The National Aquarium is pleased to announce the selection of Senior Vice President and Chief Animal Welfare Officer Dr. Stephanie Allard as a participant in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) 2023 Ted A. Beattie Executive Leadership Development Program
(ELDP). Dr. Allard joins eight exceptionally talented aquarium and zoo professionals in the prestigious program, which is now in its ninth year. The ELDP develops executive competencies and leadership in individuals who demonstrate the ability and interest to advance to the role of director at an AZA-accredited facility in the next five years.
AZA recognizes the need to be proactive in identifying and training its next generation of leaders and remains committed to the executive development of identified senior leaders. The ELDP works to develop the executive competencies, knowledge, skills and behaviors needed to be most effective in the role of a zoo or aquarium director. The program's competency model emphasizes three tiers that include the heart and values of an effective leader, being an effective executive participant in AZA forums and advancing the AZA mission, and having the skills and knowledge needed to provide executive oversight for operations at the institutional level.
In her role as senior vice president and chief animal welfare officer, Dr. Allard leads the Aquarium's Animal Care and Welfare teams in providing world-class care for the hundreds of animal species on and off exhibit at the Aquarium. Dr. Allard is responsible for leading, planning and evaluating the work of the Animal Care, Animal Health, Animal Rescue, Dive Programs, Life Support Systems and Facilities Teams, as well as expanding the Aquarium's formal scientific agenda. As a member of the Aquarium's leadership team, she is instrumental in the organization's strategic planning and in furthering the Aquarium's goals to save wildlife and its habitats, combat climate change and stop plastic pollution while continuing to act as a global leader in animal welfare.
"When this program began nearly a decade ago, the goal was to develop the next generation of leaders capable of shaping a bright future for our profession," said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. "The results speak for themselves. Of the 83 ELDP graduates, three-fourths have advanced inside or outside their organization. This includes 27 graduates who now serve in a Director or CEO role and four who currently serve on the AZA Board of Directors. I look forward to seeing how these nine new professionals will help lead and shape our community in the future!"
The National Aquarium's Senior Vice President and Chief Mission Officer Jennifer Driban was inducted into the program in 2022 and has since graduated.