He will be the zoo's eighth president in its 117-year history.

Share story

Woodland Park Zoo officials have appointed Alejandro Grajal, an internationally known leader in conservation, as the zoo’s next president and CEO, officials announced Thursday.

Currently a leader at the Chicago Zoological Society/Brookfield Zoo, Grajal will assume the role May 16, the zoo said.

The Seattle zoo’s former president and CEO, Deborah Jensen, resigned last summer after 13 years at the helm. She was credited with establishing Woodland Park Zoo as a leader in education and wildlife conservation, even as the zoo faced recent controversy over its aging elephants.

Community members and the zoo’s board of directors selected Grajal for the position, applauding his leadership experience and research in conservation biology, animal welfare and social sciences.

He will be the zoo’s eighth president in its 117-year history, zoo officials said.

Custom-curated news highlights, delivered weekday mornings.