Zoo Boise Director Steve Burns Now Vice Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Board of Directors


Silver Spring, Maryland (November 19, 2013) –The membership of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has elected Steve Burns, Director of Zoo Boise, to the position of Vice Chair of the Board of Directors.

“The AZA community recognizes Steve’s strong leadership abilities,” said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. “AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are sure to benefit from his extensive experience and ability to guide others to meet the highest standards in this profession.”

Burns will serve on the AZA Board of Directors as one of its four officers, each of whom also serves on the board’s executive committee. Burns will be involved in every aspect of the national organization, including accreditation, ethics, animal welfare, and conservation.

Burns has been with Zoo Boise since 1997, originally serving as Executive Director of Friends of Zoo Boise and then as Zoo Director, overseeing both the Friends of Zoo Boise and the City of Boise zoo operations. During his tenure, Zoo Boise has raised more than $10 million in capital funds to construct new exhibits and renovate more than 80% of the 11-acre zoo. In response to the growing extinction crisis that threatens many of the world’s animals, Burns has been instrumental in transforming Zoo Boise into a conservation organization where the act of visiting the zoo is turned into a conservation action. Under his leadership, Zoo Boise was the first zoo in the country to introduce a mandatory conservation fee with zoo admission. Since 2007, Zoo Boise has contributed more than $1.2 million to wildlife conservation projects in Idaho and around the world and donates, on average, more than 10% of its annual budget to support wildlife conservation.

"I am honored to serve as Vice Chair of the Board and to continue to support the important work of the AZA," said Burns. "I look forward to working with the many zoos and aquarium members to further advance our conservation and education missions."

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and six other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit

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