June 20, 2019 

LAWT News Service 


This week, Mayor Eric Garcetti nominated Denise Verret as the next Director of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Currently the Zoo’s Interim Director, Verret brings over two decades of experience at the L.A. Zoo to the role.


“Denise brings a wealth of expertise, knowledge, and dedication to the task of meeting the core mission of the L.A. Zoo: setting the highest possible standard for animal welfare and delivering a positive experience to every visitor,” said Mayor Garcetti. “I have no doubt that Denise’s record and leadership will ensure that the L.A. Zoo continues to be one of the best-run zoos in the world.”


As Director of the L.A. Zoo, Verret will oversee the well-being of more than 1,400 animals and two million visitors each year. Verret will also take the reins of the Zoo’s nationally-recognized California Condor Recovery program, which helped bring the endangered birds back from the brink of extinction. If confirmed by the City Council, she will be the first African-American woman to lead a zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity Mayor Garcetti has entrusted in me as we pursue the transformation of making the Zoo a uniquely Los Angeles experience,” said Verret. “I am constantly in awe of the commitment and passion my fellow Angelenos share for the ­betterment of animal welfare, both in our community and in the wild. I share this passion as well, and am excited to lead the dedicated staff as we continue to show the world that the Los Angeles Zoo is a leader in conservation impact and in saving animals from extinction.”


“I have known Denise Verret as a brilliant leader and someone deeply committed to animal welfare. In her years at the Zoo, she has demonstrated a broad understanding of animal care and conservation, as well as an incredible ability to get things done,” said Councilmember David Ryu. “I know that she is the right person to lead our Los Angeles Zoo, and I look forward to working with her as Zoo Director.”


“Denise Verret is an experienced and thoughtful zoo professional prepared to lead the Zoo into what I hope will be a new era of creative management and enhanced concern for animal welfare,” said Councilmember Paul Koretz. “I look forward to working with her to make the Los Angeles Zoo a more progressively-run environment for the animals that call it home.”


Verret has worked for the City of Los Angeles for 30 years, and spent the last 19 years as the Zoo’s Deputy Director. In that role, she led the development of the L.A. Zoo Strategic and Vision Plan, and served as a Zoo Accreditation Inspector for the national Association of Zoos and Aquariums for the last 14 years.

Category: Business