In addition to her current role as President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Dr. Barbara Baker is taking on a new challenge as Chair of the Zoological Association of America (ZAA).
At the ZAA November conference in New Jersey, with the Turtle Back Zoo as host, ZAA Directors unanimously voted Dr. Baker in as Chair.“I am very excited to be part of the ZAA organization and have the opportunity to work with wonderful professionals to grow and meet new challenges in the world of animal care, welfare, and conservation,” says Dr. Barbara Baker. “ZAA is all inclusive, focused on its members, and we welcome all individuals and zoo organizations. ZAA’s programs, conferences and workshops, as well as other networking opportunities, assist zoos and aquariums in improving and advancing their animal care and welfare programs.”
With more than 60 accredited members and the largest membership of its history, the Zoological Association of America is the second largest trade association in the Zoological sector. Dr. Baker worked to develop the ZAA’s Strategic Long Range Plan, which sets an industrious and exciting vision for the future of the young organization.
Under Dr. Baker’s leadership at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, the Zoo has grown into one of the top zoos in the country, introducing visitors to the wonderful and amazing world of animals through naturalistic exhibits and education classes. She was a pioneer in efforts to help save endangered and threatened species by being the first Zoo to create an off-site International Conservation Center. She partnered with Project Frozen Dumbo to begin efforts to help strengthen an aging African elephant population in zoos. Dr. Baker has never met a challenge she didn’t like and proved it when she successfully engineered the rescue of female African elephants facing death in Botswana.
Today, she is the mastermind of one of the largest development projects in the Zoo’s history, Top of the World, which will utilize the last of the remaining acreage of the Zoo property.
Always with an eye on the future, Dr. Baker is aware of how zoos have evolved over the years and how to ensure success for years to come.