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Director, Primates

Brookfield Zoo Chicago
Brookfield, United States Posted: June 06, 2024

Brookfield Zoo’s Animal Care and Programs unit has undergone a reorganization which has resulted in staff promotions and opened up several director positions.  With the new institutional master plan nearing completion, we are preparing to undertake a series of large projects over the next decade.

  • Opening in Spring 2025, the new $66 million Tropical Forests habitat will offer the first peek at the big things to come at Brookfield Zoo Chicago.
  • The nearly three acres of outdoor space will feature dynamic environments, providing wildlife increased variety and choice.
  • Guests will have direct views into the Gorilla Conservation Center with a state-of-the-art learning space area for the public.
  • It's the first phase in our goal to provide the animals in our care with the most modern and enriching environments and engage more guests with greater accessibility to the wonders of wildlife.
  • Our Primate Department is currently at the center of some of the first projects and we are looking for a person to help lead that effort.
  • Included in that change is the construction of a $66 million primate complex that includes four substantial outdoor exhibits for gorillas, orangutans, and South American primates.
  • The project also includes a new gorilla holding facility that will accommodate both a family and a bachelor group.
  • The successful candidate for this position will be involved in the completion of the project as well as the repurposing of the current exhibits.
  • The new facilities will provide an opportunity for collection growth and development.
  • This position will also be responsible for the development and management of our primate focused conservation programs.
  • Our talented Primate staff is eager to further develop their skills with the addition of a positive new leader.
  • This is an exciting opportunity to be a part of the redevelopment of our primate program.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions of the position.
  • Responsible for maintaining the highest quality of daily husbandry and welfare of assigned animal collection, collection planning, the supervision and development of the assigned animal care specialists.
  • Responsible for the creation and management of the departmental budget.
  • Responsible for the management of assigned facilities.
  • Responsibilities include the development and management of the conservation programs related to the taxon specialty.
  • As part of the Animal Care and Programs management team, will participate in the development and implementation of ACP programs, guidelines and procedures, and participate in facilities design, donor cultivation, and research.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned to assure achievement of annual goals and objectives.
  • Denotes Essential Job Function(s)
Experience Required
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Zoology or related field or eight years’ equivalent combination of training and/or experience required.
  • High School Diploma or GED equivalent required.
  • Minimum 5 years of captive management experience in a zoo or large-scale animal care facility or equivalent experience required within the taxon specialty. 
  • Minimum 3 years of managerial experience required (not limited to, but including budget development and management, high-level animal collection management, staff recruitment, etc.)
  • Positions managing aquatic taxa may require SCUBA certification.
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills, including verbal, written, and listening skills.
  • Proficiency in MS Office applications (word processing and database management) essential.
  • Cultural competency; experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. English fluency at a professional working proficiency.
  • Valid driver’s license required DESIRED/PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:
  • Familiarity with animal record keeping systems, studbook programs preferred.
  • Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.
Further Comments
  • This position is also part of BZC senior leadership team.
  • This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform.
  • Benefits, 401K, PTO
  • commensurate with experience

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