23 February 2024

We're recruiting an exciting new role on our Council – a Board Observer.

As a science-driven NGO, we're working to restore wildlife in the UK and around the world by protecting critical species, restoring ecosystems, helping people and wildlife live together and inspiring support for nature. 

With conservation projects around the world, and ground-breaking research carried out in our Institute of Zoology, science underpins all of our work. Our research informs conservation work and helps to inform policies and targets set by governments around the world. The Living Planet Index is widely used to measure progress towards the biodiversity targets set in Montreal in 2022, and reintroduction of threatened species rely on the thorough health analysis provided by our veterinary experts.

identifying mangrove species with local communities

Our two zoos, London and Whipsnade, provide world class care to threatened species, some of which are Extinct in the Wild and part of crucial conservation breeding programmes, and inspire millions of people about wildlife and nature every year.

Thirteen trustees make up ZSL’s Council, which functions as our governing body. The Council – all volunteers - is collectively responsible for our governance and provides leadership and oversight of our strategic direction, in line with the organisation’s charitable purposes.

The new volunteer role offers the opportunity to observe the trustees and contribute to crucial discussions around conservation and business. It is designed to provide a launch pad for an individual looking to gain non-executive and council experience.

Assigned a mentor from the existing board of trustees the individual will attend council meetings held at our headquarters at London Zoo, in Regent’s Park, to observe the content discussed, and be encouraged to share their own knowledge, expertise and experience during the leadership meetings.

ZSL Trustee shruti

Shruti Ajitsaria, a lawyer and ZSL trustee who will be mentoring the new Board Observer, said: “ZSL’s Council are responsible for steering the vital work of conservation NGO ZSL – and if we are to truly help protect the diversity of life on earth, we must have diversity ourselves.

“As an Asian female lawyer my perspectives add a richness to our board discussions and support to the executive committee, and we want even more of this from different standpoints and backgrounds  - I am passionate about ensuring that we build a pipeline of diverse talent - and the Board Observer role is one way in which we aim to achieve this.”

Our President, Professor Sir Jim Smith said: “This is an exciting opportunity to join ZSL’s board of trustees, at a pivotal time in this organisation’s history.

“With the pressures facing the natural world ever increasing, ZSL is uniquely placed to tackle these challenges and the board of trustees plays a crucial role in guiding that work.”

We're actively seeking to diversify our Council, and therefore seeking applications from people with Black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, disabilities, and LGBTQ+ identities, who have been historically underrepresented in the conservation sector and as members of Council.

Apply for the role

Prof Smith added: “As ZSL approaches its landmark 200th anniversary, we want to make sure our board represents a true mix of voices and experience – we’re excited to have unveiled this new Board Observer role and look forward to meeting candidates.”

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