Vice President, Facilities

Philadelphia Zoo |

In an ever-changing and increasingly urbanized world, we believe the people of our region should play a critical role in preserving the world’s natural resources for the future. Philadelphia Zoo has a distinctive opportunity to be a gateway to joyful discovery that inspires a lifetime of curiosity, learning and caring for wildlife and the world we share.

The Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many of which are rare and endangered. A resource to schools and families in the Philadelphia region and beyond, and an advocate for endangered animals around the world, Philadelphia Zoo is dedicated to the engagement of more than 1 million annual visitors with animal and environmental conservation.

The Philadelphia Zoo is seeking an entrepreneurial and experienced leader at an exciting and pivotal moment in the Zoo’s long and distinguished history. In 2019, the Zoo is simultaneously undertaking two critical efforts: a new strategic plan and a new site master plan. The new strategic plan will focus Zoo efforts on creating inspiring experiences for animals and people, having impact beyond our gates and continuing our innovation through constant learning and exploration. The site master plan will redevelop the Zoo’s campus to be a physical and experiential vehicle that brings our mission and strategic goals to life. The results of these investments will chart a path forward for the organization, ultimately defining ‘the zoo of the future.’

Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the Vice President, Facilities is a member of the senior leadership team and participates in formulating the Zoo’s strategic direction. Serves as the senior executive for the ongoing operation of the Zoo’s 42-acre physical plant, and oversees the development and execution of construction and other major capital projects. The Vice President, Facilities assures that the Zoo’s physical plant is built and maintained to both accommodate and inspire guests, staff, volunteers and all parts of our living collection.


1. Provides leadership for the following departments: Facilities Engineering; Grounds and Horticulture; Projects and Planning. Supervises the Directors of each of these departments. Will provide leadership for Public Safety and Risk Management.

2. Across these departments:
• Develops and oversees the execution of annual operating plans.
• Oversees the development of and monitors departmental budgets. Assures that departments manage within their approved budgets.
• Develops and oversees systems for measuring performance.
• Establishes and maintains systems to ensure productivity among staff and cost efficiency in procurement.
• Develops and oversees the implementation of safety and other policies related to departmental functions.
• Ensures that the Zoo’s physical plant is safe for all guests, staff, volunteers, and the living collection, and that it is maintained to the highest possible standards.

3. Within Projects and Planning function:
• Provides overall direction for facility planning and construction management.
• With COO and others, implements Master Plans through annual facilities plans and projects.
• Directly supervises project manager(s).
• Oversees periodic facilities assessments including site and utility assessments and incorporates findings into life cycle plans. Generally, develops and implements systems for determining and prioritizing life-cycle replacement needs across the campus, with both short-term and long-term lenses.
• Works with COO to develop annual capital budgets including 6-year City Capital plan and annual City Capital Request.
• Develops and implements department procedures and planning processes based on best practices for project management to ensure quality control and deliver projects on time and on budget.
• Represents the Zoo before various governmental agencies for funding, permitting and other reviews. Such agencies include City of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation, Planning Commission, Art Commission, Streets Department, and Public Property.
• Assists with the development of funding strategies for major projects including the development of strategies to leverage public funding sources such as the City Capital Program and the state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP).

4. Collaborates with and provides support for other departments/stakeholders, including:
• Development – to assist in fund-raising efforts, including the preparation of budgets, narratives and other materials for grant requests.
• Finance – to ensure that all contracts and procurement procedures meet Zoo policies; that all financial reporting for capital projects and programs are accurate and reconciled.
• Marketing /Communications- to support attendance-generating capital improvements and the media promotion of capital projects.
• Human Resources- to ensure that the facilities improvements appropriately reflect staff needs.
• Conservation/Education/Mission – to provide collaborative leadership in advancing efforts to reduce energy/water use and other sustainability initiatives.
• Government Affairs – to collaborate on public funding initiatives.
• Guest Experience – to properly prioritize and implement projects that improve the guest experience and revenue-generating attractions.
• Board – serves as primary staff liaison for Board Facilities Committee


1. Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management, Structural or Mechanical Engineering, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning or related field. Professional registration and or advanced degree preferred.

2. 5-10 years of leadership experience in facilities planning and/or capital program management. Experience with facilities operations and grounds/landscape management desired.

3. Demonstrated ability to manage complex capital projects on time and on budget.

4. Demonstrated ability to develop and manage operating and substantial capital budgets

5. Proficiency with project management and spread sheet/data base software such as Microsoft office and Oracle Project Manager is required.

6. Demonstrated ability to develop and sustain effective working relationships with managers, peers and subordinates; superior interpersonal ability; ability to work with diverse personalities; tactful; mature; flexible.

7. Strong analytical and business skills.

8. Strong customer service orientation and the ability to manage priorities in accordance with the Zoo’s mission and within overall financial, strategic and facilities focused objectives.

9. Proven executive abilities: planning; communicating; managing talent in a competitive environment; and executing to achieve goals.

10. Outstanding organizational skills including the ability to manage multiple priorities and to consistently meet timelines and budget expectations. Exceptional interpersonal and communications skills including written and oral presentations.

11. Demonstrated experience working in complex institutional settings; managing change; and working across divisions within an organization. An ability to quickly engender respect while building organizational understanding of Facilities related work in an operation with responsibility for animal care, mission advancement, daily guest experience and earned revenue goals.

12. A leadership style that inspires confidence and encourages excellence and unfailing professional integrity.

13. Ability to work a flexible schedule that will include weekends, evenings and holidays.

14. Valid driver’s license and clean driving record.


1. Successful completion of a drug screen and PPD prior to commencing employment.

2. Successful completion of a personal background check prior to commencing employment.

3. No allergies related to animals or plants, which may interfere with the ability to work.

To apply click here.

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