The Smithsonian Institution has picked acting director Brandie Smith to be the director of both the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
“I’m honored to continue working alongside such talented colleagues whose expertise drives innovations in animal care and sustains biodiversity,” Smith said. “Their work inspires future generations of conservationists.”
During her time as deputy director, Smith has overseen the zoo in Rock Creek Park, as well as the sprawling Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.
Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch said that the organization has benefited from her leadership and presence.
“The exceptional work done there is vital to species conservation, animal care and education,” Bunch said, “and I am elated to have Brandie at the helm to help the Smithsonian secure our institutional and global shared future.”
Smith received her doctoral degree from the University of Maryland in behavior, ecology, evolutions and systematics. Before she joined zoo staff, she served as vice president of animal conservation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.