New zoo director champions wildlife and sustainability

The state’s hottest attraction has a brand new chief. Metro officers introduced right now that Heidi Rahn, a lifelong wildlife advocate with a concentrate on sustainability, has been named the following director of the Oregon Zoo.

Heidi Rahn headshot

Heidi Rahn

“I’m honored to be working with such a devoted and enthusiastic group of zoo employees, volunteers and supporters,” Rahn mentioned. “Like most locations, the Oregon Zoo has been via some powerful instances over the previous two years, however the flexibility and innovation I’ve seen right here have been inspiring.”

Rahn beforehand labored on the zoo from 2013 to 2018, the place he directed the implementation of the $125 million Metro Bond Program for the zoo and gained nationwide fame for initiatives that prioritize animal welfare, conservation schooling, and sustainable infrastructure. Underneath her management, the zoo opened a few of its most well-known areas, together with Condors of the Columbia, Elephant Lands, and Training Middle. The latter two initiatives have acquired awards for excellence in innovation and exhibition design from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums.

The brand new director attributes her concentrate on sustainability to the ethics of lifelong conservation. She is enthusiastic about creating a greater future for wildlife, and feels a particular bond with the zoo’s work on behalf of endangered sea otters and butterflies.

“My first internship was on the Marine Conservation Middle in San Francisco, analyzing coverage in assist of sea otters conservation,” she mentioned. “And I met my husband after we have been working to guard the habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly in Wisconsin.”

Run, who has been interim director since August 1, turned the primary everlasting director of the Oregon Zoo for the reason that departure of Don Moore, who retired final yr after 45 years working in animal welfare and wildlife conservation sciences. Her earlier tenure on the zoo overlapped with Moore’s tenure, and officers say she brings along with her a wealth of expertise and a welcome sense of continuity in her new position.

“Heidi is an ideal match for the director of the Oregon Zoo,” mentioned Marisa Madrigal, COO of Metro. Her previous zoo expertise, ardour for conservation, and expertise with sustainable operations are simply what we want as we rebuild from the losses brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Rahn holds a bachelor’s diploma in zoology and conservation biology from the College of Wisconsin and a grasp’s diploma in enterprise administration and sustainable operations from York College in Toronto. She was awarded the Each day Journal of Commerce Girls of Imaginative and prescient in 2017 for her efforts to advance alternatives for girls and other people of shade in development.

The Oregon Zoo is among the hottest locations within the Northwest and one of the crucial revered zoos within the nation. In 1974, it turned the second zoo to obtain accreditation from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums, an honor it has maintained for greater than 45 years. Since 2012, it has been honored with 12 main annual awards for the affiliation: six for conservation work on behalf of endangered species, two for excellence and innovation in exhibition design, one for environmental efforts within the zoo’s day by day operations, one for achievement in variety, and two for excellence in advertising and marketing.

As a part of the Metro household, the Oregon Zoo helps make nice Portland a fantastic place to name residence. Dedicated to conservation, the zoo works to save lots of endangered California condors, western pond turtles, Oregon silverbacks, Taylor chisel butterflies, and northern leopard frogs. To study extra, go to

Assist from the Oregon Zoo Basis advances the zoo’s efforts in conservation, schooling, and animal welfare. Members, donors, corporations and institutional companions assist the zoo make a distinction throughout the area and around the globe. To contribute, go to

The zoo is open from 9 a.m. to five p.m. Monday via Friday, and from 9 a.m. to five:30 p.m. on weekends. To plan your journey, go to to. For extra info on attending to the zoo, go to Discover Washington Park.