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Brandie Smith Named Director of the Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Brandie Smith has been named the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, productive Nov. 9. Smith previously served as acting director of the Zoo starting May 2021.

As director, Smith oversees the 163-acre Zoo facility in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park and the 3,200-acre Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) campus in Front Royal, Virginia. She is responsible for the operations of the general public Zoo in Washington, which has around 1.8 million visitors a yr, and manages the Zoo’s groundbreaking conservation biology investigate workforce that performs in much more than 30 nations. Smith also oversees academic programs, ticketed gatherings and other community services and applications.

The Zoo has around 350 whole-time staff members positions, like keepers, curators, scientists, visitor solutions and administrative personnel and a mixed federal and non-federal price range of $55 million. Significant displays at the Zoo incorporate Asia Path, the David M. Rubenstein Loved ones Giant Panda Habitat, Cheetah Conservation Station, Elephant Trails, Little Mammal House, Wonderful Ape Residence, Reptile Discovery Heart, Terrific Cats, American Trail, Amazonia and the Kids’ Farm.  

“At the Smithsonian, we have noticed Brandie’s experience, expertise and leadership in motion for a long time, together with all through the previous quite a few months as performing director of the Nationwide Zoo and SCBI,” explained Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “The excellent function finished there is important to species conservation, animal treatment and training, and I am elated to have Brandie at the helm to assistance the Smithsonian secure our institutional and worldwide shared foreseeable future.”

“I’m honored to carry on doing work together with this sort of talented colleagues whose know-how drives improvements in animal care and sustains biodiversity,” Smith said. “Their operate conjures up long term generations of conservationists.”

Smith joined the employees of the Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in 2008. She helped to revitalize the large panda software by integrating excellence in animal husbandry with the hottest technological innovation in reproductive biology. Her initiatives to merge these two disciplines have contributed to the start of 3 surviving cubs, Bao Bao in 2013, Bei Bei in 2015 and Xiao Qi Ji in 2020.

In advance of signing up for the Zoo, Smith served as vice president of animal conservation at the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) from 2004 to 2008. As vice president, Smith coordinated the cooperative conservation and scientific pursuits of far more than 200 member institutions and virtually 1,000 animal systems. She facilitated the Animal Health and fitness Committee, Wildlife Conservation and Administration Committee, Discipline Conservation Committee and Animal Facts Committee.

All through her tenure at AZA, Smith sophisticated multi-institution amphibian conservation endeavours. She stewarded the generation of the Bushmeat Crisis Task Power, a coalition of a lot more than 30 conservation corporations that, from 1999 to 2009, centered on determining and supporting options to the bushmeat disaster in Africa and all over the entire world. She also helped start the Butterfly Conservation Initiative, jointly founded by AZA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in 2001, to engage zoos and aquariums in the restoration of federally outlined butterfly species in the U.S.

Smith holds a doctoral degree in conduct, ecology, evolution and systematics from the University of Maryland, Grasp of Science in zoology from Clemson University and Bachelor of Science in biology from Indiana College of Pennsylvania.

Smith succeeds Steven Monfort, who was the John and Adrienne Mars Director till May 2021.