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Strategy & Leadership

Director of Education and Engagement

Job Type Full-Time  
Experience Level Executive  
Organization Type Gov't  
Pay Range $99k - $124k / yr  

Cleveland Metroparks

Work Days

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

Job Description

The Director of Education and Engagement directs and implements the Zoo’s community engagement and conservation education programming, mission-based messaging, and graphic/exhibit development, along with library/multimedia/digital resources, volunteer training and evaluation, revenue generation and division budget/s.  As a member of the Zoo’s Leadership Team, the Director of Education and Engagement is also responsible for advising the Deputy Zoo Executive Director in the above areas, as well as assisting with other mission-based duties (fundraising, grant development, strategic planning) and act as a Zoo representative within the local and international community. 

Essential Functions:

  • Effectively supervises assigned employees, including the following: 
    • Interviews, selects and trains employees; 
    • Coaches employees in proper job performance techniques and procedures; 
    • Directs work of employees and sets/adjusts hours of work; 
    • Maintains records on employee productivity and appraises employees’ productivity and efficiency to recommend promotions or other changes in status; 
    • Handles employee complaints and disciplines employees when necessary; 
    • Apportions work among different employees; 
    • Monitors or implements legal compliance measures; 
    • Determines the type of materials, supplies, or tools to be used by employees and controls the flow and distribution of materials and supplies; and 
    • Provides for the safety of employees and the property of Cleveland Metroparks.
  • Regular and predictable attendance is expected and required. All Cleveland Metroparks employees must be prepared to work flexible schedules, including evenings, weekends, and/or holidays as required.
  • Develops, implements, oversees, and evaluates an extensive and diversified community engagement and conservation education program emphasizing global and local environmental issues, social science and conservation practices, advocacy, and civic engagement.
  • Develop, oversee, and implement written community engagement and education plans that matches or exceeds current industry standards and includes goals and objectives as it relates to AZA and industry standards.
  • Participates in designing and developing exhibits, graphics, and interpretation and all structured program for the visiting public.
  • Seeks, develops, and manages active, ongoing collaborative partnerships with organizations and individuals (community service providers, museums, science centers, school districts, colleges and universities, conservation organizations) that can contribute to the achievement of the zoo’s community engagement and education goals.
  • Oversees Zoo print and digital resource collections. Ensures that Zoo staff have access to informational resources with the goal of supporting excellence in programs and operations. Coordinates all zoo staff and public information requests relating to the print and digital resource collection.
  • Regularly evaluates exhibits, interpretive programs, and other community engagement and education effectiveness (participant satisfaction and program impact) and content (current scientific, advocacy and conservation information). Ensures that the evaluation results are utilized to improve the existing programs and to create new programs.
  • Maintains a thorough understanding of the complex needs of the zoo’s diverse audiences and ensures that programs are provided to meet those needs.
  • Coordinates with all Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Creative Services, and IT divisions to ensure that all exhibit graphics and other interpretive devices are in good working condition and functioning and based on current scientific knowledge reflecting current interpretive methods.
  • Works closely with stakeholders and organizations to secure zoo educational program funding, including assisting in the production of applicable grant applications and awards.
  • Develops and manages budgets for division in a manner that ensures effective use of financial resources. 
  • Keeps direct supervisor promptly informed of key/significant issues or concerns.
  • Carries out duties and responsibilities in a safe and efficient manner to maintain a safe work environment and surrounding area for oneself, co-workers and public. Responds to hazardous situations and/or potentially unsafe conditions by taking corrective action as capable and promptly notifying supervisory personnel.
  • Updates and enhances own knowledge by involvement in continuing education for professional growth (i.e., attends relevant conferences, seminars, in-service trainings, and certification programs)
  • Conducts tours and speaking engagements for civic and business leaders, high profile visitors and potential high level financial supporters as requested.
  • Write articles for various publications
  • Provide timely response to public inquiries response to professional and public correspondence.
  • Coordinates the Community Engagement and Conservation Education Division with other Cleveland Metroparks departments and divisions as necessary.
  • Performs related duties as assigned or apparent.


  • $99,826 – $124,782 annually (Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed/considered before making a final offer)


  • Master’s degree in education, science, environmental justice, or a related field required, supplemented by five years of progressive experience in managing community engagement and/or conservation education programs, including revenue generating and school programs, to include lead or supervisory experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience which provides the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities for this job.
  • Must possess a valid Ohio Driver’s license and a good driving record (fewer than six (6) active points at hiring process application stage.
  • In-depth knowledge of Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) standards relating to education, interpretation, and ambassador animals.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with stakeholders, including employees and the nearby communities.
  • Ability to speak and write clearly, concisely, and persuasively using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation with ability to communicate one-on-one or in group settings.
  • Ability to perform work with a high degree of accuracy and organization.
  • Management skills and strong business acumen, including problem solving, vision, ability to manage multiple programs and meet deadlines, collaboration, leadership, staff development, decision making and ability to analyze diverse facts and develop clear and concise reports and recommendations.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with others.
  • Proficiency in software programs including all Microsoft Office programs.
  • Mature professional attitude and considerable discretion, including ability to manage confidential information.
  • Ability to perform with considerable independence and initiative.

Work Schedule: Varies

Filing Deadline: Open until filled

About Organization

Cleveland Metroparks is a nationally recognized and accredited park system, spanning more than 24,000 acres across Northeast Ohio. It includes 18 park reservations, more than 300 miles of trails, eight golf courses, eight lakefront parks, dining and retail venues, and nationally acclaimed Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Founded in 1917, Cleveland Metroparks draws approximately 18 million annual visitors, and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo annually ranks as one of the most popular year-round attractions in Northeast Ohio.

Cleveland Metroparks is an Award Winner of the NorthCoast 99 "Best Places to work in Northeast Ohio” for 13 consecutive years.

Cleveland Metroparks Mission Statement
Cleveland Metroparks will conserve significant natural resources and enhance people’s lives by integrating high-quality outdoor education, recreation and zoological opportunities into people’s lives.