New CEO hired for the Toronto Zoo

Dolf DeJong was recently announced as the Toronto Zoo’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective September 6, 2018.

He joins the zoo at a critical time as they implement a strategic plan and recently released a multi-year Master Plan, which continues to position the Zoo as a Conservation Centre of Excellence.

DeJong comes to the zoo from the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre (VAMSC) where he began his career as the Vice-President, Conservation and Education in June 2012 and was then appointed Vice President and General Manager of VAMSC in June 2016.  In this role, he was responsible for the development and building of the new Marine Mammal Rescue Hospital and Stellar Sea Lion exhibit.

“It is a real privilege to be joining the Toronto Zoo team. The organization has an incredible track record of connecting people to the natural world and wildlife conservation. I am excited to work with the board, staff, volunteers, local community and our partners to increase our public profile and our ability to protect wildlife in Ontario and beyond,” said DeJong.

In addition to his employment at the VAMSC, DeJong has previously worked at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Hamilton as the Director of Biodiversity Programs, at Conservation Halton as the Park Area Manager, and with Ontario Parks, as an Assistant Park Superintendent at Bronte Creek, Presqu’ile and Ferris Provincial Parks. He has also worked as a Natural Heritage Education (NHE) Leader and Interpreter at Presqu’ile Provincial Park.  DeJong has a Masters of Environmental Studies from Wilfred Laurier University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Brock University.

In addition to his vast work experience, DeJong has extensive volunteer experience including roles as a director with a number of not-for-profit organizations including Alliance of Natural History Museums of Canada, Canadian Association of Science Centres and VanDusen Botanical Garden.

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