On June 28, 2019, the Los Angeles City Council confirmed Denise M. Verret as the successor Director and General Manager of the Zoo to John Lewis who retired in January. Denise is no stranger to the Zoo as she has been the Deputy Director for the past 19 years. During her 19-year tenure, she provided executive leadership over a variety of functions and major operations including Finance, Administration, Information Technology, Human Resources, Admissions and Guest Relations, Capital Projects, Planning and Development, Public Relations, and Education and Interpretive Programs. Among Denise’s many achievements are directing the development of the Zoo’s Strategic Plan, Vision Plan, and the Business and Marketing Plan.
“I am looking forward to leading the transformation of the Zoo into something that is uniquely Los Angeles, with animal welfare our highest priority,” Denise comments. “The L.A. Zoo will continue to make its mark through our conservation efforts, our learning and community engagement programs, and by becoming a world-class destination in this world-class City. We are committed to diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility, and to being a place that is welcoming to all. We will build bridges and strategic partnerships as we strive every day to achieve our mission. I am extremely privileged to lead the best employees and volunteers anywhere who work tirelessly every day, with pride and purpose.”
“I know that Denise will be a fantastic Director of the L.A. Zoo. Over the past several months, I’ve witnessed her passion for animals and conservation as she has led the Zoo on an interim basis. I look forward to working with her to realize the Zoo’s Vision Plan; to support the Zoo’s important conservation work at home and around the world; and to make the LA Zoo the gold standard of the zoos of the future,” said Beth Price, Chair of the GLAZA Board of Trustees.
GLAZA President, Tom Jacobson, is delighted with the new partnership and looks forward to many collaborations that will bring our community closer to the mission of the Zoo and will encourage investment in our future vision to make the Zoo one of the finest in the country. “As I begin my work with GLAZA and the Zoo,” Tom says, “I’m thrilled to work closely with Denise, whose vision for the Los Angeles Zoo is both deeply informed by her many years of experience here and inspiring in its ambition for our Zoo and our city.”