Tuesday, November 28, 2023

AZA appoints Dr. Brian Davis as new Chair of the board of directors

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) announced the swearing-in of Dr. Brian Davis, President and CEO of Georgia Aquarium, as the new Chair of the AZA Board of Directors.

“I have known Brian for several years. His impressive accomplishments and the high regard in which he is held across the accredited aquarium and zoo community speak to his many talents. The AZA community is poised to benefit from his leadership and vision as he assumes the chair of the AZA Board of Directors,” said Dan Ashe, President, and CEO of AZA. “Brian is AZA’s first Black chair and he was central to crafting AZA’s newest promise, focused on advancing diversity, equity, access and inclusion within the zoological profession. DEIA issues are close to his heart, and I know he will deliver on that pledge.”

As Chair of the Board, Davis, along with three other executive officers and nine board members, will be involved in every aspect of the national organization, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare and conservation.

Each year, AZA’s 241 accredited facilities collectively contribute $230 million solely to field conservation projects that help to protect species here at home and across the world, placing collectively among the world’s largest conservation investors. These facilities collectively serve more than 200 million visitors annually and more than 50 million of those guests are children, making accredited zoos and aquariums essential to science and environmental education. AZA-accredited facilities are also pillars in their local communities and powerful economic drivers, contributing billions to the U.S. economy and supporting thousands of jobs.

“Being appointed to the role of Chair means the world to me,” said Davis. “We have a commitment to ensure that every guest who visits our facilities, walks away with respect to care for our planet and its animals. With 241 AZA-accredited facilities working together we can educate and inspire the next generation of leaders in animal welfare. I am proud to be a part of leading us down the exciting road ahead and hope to use the next year to make us stronger, more united and more diversified.”

Davis was named President and CEO of Georgia Aquarium in January of 2020 and has been part of the organization since 2003. Previously, Davis served as the Aquarium’s Director of Education before becoming Vice President of Education. He rejoined the Aquarium in 2018, after holding the position of President and CEO at Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Connecticut.

Davis manages the daily operations of Georgia Aquarium. In addition, Davis oversees all facets of the Aquarium’s global reach efforts for aquatic conservation and research.

Davis holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University, a Masters of Education and Ph.D. in secondary science education from Georgia State University.

In addition to having more than 25 years of experience in senior leadership roles within zoological and educational institutions, Davis also spent time developing education programs at both New York Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta. He has also authored, and co-authored, papers related to science education, aquariums and other science related topics and previously served on the Board of Directors for the AZA.

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