Director, Population Management Strategy

Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Conservation, Management, and Welfare Sciences
United States Maryland Silver Spring


General Statement of Job:
Under general supervision, manages, supports, and works to strategically increase the sustainability of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s (AZA’s) cooperatively managed Animal Programs including Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), Species Survival Plan® Programs (SSPs), and Studbooks. Responsibilities include: Directing the implementation of the Animal Population Management (APM) Committee’s strategic plan, analyzing regional and global population data as they relate to population sustainability, analyzing institutional collection planning data and trends, and advising AZA facilities in master and collection planning. Reports to the Senior Vice President of Conservation, Management and Welfare Sciences.

Essential Job Functions:
• Oversee the implementation of the APM Committee’s strategic plan, including managing individual work plans, timelines, and outputs.
• Work closely with APM, the Aquatic Collections Sustainability Committee and other committees, the AZA Population Management Center, the AZA Reproductive Management Center, AZA Program Leaders, Species360 and other data management groups to achieve the APM Committee’s and AZA’s strategic plan objectives.
• Compile and analyze SSP data individually and across all Animal Programs to identify the actions needed to increase sustainability across all AZA SSP Programs, and assist in applying these to advance population management strategies.
• Review TAG Regional Collection Plans (RCPs) and provide critical feedback to the APM Committee.
• Compile and analyze data relevant to zoo and aquarium collections in AZA and globally to elucidate historical and current trends in collections, identify factors driving those trends, etc.
• Design/utilize collection planning models to assist institutional staff as they develop institutional collection plans (ICPs), and facilitate ICP alignment with TAG RCPs and other institutional and association wide priorities.
• Coordinate Institutional Directors, collection planners, Program Leaders, and other stakeholders to implement the essential actions needed to enhance sustainability of AZA animal populations.
• Manage, promote, and advance the design and application of the SSP Sustainability Database.
• Work with the Professional Development Committee to develop new Program Leader and Institutional Collection Planning curricula and resources, as needed.
• Perform other duties as requested.


Knowledge, Skills and Other Characteristics:
• Strong research and critical thinking skills, including effectively interpreting and presenting information for staff and members.
• Significant experience managing and analyzing complex data sets across multiple platforms.
• Strong skill in effectively and efficiently organizing and coordinating projects, and leading a team through an organizational work plan.
• Strong scientific and professional written and verbal communication skills, including public speaking.
• Strong attention to detail, capable of handling multiple tasks, and able to work independently and as part of a team.
• Familiarity with the basics of population biology and management, as well as population management software (e.g., PMx, ZooRisk), desired.
• Computer programming experience related to data analyses desired.
• Skill in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with staff and members.

Minimum Training and Experience:
• Master’s Degree in the biological or computational sciences, or a related scientific field.
• Minimum five years professional experience planning and/or managing data-driven projects/programs.
• Experience with zoo and aquarium based population management and/or collection planning is desirable.

Start date

January 01, 2020

How to Apply

Email resume and cover letter to:


Candice Dorsey