City Club of Chicago: Chicago Zoological Society President & CEO Dr. Stuart Strahl
October 2, 2017
Dr. Stuart Strahl – President & CEO – Chicago Zoological Society
Dr. Stuart Strahl
With 35 years of background in national and international programs, Dr. Stuart Strahl is a career conservationist with deep experience in applied science, restoration ecology, public policy and not-for-profit management. He serves as President/CEO of the Chicago Zoological Society, which operates the world-famous Brookfield Zoo – the most popular paid cultural attraction in the Midwest, serving over 2.3 million guests with an annual economic impact of over $160 million. At CZS Dr. Strahl oversees a staff of 430 full-time and 1,200 part-time and seasonal employees, a volunteer corps of over 800, as well as numerous local, regional and international conservation, education and animal welfare initiatives. Under his direction over the past 14 years the Society has developed new and innovative exhibits as well as award-winning partnerships providing service to urban communities of color, veterans, disabled and other vulnerable populations.
Prior to arriving at CZS, from 1996-2003 Stuart led the National Audubon Society into prominence as the acknowledged private-sector leader in the largest ecological restoration initiative in history, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan as founding President/CEO of Audubon of Florida. He spent 10 years prior to that as Field Biologist and founding Director of Latin American Programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Fluent in Spanish, Stuart is also dedicated to converting conservation into a mainstream public and economic issue. He has worked extensively to develop lasting partnerships in the U.S. and Latin America, resulting in preservation of over 30 million acres of wildlife habitat and over $18 billion in conservation funding.
Stuart received his B.A. degree in Biology from Bates College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany and is author of numerous scientific and popular publications. He has served on adjunct faculties of the University of Florida, State University of New York, and Washington College. He has broad experience in bringing together diverse interests around conservation causes. An avid outdoorsman, Stuart and his family enjoy exploring remote natural areas.