Dr. Dawn Zimmerman is the director of wildlife health for the Global Health Program, where she focuses on using a One Health approach for wildlife health issues and for the conservation of endangered species. Zimmerman has worked in the field of zoological and wildlife medicine for more than 15 years. She completed her Master of Science at San Diego State University and her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine at Ross University. Her master's degree research focused on the development of techniques for reproductive assistance in exotic canids, and she has a particular interest in the conservation of African carnivores.
Zimmerman’s field experience includes conservation medicine and capacity building in the Russian Far East, El Salvador, St. Kitts, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Chad, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka. Zimmerman was the global lead for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program in Kenya, working to detect pathogens of pandemic potential by investigating the animals most likely to harbor them.
She is an appointed assistant professor adjunct of epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health, and holds affiliate faculty positions at George Mason University, University of Nairobi (Kenya), and Addis Ababa University (Ethiopia). She is also an associate editor for the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, chair of the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians’ Development Committee, member of the National Science and Technology Council’s Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science & Technology working group, scientific adviser for the Gorilla Doctors at the University of California, Davis, and veterinary adviser for the Tapiridae Taxon Advisory Group and Species Survival Programs, the Tapir Specialist Group, and Sri Lanka’s Elephant Transit Home.
Her primary research interests include applying a One Health approach to the conservation of critically endangered wildlife species and the mitigation of emerging infectious diseases at the wildlife-human interface.