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Director, New York Aquarium

Y Axis Overseas Careers
New York, Iowa, US
Closing date
Nov 27, 2021

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Aquarium / Zoo / Botanical garden
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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Immediate 09 Nov, 2021 Not Specified 09 Aug, 2021 N/A Teaching,Manual Dexterity,Ethics,Foundations,Wcs,Corporations,Biology,Financial Literacy,Conservation,Exhibition,Water Quality,Animal Care,Zoology,Strategic Planning,Management Skills,Construction Drawings,Support Systems No No

Reports to: Executive Vice President and General Director of Zoos & Aquarium
Supervises and coordinates: Director of Animal Programs, Director of Facilities, Director of Park Services, Director of NY Seascape
Position Objective: The Director NYA provides overall leadership and management of the aquarium and oversees the development and implementation of the strategic operations plan and all procedures and protocols required to meet that plan to ensure excellence in animal care, effective education and conservation programs, innovative state-of-the-art exhibits and facilities, enhanced guest services, and strong business performance. This person interfaces and coordinates general operating activities with the EVP of Zoos & Aquarium (Z&A) and all WCS divisions and departments including, but not limited to, Finance, Human Resources, Business Services, Marketing, Education, Global Resources, Public Affairs, Wildlife Health, and Global Conservation. The director leads and supports the NYA in fulfilling WCS's vision, mission, and values to achieve the desired outcomes, goals and objectives, and provides active leadership for NYA's fund-raising activities to support new exhibit and conservation initiatives. It is the ultimate goal of the director to run a fiscally sound operation and to inspire the organization in meeting goals and achieving desired outcomes.
The director serves as a conduit between and among internal and external stakeholders and the external environment, including city and state representatives as well as community partners. This person is responsible to clearly communicate the aquarium's vision, mission and strategic plan to these groups, and to actively engage partners in advancing the WCS and New York Aquarium mission.
As a senior member of the Z&A Leadership Team the director ensures that WCS's exceptional standards for animal care, exhibitry, safety and welfare are upheld and reflected throughout all aspects of the NYA's operation, and in both public and off view areas of the park. The director will maintain this same standard of excellence, safety, productivity and efficiency in the Facilities (Operations, Maintenance, LSS) and Park Services (Security, warehouse) departments. This person will team build and provide an environment that encourages creativity where the staff is comfortable in contributing freely and working effectively with one another. The director assures that the NYA offers the highest quality guest experience, and integrates the conservation, education and best business practices of the Society into all aspects of the aquarium's operation to advance WCS's conservation mission at every level.


The position requires work in office environments as well as outdoor work in all weather conditions. Tasks require manual dexterity for various tasks (e.g. computer keyboard, copier, mobile radios). Some tasks require kneeling, bending, navigating uneven terrain, and moderate lifting up to 25 pounds.
Qualification Requirements


Minimum of ten years' experience working in a senior management capacity in an aquarium or related organization.
Advanced degree in Biology, Zoology or a related field preferred.
Must be a dynamic, strategic leader with strong management skills, able to argue persuasively and build consensus. The director must demonstrate ethics, honesty and integrity beyond reproach and possess the ability and conviction to enforce all WCS policies evenly and fairly.
Experience in teaching or public speaking is desirable in interactions with media, press and other public relation functions.
Proven ability to raise funds from individuals, corporations and foundations.
Experience in strategic planning and implementation to meet key institutional objectives.
Must be able to read and understand blueprints and construction drawings and have a working knowledge and understanding of aquatic life support systems and water quality.
Must display a high level of financial literacy with knowledge and experience in creating and working within multi-million dollar operating and capital budgets.
Strong marketing expertise with the ability to assess the viability of a systematic marketing plan.
Must be outgoing, creative and capable of working effectively in a team environment. This person must readily interface with representatives from other departments and divisions within and outside WCS to achieve the desired goal of maintaining the NYA as a leader in animal care and husbandry, exhibition, conservation, education and a guest friendly environment


Responsible for the overall management of the NYA. Assure the highest standard of care and husbandry for all animals in the collection. Ensure that the NYA is managed in accordance with AZA, USDA and other accepted professional standards with particular attention to the care of the living collection.
Work with all departments within Z&A and across WCS to ensure the highest quality guest experience.
Select, develop, mentor, evaluate and maintain a highly qualified, motivated and diverse professional staff. Delegate specific responsibilities as appropriate. Encourage teamwork, creativity, personal initiative, growth and accountability and manage staff according to policies outlined in the WCS Policy Manual.
Lead, direct and support staff in providing a general level of excellence in animal care and guest experience for all animal facilities, exhibits, public demonstrations and presentations by conducting routine discussions and interactions with direct reports and other appropriate staff and departments.
Oversee and provide guidance to the Director of Animal Programs on animal population censuses, animal records, the WCS collection plan, acquisitions and dispositions of animals, loan agreements, permits and other routine matters associated with the animal department.
Oversee and provide guidance for the Aquatic Veterinarian and Water Quality Manager in conjunction and collaboration with the VP of Health and Chief Veterinarian.
Work closely with Global Conservation Program staff in delivering on the NYA's conservation initiatives, linking aquarium exhibits and programs to Marine/Seascape programs.
Provide input and guidance to the Curator of Education in conjunction and collaboration with the Director of Education for WCS to ensure fulfillment of educational programming as well as the integration of educational programs into the guest experience at the NYA.
Work with the VP of Planning and Design on exhibitry and aesthetic needs of the NYA.
Interface with and/or coordinate general operating activities with the Bronx Zoo and City Zoos as directed by the EVP&GD. Act as liaison between the NYA and other WCS facilities and senior leadership as appropriate.
Attend and participate in Z&A meetings and work closely with senior staff in other departments to encourage and assure the highest quality and most efficient operation at the NYA. Communicate information discussed at these meeting to reporting departments as appropriate.
Represent the NYA by attending and actively participating in AZA and other professional associations, conferences, and activities.
Approve and supervise the use of animals, facilities and exhibits in film shoots, publicity shots, and any and all Development, Marketing and Public Relations activities at the NYA.
Act as permanent member of the Animal Management Committee, WCS Safety Committee, and the WCS IACUC Committee.
Lead capital planning, master planning and creation and review of budgets, both capital and operating, for the NYA.
Work with EVPs for Global Resources and Public Affairs and their respective designees in representing WCS and the NYA through participation in both public and private fundraising, and city and state government relations programs.
Promote the WCS mission in all aspects of performing his/her duties.
Encourage staff research activities and collaborative research with outside partners at the NYA and in the NY Seascape to enhance well-being of animals at the NYA and the conservation of sea life in local waters.
Contribute to and uphold WCS's Equal Employment Opportunities policies and DEI standards.
Experience: Min:N/A Max:5.0 year(s)

Industry: Other Industry

Functional area of job: HR / Administration / IR
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