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Manager of Family Programs

Posted: June 11, 2024 Expired: November 27, 2023
Roger Williams Park Zoo
High School

Roger Williams Park Zoo

Manager of Family Programs

Roger Williams Park Zoo (RWPZ) of Providence, Rhode Island, is one of the nation’s oldest zoos, exhibiting over 100 animal species. Our culture is built on our core values -community, fun, innovation, diversity, integrity, sustainability, and excellence. We value our role in the community as a treasured place for families and a trusted resource for learning; we create a sense of community for our staff and contribute to the global conservation community.  We provide a fun experience for our guests and believe that a fun environment is essential to create a great workplace. We are willing to take risks, to propose novel ideas and to think “out of the box”. Bold dreams are welcome here. We act with respect toward all. We value diversity and are intolerant of bias. Integrity and honesty drive our business practices and our relationships with each other and our constituents. We are driven by our vision of greater sustainability in our environmental practices and in our business model. We believe that by establishing a sustainable financial base we can best achieve our goals. We are always striving for excellence. We work to exceed expectations in all areas.

RWPZ is currently recruiting a full-time, year-round, exempt Manager of Family Programs. The Manager of Family Programs defines and implements the goals and is responsible for the administration of all Roger Williams Park Zoo’s fee-based family programs including maintaining a portfolio that generates revenue to sustainably support department programming.  The Manager of Family Programs reports directly to the Director of Education and supervises the ZooCamp Director, Assistant ZooCamp Director, Camp Counselors, Inclusion Specialist, CITs, Overnight Program Coordinators, and Education Instructors (in cooperation with Manager of School Programs).


     1.Family Programs
  • Supervises and leads the family program staff including hiring, training, management, mentoring, evaluation, assigning and reviewing work, maintaining standards, coordination of activities, and allocating personnel.
  • Assesses programs for profitability.
  • Develops and maintains a portfolio that generates revenue to sustainably support department programming
  • Works with the Director of Education to support the development and implementation of a system for program evaluation with consideration to cultural relevance, age appropriateness, and articulated outcomes.
  • Models an active commitment to the Zoo’s Diversity, Equity, Access and Inclusion plan by working with team to actively examine programming using an equity lens. Makes changes where needed to continually ensure cultural responsiveness and improve accessibility and inclusion for all audiences.
  • Works with PR & Marketing and the Education Programs Registrar on marketing and exposure strategies with appropriate identified audiences.
  • Assists the Director of Education in establishing and maintaining working relationships with internal and external stakeholders to develop and implement strategies and programs that further the Roger Williams Park Zoo mission.
  • Develops, manages, and monitors the Family Programs budget and related expenditures in a fiscally sustainable manner.
  • Assists the Director of Education in the preparation of grant and sponsorship proposals related to Family Programs.
  • Keeps familiar with current research, technology, and programming trends for education in informal/non-formal learning environments. This includes current trends and best practices for serving diverse audiences in non-formal education.
  • Leads the research, development, and creation of new programs.
  • Facilitates programs.
  • Assists the Program Registrar with the program registration process including but not limited to curating registration documents, confirmation materials and responding to inquiries from the public.
  • Communicates effectively with program participants via phone, e-mail, and in-person.
  • Works with the Director of Education in strategically planning and maintaining a revenue generating portfolio.
  • Consistently evaluates portfolio for areas of potential improvement and growth.
      2. ZooCamp
  • Oversees camp programs for youth ages 4-17 including but not limited to: winter camp, spring camp, holiday camps and summer camp.
  • Supports ZooCamp Director in project management including curriculum development, hiring, training, leading camp team, and providing premier customer service.
  • Assists Program Registrar with camp registration process.
  • Consistently evaluates ZooCamp program with the Camp Director for areas of potential improvement and growth
  • Manages budget.
  • Acts as ZooCamp Director/Assistant ZooCamp Director as needed.
  • Oversees and supports ZooCamp Director in ZooCamp policy and protocol development and implementation.
  • Collaborates with the Development team to pursue community partnerships, collaborations, grants, and donations to expand capacity of ZooCamp and Family Programs.
      3.Animal Handling Responsibilities
  • Complete Program Animal Handling Training and be comfortable with all aspects of animal handling, acclimation, and presentation in programs.  This may include (but is not limited to) the safe handling of snakes and other reptiles, birds (including raptors), small mammals and invertebrates (including tarantulas, cockroaches & scorpions).
      4.Other functions and responsibilities (Non-Essential/Marginal Functions)
  • Be reachable by phone (including evening and overnight hours) to provide guidance to staff facilitating after-hours Family Programs, including but not limited to Overnights.
  • Facilitate meetings amongst staff.
  • Provide acclimation for ambassador animals.
  • Assist all Education Managers with program development and facilitation of programs as needed.
  • Assist the Director of Education in maintaining growth and credibility of Roger Williams Park Zoo as a regional and national conservation organization.
  • Assist the Strategy and Engagement team as needed.
  • Carry animal carriers and program supplies to and from vehicles and throughout the Zoo.
  • Safe operation of Zoo vehicles including golf carts when required.
Supervisory Responsibilities:

