How is the Zoo governed?

The Saint Louis Zoo is legally classified as a tax-supported political subdistrict of the State of Missouri. Essentially, the Zoo is a government agency and has restrictions on how it raises and spends money. The Zoo has created a nonprofit partner to allow it to accomplish certain tasks and activities that will help to ensure the Zoo remains successful. Thus, the Zoo is governed and supported by two organizations:

Saint Louis Zoological Park Commission

The Missouri State Legislature established the Zoo Subdistrict Commission as the Zoo's governing authority. Five members of the Commission reside in the City and five members reside in the County. The Commission has the fiduciary and management responsibility for the well-being of the Zoo. In addition, one nonprofit organization supports the Zoo and is governed by volunteer board.

Saint Louis Zoo Association

The Association is a private nonprofit organization whose volunteer board is made up of business and community leaders. They work with the Zoo to provide leadership for fundraising, conservation education, programming, facilities, government relations and special events.

Members of the Zoo Commission and the Zoo Association Board serve on joint committees of the Zoo, including Government Relations, Animal Care Advocacy, Education, Audit and others. One of these committees, the Finance Committee, is made up of legal, accounting and investment experts from the community. The Committee sets policy, reviews the Zoo's financial statements and budgets and reports regularly to the Commission and Zoo Association on financial activity.

Saint Louis Zoo Executive Staff

  • Jeffrey P. Bonner, Ph.D. Dana Brown President & CEO
  • R. Eric Miller, DVM Senior Vice President, Zoological Operations & Director, WildCare Institute
  • Steve Barth Vice President, Business Operations & CFO
  • Jack Grisham Vice President, Animal Collections
  • Wyndel Hill Vice President, Internal Relations
  • Cynthia S. Holter, CFRE Vice President, External Relations
  • David McGuire, AIA Vice President, Architecture & Planning

Read their biographies.