Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Steven L. Monfort, DVM, Ph.D., John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Dr. Steve Monfort is Director and Chief Scientist of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), headquartered on 3,200-acres in Front Royal, Virginia. SCBI serves as an umbrella for the Smithsonian’s global effort to use science-based approaches to conserve species and train future generations of conservationists. SCBI scientists conduct research and train conservation professionals in more than 30 countries worldwide in a wide range of disciplines including wildlife ecology, forest/climate change research, genetics/genomics, reproductive sciences, and zoo biology.

Throughout his career Monfort has used multidisciplinary, collaborative science to save species and habitats and restore animals to the wild. He is an expert in zoo biology, animal health, reproductive biology, behavioral ecology, and conservation biology. He was an early innovator who helped pioneer revolutionary noninvasive endocrine monitoring techniques that are now widely used for assessing reproductive status and well being of wildlife species in zoos and in the wild.

Monfort trains the next generation of conservationists through training programs at SCBI. He created the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation which provides transformative, hands-on education and professional development in conservation biology and allied fields for undergraduates, graduates, professionals, and others interested in advancing conservation.

Monfort helped catalyze and launch a number of significant conservation initiatives, including the Sahara Conservation Fund; Conservation Centers for Species Survival; Panama Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Project; and the Global Tiger Initiative. He has served as the chair of the Asian Wild Horse Species Survival Plan and is a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s antelope, deer and conservation breeding specialist groups.

Monfort earned a BA in Biology from U.C. San Diego, doctor of veterinary medicine and master’s degrees from U.C. Davis, and doctorate in environmental biology and public policy from George Mason University.