We’re excited to announce that Lori Perkins will be joining Zoo Advisors as a Vice President in July 2022. Lori currently serves as Deputy Director of the Birmingham Zoo. Her depth of experience in all aspects of leadership, animal care, conservation, education, research, and management in the field will be a huge asset and bring incredible value to Zoo Advisors’ clients and across the AZA community. Lori will have an integral role facilitating strategic planning engagements, leading DEAIJ and women in leadership initiatives, and contributing her expertise to conservation planning efforts and expanding our executive search and recruitment services.
“While I am saddened to be leaving my colleagues during this time of unprecedented growth for the Birmingham Zoo, I am excited to join the Zoo Advisors team and have the opportunity to work with multiple organizations in the advancement of their environmental missions.” said Lori.
Lori has always been deeply involved in wildlife conservation and management through the AZA. She has chaired the association’s Animal Welfare Committee and its Animal Population Management (APM) Committee (then known as WCMC), and is currently an advisor to the APM Committee. She chairs the AZA’s Board of Professional Ethics, having been nationally elected to this body for the second time in her career, and she serves as a site inspection team leader for the AZA’s accreditation program.
David Walsh, Zoo Advisors President, said “We’re honored Lori chose to join our team and excited to be able to have her offer her remarkable talents, diverse perspectives, and passion to so many organizations. Our team and our community have benefited so much from her contributions in an ‘Of Counsel’ role over the last eighteen months. We can’t wait to see the many areas she’ll impact in a full-time role with Zoo Advisors.”
Lori has worked as a curator of many varied taxa, but her primary focus has always been the conservation and management of apes, with a particular focus on orangutans – she led the Orangutan Species Survival Plan (SSP) for 30 years, and now chairs the Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), the umbrella group coordinating the SSPs for all ape species. Lori also serves on the Board of Directors of the Center for Great Apes.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Lori completed a master’s degree in psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology as a National Science Foundation graduate fellow and is an alumna of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Executive Leadership Development Program.