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Director of Veterinary Services and Conservation Medicine

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society
West Palm Beach, United States Posted: June 17, 2024

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is committed to saving wildlife in wild places. Determined to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife, we’ve eliminated single-use plastic water bottles, straws, and bags from our retail areas.  We work with local conservation partners to participate in local fieldwork in Florida and assist with international conservation programs in Africa and Central America. At Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society, we embed diversity, inclusion, equity, and equality in everything we do. All our team members play a crucial role in saving wildlife.

How you will impact our wildlife-saving mission
  • The Director of Veterinary Services and Conservation Medicine is a critical member of Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society’s leadership team. 
  • While strengthening the Zoo’s role in wildlife conservation, this role will work closely with the General Curator to maintain a model for the highest animal care and wellbeing standard.
  • This position reports to the Chief Animal Conservation Officer, leading the Veterinary Services Department overseeing and developing conservation medicine, animal nutrition and wellbeing programs. 
  • The veterinary department consists of a second full-time clinical veterinarian, two veterinary technicians and a Nutrition and Hospital Operations Manager. 
  • The veterinary hospital and commissary are newer facilities in the Zoos' Center for Conservation Medicine building. 
  • The Director will take a leading role in building and shaping the veterinary support for Zoo’s conservation projects with a focus on the newly formed Jaguar conservation initiative, providing veterinary health assistance for conservation partners in Belize and enhancing clinical research for sustainable jaguar reproduction. 
Essential Position Functions
  • Provides comprehensive medical and surgical care to all animals in our care, including disease prevention and investigation (nutrition, pathology, aspects of management, etc.)
  • Oversees veterinary and nutrition team. Duties include mentorship, training and development, and performance management.
  • Collaborates with local and global conservation programs and other professional organizations.
  • Participates in habitat design, collection planning, acquisition, and transfer of zoo animals, establishing and communicating care parameters for newly acquired species.
  • Manages a comprehensive veterinary care program that meets or exceeds AZA, AAZV and USDA standards and guidelines while also maintaining medical records and other record management.
  • Creates and participates in scientific research and conservation projects to improve scientific understanding, human care, and conservation of wildlife.
  • Fosters and inspires open communication and a positive, supportive working environment.
  • Supports and participates in PBZ’s Animal Behavior and Wellness programs.
  • Participates in the education and management of invasive species on zoo grounds along with other conservation programs.
  • Oversees all regulatory, management, facility, budgetary, and other aspects of veterinary care.
Requirements and Technical Skills
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from an accredited School of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Board Certification in the American College of Zoological Medicine or in the process of attaining it.
  • Minimum of 8 years of experience as a licensed veterinarian along with experience managing medical staff
  • Minimum 5 years of zoological and aquatic medicine experience
  • Veterinary medical license in the state of Florida or obtain within 6 months of employment.
  • Ability to work early morning/late evening hours, weekends and holidays, and during weather emergencies as required.
  • Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Outlook, Excel) and experience with ZIMS.
  • Maintains active involvement in AAZV and other professional associations.
  • Strong leadership skills with previous experience managing/mentoring staff, volunteers and/or interns.
Skills and Competencies
  • Communication (oral and written) — Effectively expresses ideas verbally and non-verbally and actively listens to individuals and groups in a professional manner; prepares and focuses presentations to the characteristics and needs of the audience; strong writing and editing skills for a variety of audiences.
  • Professional/Technical Knowledge and Competency — Keeps informed of animal health and veterinary best practices and provides updated information to Chief Animal & Conservation Officer, veterinary staff, and zoologists.
  • Integrity/Trust — Maintains social, ethical, and organizational values and norms; builds trust and confidence with the staff and with internal and external customers; respects the confidentiality of personal and proprietary information.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Demonstrates behaviors that include fairness, respect, inclusiveness, empathy, integrity, and ethical conduct. Fosters a climate and culture in which each person is accepted and has the opportunity to grow and develop. Practices behaviors that promote diversity and inclusion in dealings with and on behalf of the Zoo, consistent with laws, regulations, and Zoo policies.
  • Planning and organizing —Sets priorities among competing requirements and allocates resources in the most efficient and effective way; develops contingency plans that anticipate changes in the work environment.
  • Coordinating — Organizes and moves a group of individuals and/or activities toward a common goal.
  • Customer Focus – Demonstrates courtesy, cooperation and friendliness with team members, volunteers, and guests. Actively listens, anticipates, and evaluates the customer’s needs. Ensures that customer satisfaction is a priority in all areas of responsibility.
  • Teamwork — Supports, facilitates, and participates in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrates sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and supports team goals.
What We Offer:
  • A competitive salary, commensurate with your skills and experience
  • An EXCELLENT benefits package (current year/plan), which includes:
  • 100% paid employee level coverage for designated medical & dental plan
  • 100% paid coverage for 100K of life insurance
  • 100% paid short-term disability
  • 100% paid long-term disability
  • 401K – Employer contributes 3% of your salary
  • Optional vision, accident and critical illness coverages available through pre-tax payroll deductions
  • Generous paid time off policy, Zoo Membership and FREE admission to other Florida Attractions!
  • Palm Beach Zoo offers a competitive salary and benefits package commensurate with candidate’s qualifications and experience. 
  • The position will be open until filled. 
  • We will contact qualified candidates whom we have chosen to move forward in the interview process.
  • Palm Beach Zoo is an equal opportunity employer and makes all employment decisions, including those related to recruitment, hiring, training and promotion without regard to race, religion, color, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.
Inclusion Diversity Equity and Access (IDEA) Commitment
  • Our Mission is to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife and the natural world.
  • We recognize that the only way to accomplish our mission is to include all people across all races, ethnicities, genders, ages, religions, mental/physical abilities, and sexual orientations.
  • Just as we value biodiversity, we recognize and appreciate the value of human diversity as being integral to our ability to connect with our visitors and the communities we serve.
Experience Required
  • 8 years as a licenses Vet and 5 years of zoological and aquatic medicine
  • Great benefits,
  • collaborative culture of conservation and positive growth
  • Commensurate with experience

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