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Lesli A. Creedon, Associate Director and Chief Advancement Officer, National Zoo

Lesli A. Creedon is the Associate Director and Chief Advancement Officer at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. As head of advancement, Creedon oversees all fundraising initiatives for the Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Her priorities include the completion of major capital projects at both the Rock Creek and Front Royal, Virginia campuses, including Elephant Trail, American Trail, and the Academic Center, cornerstone of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation.

In addition plans are being developed to bring the beloved giraffe back to the Zoo and renovate the historic Bird House with a new penguin exhibit. Private philanthropy is also key to the Zoo also fulfilling its research mission, and endowment support for its scientific staff is a significant priority for the Advancement Department.

From 2003 to 2007, Creedon served as the executive director of Partnership Development at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C. The foundation mobilizes public and private partnerships to help with global issues including climate change, children’s health, peace and security, and poverty eradication. There, Creedon designed, implemented, and led its first fundraising strategy with a focus on international partnering and donations. She worked with UN agencies around the globe and represented the foundation at international conferences and events, cultivating relationships with major corporate, foundation, individual and government donors and partners.

Prior to her employment with the United Nations, Creedon served as the vice president of External Affairs at Resources for the Future, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to energy, environmental and natural resource issues in Washington. A think tank fanatic, Creedon has also held fundraising and communications positions at the Brookings Institution, the Aspen Institute, and the Economic Policy Institute.

Creedon is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and serves on the advisory board of its Department of Economics. She is also a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Development Council at ALIVE! (Alexandrians InVolved Ecumenically!) a social service organization.