President & CEO, Woodland Park Zoo
Alejandro Grajal is the President and CEO of the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle.He joined in 2016 to become the 8th president in the zoo’s 117-year history. He brings over 30 years of multidisciplinary experience in wildlife conservation, animal welfare and social research. He is particularly interested in exploring the interface between biodiversity conservation, science education, and the social dimensions of conservation actions.He is actively exploring the evolving role of zoos and aquariums in the XXI century. Particularly how zoos reconnect people with animals and nature and how to drive pro-environmental behaviors. Prior to joining the Woodland Park Zoo, he was Senior Vice-President for Conservation and Education at the Chicago Zoological Society. He was the founder and executive director of the Latin America program of the National Audubon Society and before that, he was Director of Latin American and Caribbean Programs at the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York.He has a PhD in Zoology with a minor in International Development. He has worked on protected areas and conservation programs with the US Agency for International Development, the Global Environmental Fund, the World Bank, and the European Union. His book “Climate Change Education: A Primer for Zoos and Aquariums” is one of over 45 books, chapters, popular articles, and scientific publications on ecology, animal behavior, biodiversity policy and visitor studies. He is also an accomplished wildlife artist, with gallery shows in Caracas, Miami, Chicago, New York and Seattle.