Parker’s Favorite Zoo Changes Leadership

Lincoln Park Zoo Announces New President


Photo credit: Chicago Sun Times

Change in President at Lincoln Park Zoo – First Female President

At the end of the year, Lincoln Park Zoo President, Kevin Bell, will be retiring after 25 years of service. Megan Ross, Ph.D. has been appointed his successor. Ross has worked at the zoo since 2000, and has been the director since 2018. Ross, the first female zoo director, will become the president of the Lincoln Park Zoo. 

During Ross’s time at the zoo, the amount of staff members PhDs from almost none to over 40, a tremendous step forward in conservation efforts funded by the zoo. She also led a $345 million dollar plan that created the new visitor center, the new Macaque, Polar Bear, African penguin exhibits, along with the Lion House renovation. 

Ross started at the zoo in 2000 as the director of the McCormick Bird House. Previously,  she had worked at other zoos to create an online program called ZooMonitor. ZooMonitor helps zoos keep track of what other zoos found to be animal’s favorite enrichments and foods. She has also been a leading figure in many conservation groups, and has continually improved the Lincoln Park Zoo’s conditions for animals.

Ross got a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and biology from James Madison University. Ross also received a Masters degree and doctorate in psychology from Georgia Institute of Technology. She is regarded as an expert on zoo and aquarium ethics, and a leader in animal conservation and research. 

Freshman Alex said that he likes “that Lincoln Park Zoo is committed to equality.” Lincoln Park Zoo has always been a community pillar of Chicago. This change will help to further improve the zoo, and help it to continue to provide for the community. This transition will ensure that the Lincoln Park Zoo remains a great place to visit, as well as an ethically and conservationally minded zoo that will continue to improve.