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Senior Director of Campus Operations

Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, and education. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission of Inspiring Communities to Save Wildlife for Future Generations.

Denver Zoo honors our animals, staff, and guests by conducting ourselves at the highest level of integrity through our Core Actions — Inspire Awe: Safety, Care, Connect and by embracing our Core Values of: Welcoming, United, Curious, Courageous and Transformative in all that we do.

The Senior Director of Campus Operations advances Denver Zoo’s mission and goals of the Campus Operations department by envisioning and leading a large team who support the campus operations, facilities, and zoo wide initiatives.  This role is responsible for developing and executing the strategic vision for facilities maintenance, grounds, custodial, environmental compliance, sustainability, and operations that make up the Campus Operations Department.  This position develops and manages a complex departmental budget with zoo wide impact including multiple revenue streams and complex expense programs.

This position oversees the development, generation, and dissemination of critical facilities management reports, including key performance indicators and data on physical environment process and procedures. This position oversees the zoo’s sustainability plan and goals in collaboration with the zoo’s Conservation Engagement team. This Senior Director position is a critical collaborator and provides strategic leadership across the zoo by partnering with key stakeholders to achieve the zoo’s mission.

Our staff is a dedicated and diverse group of individuals committed to providing quality care to our animals while creating moments of awe for guests. If you are a like-minded individual and thrive in a dynamic, fast paced and innovative culture, Denver Zoo is the place for you!

Essential Duties and Responsibilities 

Priority 1 – Team Leadership

  • Provide strong, strategic leadership and vision to department directors overseeing Facilities Maintenance and Operations, Grounds & Environmental Services (Housekeeping), Environmental Compliance and Sustainability teams.
  • Motivate, model, encourage and create a collaborative learning environment.
  • Develop and champion programs that encourage employee growth and accountability.
  • Act as leader, coach, trainer, and mentor for Departmental staff.
  • Work closely with the COO to develop priorities, short term and long-term goals that align with mission and vision of zoo.
  • Contribute to and represent the Denver Zoo in zoo and aquarium organizations, as well as with professional organizations, peer institutions, cultural, civic, governmental, and other industry/trade organizations.
  • Support the execution of project plans, delegating responsibilities to key staff, and monitoring staff for accountability and completion of deliverables.

Priority 2 – Facilities

  • Champion Campus Operations Team efforts to support the refinement and enhancement of the functions of the department, placing an emphasis on consistency, teamwork, departmental collaboration, proactive planning, effective budgeting and enhanced productivity, including the establishment of procedures and controls to promote communication and adequate information flow both within and across departments for maximum clarity, efficiency and success.
  • Establish procedures, processes, and controls to stimulate communication and superior information flow within and across departments for maximum success.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Facilities to oversee and maintain Denver Zoo facilities for optimal functioning and safety.

Priority 3 – Finance and Budget

  • Responsible for development of the annual budget for the Campus Operations Teams.
  • Monitors financial activity for the purpose of ensuring that expenses are within budget limits and/or fiscal practices are followed. Provides budget report analysis and recommendations on a regular basis.
  • Champion the development and execution of innovative, creative and effective funding opportunities to lead Denver Zoo into the future; supporting the implementation of campus management project work.

Priority 4 – Sustainability

  • Provide strategic leadership and vision for management and incorporation of sustainability programs into the culture and daily operations of Denver Zoo by collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure effective implementation, compliance, and continuous improvement of the zoo’s policies, programs and requirements.
  • Develop and renew annual and long-term goals for the Zoo’s Sustainability efforts and seek out transformative methods for the Zoo to achieve these goals.

Priority 5 – Compliance

  • Monitor applicable regulatory and lobbying efforts and develop strategies for Denver Zoo to respond to any impact on Denver Zoo operations.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to ensure effective implementation, compliance, and improvement of departmental policies based on federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Lead or participate in periodic accreditation audits; perform weekly audits of the safety and health of campus facilities.

Priority 6 – Organizational Collaboration

  • Partner with all members of the zoo’s leadership team to ensure the mission of Denver Zoo is achieved; actively communicates and solicits feedback from members of the leadership team to help refine and enhance the work of the Campus Operations Team.

Other Responsibilities and Duties

  • Other assistance, as designated by the Chief Operating Officer, to support the overall goals of the department and organization.  Denver Zoo retains the right to add or change duties and/or responsibilities at any time.
  • Provides strong leadership, and vision to department directors for a large complex team.  Motivates, models, encourages, and creates a collaborative learning environment.  Develop and mentor future leaders with the team; establishing performance expectations, oversee achievement of goals and quality or results.
  • Develops and oversees a large, complex budget of $4m or more in projects, people and assets. Must be agile and resilient, with the ability to create multi-year budget planning. Acts as a good steward of Denver Zoo’s resources.
  • The nature of this position requires safeguarding against the release of confidential and proprietary information of Denver Zoo.
  • This position will interact with managers at all levels and staff members across the organization, in addition to members of external organizations and the public.

Technical / Professional Requirements & Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (B.S.) with preferred background in business, management, environmental studies, biology, environmental engineering, or other comparable field, or any equivalent combination of education and/or experience.
  • 6 to 8 years’ experience in related field.
  • Demonstrated experience, training, and knowledge in leading a large diverse team.
  • Experience in creating comprehensive programs in a large campus, multi-building environment.
  • Strong experience in managing complex budgets.
  • Strong experience in managing large-scale maintenance projects.
  • Understanding and experience in creating sustainability programs.
  • Understanding and experience in creating and managing Facility Condition Assessments and Programs
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong customer service and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong knowledge of environmental, health and safety principles and practices.
  • Ability to identify and recognize unsafe conditions or workplace practices.
  • Ability to organize and conduct effective training and education programs.
  • Proven computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite are necessary.
  • Requires excellent organizational skills, written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize work and tasks.
  • Requires adaptability to produce and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, multi-task and changing environment, and the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Good negotiation skills and the ability to handle sensitive information with diplomacy are preferred. Must be an outstanding communicator and considered to be a developer of people who is comfortable motivating, collaborating, and working with a broad cross section of people in direct and matrixed relationships.

Position Conditions

  • Ability to pass a background check and pre-employment drug and alcohol screen.
  • Schedule Availability:  Generally, Monday – Friday, occasional weekends in emergency situations maybe necessary
  • Work Location: In office and on campus.


Range for this position is $9,319-$11,882 monthly.


This is a full-time position with excellent benefits including medical, dental and vision benefits; life insurance; short term and long-term disability; 403(b) retirement plan; and vacation and sick leave.

Application Process and Timelines

Resumes / Completed applications must be submitted by May 15th, 2023 . Review of applications will begin immediately.  Denver Zoo reserves the right to close the position prior to this date.

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and others who identify as nonwhite, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those with lived experience with racism and/or misogynoir are encouraged to apply for this role.

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected status or any other characteristic protected by law.