As associate director and chief advancement officer, Lesli Creedon oversees all fundraising initiatives for the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, including the current $80 million campaign, which is nearing its successful completion. Creedon leads an advancement team of 10 who work to raise significant funds for the Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI)’s world-renowned animal exhibits, research, and educational programming, supporting the organization’s mission of saving species from extinction.
Creedon leads major fundraising efforts for capital projects, including the $55 million renovation of the 1928 Bird House into "Experience Migration;" scientific programs such as the Slate Hill Conservation Initiative; the expansion of programmatic activities and facilities at SCBI to better aid in the reproduction, survival, and recovery of endangered species; and endowments. Her team cultivates private philanthropic gifts as well as corporate and foundation grants. She also manages the Zoo and SCBI’s advisory board.
Previously, Creedon served as the executive director of partnership development at the United Nations Foundation. The foundation mobilizes public and private partnerships to support the UN’s work on global issues including climate change, children’s health, peace and security, and poverty eradication. There, Creedon designed, implemented, and led its first fundraising strategy with a focus on international partnering and donations. Prior to her employment with the United Nations Foundation, Creedon served as the vice president of external affairs at Resources for the Future, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to energy, environmental and natural resource issues in Washington, D.C. A think tank fanatic, Creedon has also held fundraising and communications positions at the Brookings Institution, the Aspen Institute, and the Economic Policy Institute.
Creedon is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and serves on the advisory board of its department of economics.