Director of Conservation Science Operations for San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG). Among varied responsibilities, he led the Northern White Rhinoceros Initiative, managed the post-doctoral fellowships program, headed SDZG’s delegation to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and guided the Biodiversity Banking and Beckman Center for Conservation Science Operations teams.

His field conservation experience includes camera trapping jaguars in México; working with Pecos pupfish in Texas; and coordinating a portion of a brown bear study in Alaska.

“My vision for the 21st Century Zoo is that it is a treasured community asset that offers wholesome, fun experiences and guides public opinion toward active coexistence with nature and natural processes. I look forward to being part of the Roger Williams Park Zoo community, “said Johnson.

Johnson is active in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, being past chair of its Animal Population Management Committee. He serves as Jaguar Species Survival Plan Coordinator and Studbook Keeper. Johnson is a past member of the Ethics Board, Accreditation Commission, Felid Taxon Advisory Group and past chair of the Bear Taxon Advisory Group.

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