Chief Executive


Bristol Zoological Society
Not For Profit
GBP Competitive salary


Our mission is to save wildlife through conservation action and engaging people with the natural world. We achieve this mission through operating two zoos; Bristol Zoo Gardens and the Wild Place Project, and through our formal and informal education, conservation and science programmes.

Established in 1836, Bristol Zoo Gardens is the fifth oldest zoo in the world. The Wild Place Project was launched in 2013 on a large, rural site in South Gloucestershire and has enjoyed rapid expansion since its inception.

As the largest visitor attraction in the South West, our zoos have welcomed over 90 million guests and through our national and international field conservation programmes, we have helped save a significant number of species from extinction. We offer popular undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in collaboration with local universities and our award-winning education team has taught generations of school children the value of nature, wildlife and the impact our society has on the world.

We are now seeking a new Chief Executive to lead the Society through its next phase of development. In partnership with the newly appointed Chief Zoological Officer, you will ensure that our mission is delivered via an amazing visitor experience and through high quality conservation, research and education.

Our new Chief Executive will have senior leadership experience gained in the leisure or visitor attraction sectors, ideally in organisations with multiple service lines. With strong commercial acumen, you will be able to articulate a clear vision and strategy to ensure increasing visitor numbers and financial sustainability for the Society. If you have the vision and passion to lead a values-based and committed team at this exciting point in our history, we very much look forward to hearing from you.

To view the job description and person specification, please scroll to the bottom of the page, tick to agree to the privacy policy, then click 'Continue to full details'.

Recruitment timetable

Timetable of the recruitment process
Closing Date Monday 11 December 2017
Preliminary Interviews w/c Monday 1 and Monday 8 January 2018
Final Panel Tuesday 30 January or Friday 2 February 2018

To apply for this post, please submit:

  • A comprehensive CV (no more than three sides of A4).
  • A supporting statement that addresses the criteria set out in the person specification.
  • Details of two referees who we would be able to contact at shortlist stage.

Please also ensure you have completed and submitted the equal opportunities monitoring form that appears on the GatenbySanderson site as you submit your application. The information you provide will be treated as confidential, and used for statistical purposes only. The form will not be treated as part of your application.

The closing date for applications is Monday 11th December 2017.

If you have any queries about any aspect of the appointment process, need additional information or wish to have an informal and confidential discussion then Katy Giddens or Juliet Taylor (0207 426 3973) or Helen Anderson (0207 426 3977) will be pleased to take your call. GatenbySanderson will respect the privacy of any initial approach or expression of interest in this role, whether formal or informal.


Contact details

Joanna Riley
07807 624 332

Before continuing please read and accept our Privacy Policy