As the associate director of business, innovation and technology, Nikki Mounts oversees all business and financial activities, information technology, and human resources at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Additionally, she acts as a senior advisor to the director and deputy director on all items related to the business operations and the financial health of the organization. She directly manages a staff of 15 employees and provides administrative support for more than 450 employees and 1,800 animals.  

Prior to joining the Zoo, Mounts spent more than three years at the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General as its first chief of staff for the information technology division – a department she assisted in creating. In that role, she developed and implemented critical financial processes, operational programs and a wide range of new IT capabilities.  

Mounts is a 2006 graduate of the United States Military Academy and has a master’s degree in business administration from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.  Prior to that, she served on active duty in the U.S. Army for 8 years as a signal officer, serving two tours in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.  After leaving active duty, she entered the private sector as a senior project manager on subsea oil and gas projects for Alcoa in Houston, Texas. In 2016, she moved to the Washington, D.C., area and worked as a hospital administrator at the National Institutes of Health, providing direct business, finance, human resource, and acquisition support to several departments.  

Mounts is a member of the American Council for Technology and an Industry Advisory Council fellow. She is a recipient of numerous medals and honors from her time in the Army, including two Bronze Star Medals and the Meritorious Service Medal.