The mission of Nashville Zoo is to inspire a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership.

Zoo Senior Management Team

Rick Schwartz – Zoo President
Reagan Fairbairn – Chief Finance Officer
Suzanne Iler – Chief Development Officer
Andy Tillman – Chief Operating Officer
Lanny Brown – Mammal Curator
Dale McGinnity – Ectotherm Curator
Joe deGraauw – Avian Curator
Jacqueline Menish – Curator of Behavioral Husbandry
Dr. Heather Robertson – Senior Zoo Veterinarian

Board of Directors 

Robin Patton - Chairman
Rick Schwartz - Zoo President
Jim Hunt – Immediate Past Chairman
Sheryl Rogers – Secretary
Kent Kirby - Treasurer
Chris Whitson –Legal Counsel

Cynthia Arnholt, Kelley Beaman, Kathryn Brown, Neely Coble, Kevin Crumbo, Jennifer Frist, Carl Haley, Traci Hamilton, John Howard, Sarah Ingram, Jeff Jacobs, Daynise Joseph, David Manning, Richard McRae, Charles Sonnenberg, Julie Walker

Advisory Board Members

George Armistead, Lee Beaman, Renée Chevalier, Kelly Crockett Crook, Missy Eason, Rodes Hart, Jamie Jones, Art Laffer, Jim Littlejohn, Tom Loventhal, Larry Papel, Dick Ragsdale, Abby Trotter, Jimmy Webb

Visionary Leadership of Zoo President, Rick Schwartz

Rick Schwartz has been heavily involved in the world of conservation for almost thirty years. He is known internationally for his expertise in big cats and for his personal devotion to the preservation of the highly endangered clouded leopard. In 1989, Schwartz lent his expertise to a group of Nashvillians intent on creating a local zoo. Since then he has been the director and primary architect of Nashville Zoo, building facilities, designing the exhibits and working extensively with other zoos throughout the country to develop the outstanding collection of species represented at Nashville Zoo. Schwartz's exhibit designs have been featured on Animal Planet's Ultimate Zoo series, and Zoo professionals from around the world come to Nashville to consult on his innovative designs.