Detroit Zoological Society
  • Life Sciences
  • Royal Oak, MI, USA
  • Salary
  • Full-time

Medical, Dental, 401k Match and generous paid time off

The Deputy Chief Life Sciences Officer plans, directs and oversees all activities around the care and welfare of animals and the development and implementation of conservation programs at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo.  The Deputy Chief Life Sciences Officer is responsible for day to day Life Sciences operations and contributes to strategic and long-term planning.  

The Deputy Chief Life Sciences Officer will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society.  He/She will support and enhance a clean, safe, enjoyable, and educational experience at the Detroit Zoo facilities by actively engaging in the enforcement of Customer Service Standards, and specifically by knowing and understanding the Detroit Zoological Society's "SCOPE" of service, animal welfare, community relations and park appearance guidelines; by enforcing safety and security policies, and following all other policies set by the organization. The Deputy Chief Life Sciences Officer will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of integrity, professionalism, and confidentiality.

This job description is by no means all-inclusive and may be subject to change during a performance period due to the needs of the Detroit Zoological Society and its leadership.  This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.

Authority and Accountability:

The Deputy Chief Life Sciences Officer has the authority to carry out the job requirements and responsibilities and is accountable to the Chief Life Sciences Officer.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership, direction, and oversight for all Life Sciences operations, including animal care, animal welfare, animal health, animal records, conservation, research, exhibit design, staff training, guest/animal interaction activities, and inter-department relations
  • With the Chief Life Sciences Officer, oversee recruitment and selection of Life Sciences staff.
  • With the Chief Life Sciences Officer, supervise Director of Animal Welfare, Director of Conservation, Director of Animal Health, curators, and Registrar.
  • Evaluate employee performance
  • Oversee and contribute to development and implementation of policies and practices to ensure safe, effective, and compassionate practices and procedures of animal care, exhibition, transport, acquisition, disposition, research, and emergency response
  • Oversee development and implementation of Conservation and Animal Welfare Master Plans.
  • Contribute to strategic and other organization planning
  • Maintain records and provide written and verbal reports as required
  • Oversee DZS staff participation in cooperative management programs, such as studbooks, Species Survival Plans, and Taxon Advisory Groups
  • Develop and monitor budgets

Working Conditions: Work is performed indoors and outdoors with exposure to all seasonal  weather conditions, with frequent exposure to and contact with dangerous animals, with the risk of zoonotic disease transmission (Hepatitis B, b virus, Tuberculosis, Salmonella and others), and with exposure to computer monitors.  Evening work may be required.

Physical Requirements: The ability to perform principal duties is required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


  • A bachelor's degree in one of the life sciences is required
  • 5+ years of progressive management experience is required
  • 7+ years of experience in the care of captive wildlife
  • A valid State of Michigan Driver's license is required
  • Must have strong decision-making and problem-solving skills, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and effective time management skills


  • An advanced degree, Master's or Ph.D., is preferred
  • Preference for experience in field conservation/research
  • Experience in curatorial, education, or research capacities
Detroit Zoological Society
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