The individual in this position supervises the ZooCamp Director, Assistant ZooCamp Director, Inclusion Specialist, ZooCamp Counselors, CITs, Overnight Program Coordinators, Education Instructors (in cooperation with Manager of School Programs).

Experience Required

Required Experience and Education: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education to meet the minimum requirements. The minimum requirements for this position consider a combination of education and work experience that demonstrates the following: Knowledge of non-formal science/conservation education program development and delivery, including audience assessment, use of planning tools like logic models and development of content and approach that matches audiences. Leading staff, including knowledge of hiring, training, evaluating, coaching/mentoring, and performance management while creating a culture of growth, accountability and excellence for staff and self. Development and implementation of fee-based, revenue generating programs. An advanced understanding around key areas of educational work including conservation education, informal learning, outdoor education, science education and/or environmental education. Preferred Experience and Education: A combination of education and work experience that demonstrates an ability to: develop and refine education programs using an equity lens to ensure accessibility and inclusion for diverse audiences. be comfortable with animal handling. write grants or other funding proposals, including reporting of results. Certification in CPR and First Aid Previous customer service experience is preferred, particularly in a zoo or aquarium setting. Recent experience working with diverse populations and fluency in speaking additional languages are a plus. Recent experience maintaining a revenue generating program portfolio in a zoo aquarium or related field. Must demonstrate proficiency in: Effective program design and evaluation. Conservation psychology and behavior change models. Must possess: Ability to engage guests and program participants of all ages in conservation, animals and our mission with warmth and affinity. Ability to articulate the importance and role of Zoos and Aquariums in conservation and education. Knowledge of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) and other relevant professional organizations. An appreciation for informal, lifelong learning in agreement with RWPZ’s mission and commitment to education and conservation. Ability to develop programming that fosters empathy for animals.

Further Comments

Additional Requirements: Ability to work outdoors under various weather conditions. Flexibility to work weekends, holidays and evenings. Occasional travel via all modes of transportation. Successful completion of a background check. Valid state driver’s license. Frequently handle moving animals, which may weigh up to 15 pounds for 30-minute interval, lift and/or move stationary items such as carriers up to 30 pounds for 30-minute intervals, and be exposed to loud, high-energy environments.


Health and Life Insurance, 403b Retirement Plan with employer match, PTO, and more!

How to Apply

If you are interested in this exciting opportunity to be a team member at a well-renowned Zoo in the New England area, send a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to the address below. 

Roger Williams Park Zoo

ATTN: Manager of Family Programs

1000 Elmwood Ave

Providence, RI 02907


Roger Williams Park Zoo
1000 Elmwood Ave
Providence, RI 02907


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