The front entry sign for the Los Angeles Zoo, featuring a giraffe billboard in the right foreground.

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Zoo Administration

Chief Executive Officer & Zoo Director

Denise M. Verret (she/her/hers)

Deputy Director of Administration and Operations

Mei Kwan

Deputy Director of Animal Programs

Misha Body

Zoo Administration

Carol Armstrong, PhD, Director of Sustainability and Capital Programs
Dan Benner, Director of Construction and Maintenance
Mae Huey, Director of Human Resources
Dan Keeffe (he/him), Director of Learning and Engagement  
Dominique Keller DVM, PhD, DACZM, Chief Veterinarian & Director of Animal Health and Wellness
Jake Owens, PhD, Director of Conservation   
Max Pulsinelli, Chief Communications Officer
Beth Schaefer, General Curator and Director of Animal Programs

Zoo Commission

Karen B. Winnick, President
Bernardo Silva, Vice President
Justin Mikita
Elnie Vannatim
Richard Lichtenstein, Ex-Officio Member

Zoo Commission meeting information >

Former Zoo Directors

John Lewis, 2003-2019
Edward Maruska, 2002-2003
Manuel A. Mollinedo, 1995-2002
Dr. Mark A. Goldstein, 1992-1995
Dr. Warren D. Thomas, 1974-1991
Chester E. Hogan, 1971-1974
Dr. Nathan B. Gale, 1968-1971
Dr. Wesley A. Young, 1966-1968

Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation

The Los Angeles Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit the AZA website at