Lynn Mento serves as executive director of Friends of the National Zoo, the nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute in its mission to save species. FONZ operates membership, events, guest services, concessions, camps/classes/parties, and the education and volunteer programs for the Smithsonian's National Zoo, and is governed by a volunteer board of directors.
As executive director of FONZ, Mento directs all operations of this multifaceted organization and partners closely with Zoo leadership to provide support for the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's critical species preservation and animal care work. She leads a staff of more than 300 full-time and seasonal employees — as well as 1,500 devoted volunteer s —who help bring awe-inspiring experiences to life for FONZ members and more than 2 million guests annually.
Mento brings more than 30 years of marketing and adverting experience to FONZ, having held leadership positions at marketing and advertising agencies in Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and New York City. Prior to her work at the Zoo, Mento oversaw membership and member engagement at AARP for eight years.
Mento graduated from Muhlenberg College. She lives in McLean, Virginia, with her husband, Philip, her son, Max, and has a daughter, Veronica, who lives in New York City. Lynn also serves as vice chair of Capital Caring, a large, nonprofit hospice.