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Director of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park Dennis Kelly Now Vice Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Board of Directors

The membership of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has elected Dennis Kelly, Director of the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, to the position of Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.

The AZA community recognizes Dennis's strong leadership abilities, said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are sure to benefit from his extensive experience and ability to guide others to meet the highest standards in this profession.

Kelly will serve on the AZA Board of Directors as one of its four officers, each of whom also serves on the board's executive committee. Kelly will be involved in every aspect of the national organization, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare, and conservation. Each year, AZA's 228 accredited facilities collectively contribute $160 million to field conservation projects that help to protect species across the world, serve more than 181 million visitors, welcome more than 12 million students on educational field trips, contribute $16 billion to the U.S. economy, and support 142,000 jobs.

It's a privilege to serve on the AZA Board of Directors. AZA is so important and critical to our zoological profession, said Kelly. I work with, who I believe, are some of the most passionate and dynamic conservationists in the world. I'm eager to be a part of leading the association forward and having a greater influence worldwide.

Throughout his 35+ years of professional experience in the not-for-profit, for-profit and government service worlds, Kelly has held positions in general management, marketing, finance, operations and engineering. Since joining AZA, he has served on the AZA Branding and Identity Project advisory group and the Trends Committee. Additionally, he was the named the first chair of the AZA Safety Special Committee and has served on the AZA Board of Directors for three years.