Escondido, CA
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San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s new director continues tradition of connecting people with wildlife

San Diego Global recently welcomed a new addition to its leadership team as Lisa Peterson assumed the role of director of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. In her new role, the former hospitality industry executive oversees the administration of the 1,800-acre wildlife preserve located near Escondido. This includes all departments and operations, including construction and maintenance, animal services, veterinary services, horticulture, guest experiences, and special events.

Peterson took over the helm in late 2017 from Bob McClure, who retired after 37 years of service to San Diego Zoo Global, including 35 years as Safari Park director.

“We are honored to welcome Lisa to the family,” said Douglas G. Myers, president and chief executive officer of San Diego Zoo Global. “She brings a tremendous amount of leadership experience and is an asset to our organization.”

While she may be new to the San Diego Zoo Global executive team, Peterson brings with her more than two decades of leadership experience. Throughout out her career, she earned a reputation for developing best-in-class customer experiences and a dedication to the communities she serves. As the new director of the Safari Park she looks forward to engaging more people in the important work of species conservation.

Peterson takes over her new role as the San Diego Zoo Safari Park gets ready to open its new Australia themed experience, Walkabout Australia. Opening summer 2018, Walkabout Australia is a 3.6-acre exhibit where guests can get up-close with some of Australia’s unique and extraordinary animals such as kangaroo, wallaby and wombats.

“The Walkabout Australia experience is an opportunity to connect our guests with unique species in a way that will create lasting memories,” said. Peterson.  “As we move forward in partnership with conservationists in Australia it gives us a chance to share the remarkable work being done by the community there to preserve all of their native species.”

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

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