Attractions industry news

09 Nov 2017

ZSL appoints British diplomat as new director general

A British diplomat who served as ambassador to Afghanistan has taken a new role as director general of the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

Dominic Jermey takes the reins from Ralph Armond, who is retiring after more than 12 years at the helm of the conservation charity.

The role entails developing global conservation projects, increasing scientific research at the organisation and overseeing ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, their programmes of species breeding and ongoing field conservation around the world.

Jermey aims to help increase the “reach and impact” of ZSL in the battle to help save wildlife and habitats from extinction.

“I've always been driven by a desire to help shape a better world for my children,” he said. “I've already had the opportunity to serve and contribute in some of the most challenging environments around the world. I'm proud now to be joining ZSL, an organisation that has advanced zoology, promoted understanding of conservation and engaged the public on wildlife for nearly two centuries.

“I want to develop ZSL’s reach and impact at this critical moment for global biodiversity, so that as we approach ZSL’s bicentenary, we are a core part of the answer to the global challenges facing wildlife today.”

Jermey, who has also served as chief executive of UK Trade & Investment and British ambassador to the UAE, will be tasked with building relationships and initiatives with partners around the world, including zoos, research centres, conservation charities, governments and businesses. He will also be keeping an eye on the Foster + Partners-designed restoration of the famous Grade II*-listed Snowdon Aviary.

ZSL’s president, professor Sir John Beddington, added: “Jermey has extensive experience of working with FTSE CEOs on international business strategies as well as operating globally at a senior level. He will bring strategic vision to ZSL, which we need to take us forward in achieving our aims.”

During his tenure, outgoing director general Armond oversaw conservation partnerships to protection Sumatran peatlands and Asiatic lions in India, as well as leading a campaign to raise awareness about single-use plastic bottles.

“I've truly relished each and every day spent working at ZSL," said Armond. "It's an organisation with an incredible mission made up of people with boundless energy and devotion. It's an organisation I find intensely satisfying to be a part of.”

Jermey formally takes over in late November.

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