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Steven Monfort, Ph.D., D.V.M.

John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (retiring, August 2021)
B.A., University of California San Diego; D.V.M. and M.S., University of California Davis; Ph.D. George Mason University

As the John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (retiring, August 2021), Steven Monfort directs operations at the organization's 163-acre facility in Washington, D.C., and its 3,200-acre facility in Front Royal, Virginia.

Monfort is responsible for managing the organization's multimillion dollar budget; the Zoo, a public facility which welcomes approximately 1.8 million visitors each year; and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, which includes groundbreaking work in conservation biology. Monfort is also responsible for education programs, ticketed events and retail services.

Monfort has been affiliated with the Zoo since 1986, when he founded the Zoo’s Endocrine Research Laboratory. It is the largest laboratory of its kind in the United States, dedicated to monitoring hormones for assessing reproductive health and well-being in diverse wildlife species. Monfort has also served as a scientific advisor to the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Science and was previously the supervisor of SCBI's Education Office and an associate clinical veterinarian.

In 2006, he became the Zoo’s associate director for conservation and science, supervising approximately 100 research scientists, research veterinarians, technicians, support staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and research interns located at the Zoo’s Rock Creek and Front Royal facilities. In addition to serving as the leader of the Zoo’s science directorate, Monfort was the John and Adrienne Mars Director, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.

Monfort is co-founder of the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, an in-residence program at SCBI that immerses George Mason University students in an interdisciplinary, conservation learning environment. He is an affiliate professor at George Mason, founder of the Sahelo-Saharan Interest Group, chair of the Asian Wild Horse Species Survival Plan, co-founder and board chair emeritus of the Sahara Conservation Fund and serves as a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources antelope, cervid and conservation breeding specialists groups.
Monfort has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers in the broad discipline of reproductive biology, and he helped to pioneer noninvasive endocrine monitoring techniques that are now widely used for assessing reproductive status and well-being of wildlife species in zoos and in nature. Monfort received his doctor of veterinary medicine from the University of California at Davis and his doctorate in environmental biology and public policy from George Mason University.
Recent Publications: 
Pukazhenthi, Budhan, Songsasen, Nucharin, Brown, Janine, Comizzoli, Pierre, Crosier, Adrienne, Hagedorn, Mary, Gratwicke, Brian, Pitt, William and Monfort, Steven. 2020. David E. Wildt-An Inspiring Leader in the Conservation of Wild Species. Journal of Heredity, 414-416. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esaa013
Stabach, Jared A., Cunningham, Stephanie A., Connette, Grant, Mota, Joel L., Reed, Dolores, Byron, Michael, Songer, Melissa, Wacher, Tim, Mertes, Katherine, Brown, Janine L., Comizzoli, Pierre, Newby, John, Monfort, Steven L. and Leimgruber, Peter. 2020. Short-term effects of GPS collars on the activity, behavior, and adrenal response of scimitar-horned oryx (Oryx dammah). PloS One, Article e0221843. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0221843
Mertes, Katherine, Stabach, Jared A., Songer, Melissa, Wacher, Tim, Newby, John, Chuven, Justin, Al Dhaheri, Shaikha, Leimgruber, Peter and Monfort, Steven. 2019. Management Background and Release Conditions Structure Post-release Movements in Reintroduced Ungulates. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 470. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00470