Christina Castellano Accepts Position as CEO of the Topeka Zoo

After a comprehensive, nationwide search, the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center is thrilled to announce the appointment of Dr. Christina Castellano, as its next Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Dr. Castellano brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for wildlife conservation to her new role at the Topeka Zoo. She has held leadership positions at various zoo, aquarium, and conservation organizations, including Utah’s Hogle Zoo, Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, and Hawk Watch International. She also headed a specialized team responsible for breeding critically endangered species for reintroduction programs at Zoos Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. With over two decades of leadership in the zoo and conservation field, she is well-equipped to lead the Topeka Zoo into its next phase of growth and excellence.

“We are delighted to welcome Christina as our new CEO, said Fred Patton, President of the Topeka Zoo Board of Directors. Her extensive background in zoo management, conservation, and education make her the ideal candidate to lead our institution forward. We are confident that under her leadership, the Topeka Zoo will continue to thrive as a leading center for wildlife conservation, education, and community engagement.”

Dr. Castellano is an internationally recognized conservation biologist and published author. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences from Fordham University and an MBA from Western Governors University. Throughout her career, Dr. Castellano has been building, implementing, and promoting strategic conservation and business programs. She has led successful field-based endangered species projects and facilitated wildlife initiatives within cultural and academic institutions worldwide. Dr. Castellano has been actively involved with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), including her participation in the AZA’s Executive Leadership Development Program.

“I am honored and excited to join the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center, said Dr. Castellano. The Topeka Zoo has a long-standing commitment to conservation, education, and community service, and I look forward to working collaboratively with our staff, volunteers, partners, and community to build upon that legacy.”

Photo Credit Topeka Zoo

As CEO, Dr. Castellano will oversee all aspects of the Topeka Zoos operations, including animal care, development initiatives, and visitor experiences. She will work closely with the Board of Directors, staff, and stakeholders to further the Zoos mission to enrich our community through wildlife conservation and education.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Christina Castellano to the Topeka Zoo family and to our Northeast Kansas community!

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