New zoo director champions wildlife and sustainability

The state’s hottest attraction has a brand new chief. Metro officers introduced at this time that Heidi Rahn, a lifelong wildlife advocate with a concentrate on sustainability, has been named the subsequent director of the Oregon Zoo.

Heidi Rahn headshot

Heidi Rahn

“I’m honored to be working with such a devoted and enthusiastic group of zoo employees, volunteers and supporters,” Rahn mentioned. “Like most locations, the Oregon Zoo has been by means of some robust occasions over the previous two years, however the flexibility and innovation I’ve seen right here have been inspiring.”

Rahn beforehand labored on the zoo from 2013 to 2018, the place he directed the implementation of the $125 million Metro Bond Program for the zoo and gained nationwide fame for initiatives that prioritize animal welfare, conservation training, and sustainable infrastructure. Beneath her management, the zoo opened a few of its most well-known areas, together with Condors of the Columbia, Elephant Lands, and Schooling Heart. The latter two initiatives have acquired awards for excellence in innovation and exhibition design from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums.

The brand new director attributes her concentrate on sustainability to the ethics of lifelong conservation. She is obsessed with creating a greater future for wildlife, and feels a particular bond with the zoo’s work on behalf of endangered sea otters and butterflies.

“My first internship was on the Marine Conservation Heart in San Francisco, analyzing coverage in assist of sea otters conservation,” she mentioned. “And I met my husband once we have been working to guard the habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly in Wisconsin.”

Run, who has been interim director since August 1, grew to become the primary everlasting director of the Oregon Zoo for the reason that departure of Don Moore, who retired final 12 months after 45 years working in animal welfare and wildlife conservation sciences. Her earlier tenure on the zoo overlapped with Moore’s tenure, and officers say she brings together with her a wealth of expertise and a welcome sense of continuity in her new function.

“Heidi is an ideal match for the director of the Oregon Zoo,” mentioned Marisa Madrigal, COO of Metro. Her previous zoo expertise, ardour for conservation, and expertise with sustainable operations are simply what we’d like as we rebuild from the losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Rahn holds a bachelor’s diploma in zoology and conservation biology from the College of Wisconsin and a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration and sustainable operations from York College in Toronto. She was awarded the Every day Journal of Commerce Girls of Imaginative and prescient in 2017 for her efforts to advance alternatives for ladies and other people of coloration in development.

The Oregon Zoo is likely one of the hottest locations within the Northwest and probably the most revered zoos within the nation. In 1974, it grew to become the second zoo to obtain accreditation from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums, an honor it has maintained for greater than 45 years. Since 2012, it has been honored with 12 main annual awards for the affiliation: six for conservation work on behalf of endangered species, two for excellence and innovation in exhibition design, one for environmental efforts within the zoo’s day by day operations, one for achievement in variety, and two for excellence in advertising.

As a part of the Metro household, the Oregon Zoo helps make nice Portland an incredible place to name residence. Dedicated to conservation, the zoo works to avoid wasting endangered California condors, western pond turtles, Oregon silverbacks, Taylor chisel butterflies, and northern leopard frogs. To be taught extra, go to

Assist from the Oregon Zoo Basis advances the zoo’s efforts in conservation, training, and animal welfare. Members, donors, firms and institutional companions assist the zoo make a distinction throughout the area and around the globe. To contribute, go to

The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to five p.m. Monday by means of Friday, and from 9 a.m. to five:30 p.m. on weekends. To plan your journey, go to to. For extra info on attending to the zoo, go to Discover Washington Park.