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Robert J. Lamb, Executive Director of Friends of the National Zoo

Robert J. Lamb became Executive Director of Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) in July 2006. FONZ is a nonprofit corporation governed by a 25-member volunteer Board of Directors. FONZ operates membership, guest services, concessions, and volunteer programs at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

As Executive Director, Bob directs all operations of this multifaceted organization; his particular expertise is in the areas of leadership, public outreach, strategic planning, and financial management. FONZ is devoted to supporting the National Zoo’s mission of providing leadership in animal care, science, education, and sustainability; and to serving the needs of visitors and the community for high-quality educational and recreational experiences at the Zoo. An advocate of engaging the public in natural resource conservation, Bob leads a staff of more than 300 full-time and seasonal employees who support the Zoo by implementing education, membership, and volunteer programs, hosting special events, raising funds for Zoo projects, and providing grants for Zoo staff and guest services for more than 2 million Zoo visitors annually.

Bob brings 35 years of leadership and management experience to FONZ. He has served in a variety of senior positions in the U.S. Department of the Interior since 1977, including as senior advisor for management and collaborative action in the Office of the Secretary. During his tenure, Bob addressed management, budget, and policy issues across the Department and its eight component bureaus and worked to advance the role of public-private partnerships in accomplishing natural resource conservation goals. Prior to joining Interior, he served as a management intern in the former U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now Health and Human Services).

During his career at Interior, Bob received five Presidential Awards for Senior Executive Career Achievements, and the Department’s Distinguished Service, Meritorious Service, and Secretary’s Partnership awards.

A bachelor of arts graduate of the University of Dayton, Bob earned a master of liberal arts degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a master of business administration degree from The George Washington University.

Bob is married to Amy Lamb, and has two grown children, Rob and Kai, and four grandchildren.