Director of Sustainability & Stewardship

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Published: May 9, 2024
United States of America
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Corporate Sustainability / Certification / Project Management
(Number of Job Posting Views: 3)

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San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is an international, nonprofit conservation organization with two front doors: the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. We integrate wildlife health and care, science, and education to develop sustainable conservation solutions.


The Director of Sustainability & Stewardship oversees the development and implementation of programs and initiatives that promote resource stewardship and sustainability throughout San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. This position facilitates strategy aligned to the organization’s mission and vision and strategic priorities. This is a highly visible and strategic role and the primary point of contact for the Sustainability Task Force, Executive Committee, Leadership Team and Board of Directors. This role works cross- functionally with the Zoo, Safari Park and the conservation hubs as requested to plan, coordinate, and promote the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance sustainability strategy and commitments. This position reports to the Vice President of Risk Management.


  • Serves as the Sustainability and Resource Stewardship Expert for the organization and acts as a liaison between the Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo (and as applicable the conservation hubs) to facilitate implementation of the sustainability strategy including adoption of policies, procedures and programs for all operational sustainability activities. Work includes helping the Alliance, departments and individuals identify collaborative opportunities, leverage efficiencies, and secure external resources and partners as needed.
  • Identifies metrics to measure progress tied to SDZWA goals and sustainability initiatives. Leads coordination across the Alliance on the development and maintenance of a dashboard and associated messaging to track progress and leverage data to continuously monitor, measure and enhance programs and initiatives.
  • Proactively researches and identifies emerging environmental, social, and economic issues and trends to improve the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance sustainability commitment.
  • Identifies areas of opportunity to effectively build and align short and long term San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance strategic, master and capital improvement plans to continuously improve sustainability integration, outcomes and metrics.
  • Liaison with the marketing communications teams to promote education and engagement aligned with SDZWA sustainability goals for internal and external stakeholders. To include integration into external annual reports and ongoing internal team communications.
  • In collaboration with other Alliance discipline leads, advises San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance leaders on insights and best practices in social, economic, and environmental impact for zoos and attractions. Raises awareness of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance leaders with periodic reporting on project status and metrics.
  • Partners with strategic partnerships and philanthropy to support technical awareness and message development to engage strategic partners and secure funding and resources for sustainability initiatives and programming.
  • Supports human resources and department leads by developing content to support training and workshops. Supports administration of training as requested.
  • Pursues professional skill development to ensure core competencies to support Alliance sustainability goals and initiatives.


The ideal candidate will be someone who can be a dynamic leader, inspire team members, and be able to provide direction for the team. This position will be collaborating with different department heads and outside companies and will need to be able to coordinate different initiatives.


  • 5-7 years of experience leading sustainability efforts. Tourism attractions, theme park or zoological setting preferred.
  • Must have 7-9 years of project management, managing staff, volunteers and/or leading teams.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Science, Resource Management, Environmental Science, Sustainability, Public Policy, Law, International Relations, International Development, or related field and 5 years related experience OR a master’s degree and 3 years of experience.
  • Additional professional licenses, certification, and training
  • Valid California driver’s license


  • Knowledge and experience in implementing sustainability industry best practice
  • Knowledge of sustainability industry benchmarking and platforms for monitoring, measuring and reporting sustainability indicators
  • Demonstrated ability to translate organizational needs into sustainability strategies.
  • Must have superior critical thinking skills.
  • High emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate in a clear and concise manner.
  • Creatively approach program and initiative development and implementation
  • Ability to deliver information to large groups in an engaging and impactful manner.
  • Ability to develop strong relationships at all levels through collaborative methods.
  • Ability to effectively manage change in a large and complex environment.
  • Ability to handle complex situations with a high level of tact and diplomacy
  • Able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Able to operate moderately complex computer software programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead highly effective, diverse teams.
  • Able to handle multiple projects with competing deadlines effectively.

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