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RZSS Management


RZSS CEO Chris West

Chief Executive - Chris West

Professor Chris West is one of the world's leading authorities on animal conservation. Past roles include CEO of the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia (RZSSA), Zoological Director of the Zoological Society of London and Chief Curator at Chester Zoo.

Contact PA to the Chief Executive: [email protected]

Managing Director - Barbara Smith

Responsible for the business and operational performance, including retail, visitor services, sponsorship and fundraising and membership. Barbara has a wealth of experience in the tourist attraction sector, enjoying 10 years at Edinburgh Castle and holding the position of Managing Director at Chester Zoo prior to joining the RZSS.

Director of Conservation and Head of Science - Rob Ogden

Responsible for the charitable mission of the Society, namely our Conservation, Education and Research activities. Rob's background is in conservation genetics and wildlife forensics, working across academic, commercial and charitable sectors.

Contact: [email protected]

Director of Finance & Resources - James Stewart

Responsible for all financial accounting and management activities such as financial forecasting and accounts, VAT, corporate governance, risk assessment, payroll, insurance, pensions administration, ICT planning, delivery, IT support and property and estates.

Contact the finance department: [email protected]

Director of Human Resources - Lindsay Macpherson

Responsible for leading the HR and Health & Safety teams to ensure best practice policy and process including the development and provision of a comprehensive HR/Health & Safety service across the organisation. Providing HR input to developing the strategic direction of the organisation and implementation of strategic/business planning.

Contact: [email protected]

Director of Giant Panda Project and Strategic Innovations - Iain Valentine

Responsible for maximizing the benefit of pandas to the RZSS, focusing his time and energy on panda breeding, research and cultural connections. He will also have a role in identifying potential strategic innovations.

Director of Community Conservation - Leigh Morris

Responsible for leading formal education, interpretation, volunteers & community outreach, and the strategic linking of learning across the organisation. Leigh has a background in horticulture, education and biodiversity conservation and joined RZSS after, most recently, 10 years managing all aspects of learning at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Contact: [email protected] @MorrisLeigh

Head of Business Operations & Visitor Services (EZ) - Deborah Newman

Head of Business Operations & Visitor Services at Highland Wildlife Park - Daska MacKintosh

Responsible for managing the visitor experience and facilities at the Highland Wildlife Park.

Contact the Highland Wildlife Park: [email protected]

Head of Conservation Programmes - Sarah Robinson

Head of Living Collections at Edinburgh Zoo - Darren McGarry

Responsible for all species kept in the collection at Edinburgh Zoo, including husbandry and health management, nutrition and veterinary services. Originally employed on a youth training scheme, Darren has worked for the RZSS since 1986. He has worked with birds, primates and hoof stock and was Head hoof stock keeper for 10 years before becoming Animal Collection Manager, Head of Animals in 2011, and Head of Living Collections in 2013.


Contact the animal department: [email protected]

Head of Living Collections at Highland Wildlife Park - Douglas Richardson

Responsible for all species kept in the collection at the Highland Wildlife Park, including husbandry and health management, nutrition and veterinary services.

Contact the Highland Wildlife Park: [email protected]