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

Brandie Smith has been named the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian’s Countrywide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, successful Nov. 9. Smith beforehand served as performing director of the Zoo starting May possibly 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 dependable for the operations of the general public Zoo in Washington, which has about 1.8 million site visitors a 12 months, and manages the Zoo’s groundbreaking conservation biology research workforce that is effective in a lot more than 30 nations around the world. Smith also oversees educational plans, ticketed situations and other community companies and applications.

The Zoo has roughly 350 full-time employees positions, which includes keepers, curators, researchers, visitor solutions and administrative employees and a mixed federal and non-federal spending budget of $55 million. Major reveals at the Zoo incorporate Asia Trail, the David M. Rubenstein Household Giant Panda Habitat, Cheetah Conservation Station, Elephant Trails, Tiny Mammal Home, Great Ape Residence, Reptile Discovery Middle, Terrific Cats, American Trail, Amazonia and the Kids’ Farm.  

“At the Smithsonian, we have found Brandie’s skills, talent and leadership in motion for decades, together with in the course of the past numerous months as acting director of the Nationwide Zoo and SCBI,” mentioned Lonnie Bunch, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “The exceptional get the job done performed there is important to species conservation, animal care and education, and I am elated to have Brandie at the helm to assistance the Smithsonian safe our institutional and world shared long term.”

“I’m honored to keep on doing the job alongside these types of talented colleagues whose know-how drives improvements in animal care and sustains biodiversity,” Smith mentioned. “Their operate evokes future generations of conservationists.”

Smith joined the personnel of the Smithsonian’s Nationwide Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in 2008. She aided to revitalize the big panda plan by integrating excellence in animal husbandry with the hottest technological know-how in reproductive biology. Her initiatives to merge these two disciplines have contributed to the start of a few 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 activities of additional than 200 member institutions and almost 1,000 animal plans. She facilitated the Animal Well being Committee, Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee, Subject Conservation Committee and Animal Facts Committee.

For the duration of her tenure at AZA, Smith advanced multi-institution amphibian conservation endeavours. She stewarded the generation of the Bushmeat Disaster Activity Force, a coalition of extra than 30 conservation organizations that, from 1999 to 2009, centered on determining and supporting methods to the bushmeat crisis in Africa and all over the environment. She also served start the Butterfly Conservation Initiative, jointly recognized by AZA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services in 2001, to engage zoos and aquariums in the restoration of federally shown butterfly species in the U.S.

Smith retains a doctoral degree in actions, ecology, evolution and systematics from the College 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 perhaps 2021.