Disney Executive Takes Helm of Association of Zoos and Aquariums

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Sept. 13, 2013 - Two thumbs up for Jackie Ogden, Ph.D, vice president of Animals, Science and Environment for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, who this week was named the 2013-2014 Chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) at the group’s annual conference in Kansas City.

An organization of more than 200 zoos and aquariums, the AZA accredits facilities that have the very highest standards with the goal of saving species and engaging people. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot are AZA accredited.

“Dr. Jackie Ogden’s strong leadership and extensive experience will be tremendously beneficial to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and to all AZA-accredited institutions,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “We are grateful that Disney has been such a supportive member of the Association, especially in making such an accomplished executive and scientist available to lead the AZA Board of Directors.”

As Chair of AZA Board of Directors, Jackie will be involved in every aspect of the national organization, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare, and conservation.  ”I am honored to support the AZA and accredited zoos and aquariums, who are united in a mission to save species–both animals in our care and in the wild–and engage people to join us in this effort,” said Jackie.

In her role with Disney, Jackie oversees animal care and health, education and science at locations all across Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, including Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot, the Tri-Circle D Ranch, Disney’s private island – Castaway Cay, and Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii.

More than 1,500 mammals, birds and reptiles, and more than 5,000 fish, including a number of endangered and threatened species, are cared for by Disney’s Animal Programs teams at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Epcot’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends. In addition to leading teams of animal managers, veterinarians and behaviorists, Jackie also leads the Agricultural and Water Sciences teams and Environmental Integration and has responsibility for Animal Operations and Environmental Sustainability across Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

Prior to her career with Disney, Jackie worked for the Zoological Society of San Diego and Zoo Atlanta. She has her Ph.D. in general/experimental psychology, with a specialization in animal behavior, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.