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Colony Director

Hiring Organization:
Chimp Haven

Date Posted:

Position Description:
Chimp Haven is hiring!

Colony Director

Come change lives.
Starting right here in Northwest Louisiana!

Chimp Haven is the only destination for government owned chimpanzees retired from research laboratories. It is our goal to provide a healthy, happy life for every one of the chimpanzees at our spacious 200-acre campus.

You are an optimistic go-getter who can get things done. You are skilled at analyzing data to build your plan and then rolling up your sleeves to make things happen. You are innovative, creative and comfortable leading teams of chimpanzee caregivers to provide optimal care. As a compassionate animal lover, you have a natural ability to treat each chimpanzee as an individual and develop relationships with your team and the chimpanzees. And finally, you are a team player who welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with the veterinary team, the behavioral team, husbandry staff and others to provide the best care possible for our residents.

Come join our team of dedicated staff, scientists and volunteers who are committed to the well-being of chimpanzees.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to or fax to 318-925-5600. For more information, please visit our website at



POSITION TITLE: Colony Director

REPORTS TO: President and CEO

Status: Full-time
FLSA: Exempt
Risk Level: 3

ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW: Chimp Haven is an independent, nonprofit sanctuary that is home to over 230 chimpanzees, most of whom were retired from biomedical research. Located on 200 forested acres near Shreveport, Louisiana, our sole purpose is to ensure that our resident chimpanzees are able to live out the rest of their lives in comfortable retirement. The sanctuary is solely dedicated to meeting the needs of its chimpanzees. It is made up of a wide range of dynamic habitats for the chimpanzees, including multiple acres of natural forests for them to explore. As more retired chimpanzees make their way from research institutions to sanctuary, our population continues to grow. Chimp Haven has a well-designed facility to support the physical and psychological well-being of all animals, experienced staff and high standards for operational excellence. The organization is accredited by AAALAC and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, USDA inspected and a member of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance. Chimp Haven offers a competitive salary, excellent benefits, extensive training and an opportunity for professional advancement. Equal Opportunity Employer.

THE OPPORTUNITY: As a key member of the organization?s animal care and senior management team, the colony director is responsible for overseeing animal husbandry and associated programs for the chimpanzee colony. Participates in colony management decisions along with the attending veterinarian and director of behavior and research. Provides oversight and management of the husbandry/animal care department. This includes direct supervision of two animal care supervisors and direction to approximately 20 animal care staff.


1. Professional Animal Care

? Manage the scheduling and completion of daily activities within the husbandry/animal care department related to feeding, cleaning, shifting and routine care.
? Identify animal health concerns and coordinate care and treatment with the veterinary department.
? Partner with the behavioral team to help support behavioral management decisions related to the colony such as social introductions, positive reinforcement training, daily enrichment, etc.
? Continually monitor chimpanzee habitats and housing; coordinate repairs and improvements with maintenance team.
? Identify chimpanzees by sight and name. Be knowledgeable of individual preferences, personalities and life histories.

2. Department Administration

? Create and manage departmental budget.
? Ensures financial integrity in costing of all services. Oversee purchases of food, supplies and equipment; monitor inventory.
? Work with husbandry/animal care supervisors to write, edit, update and enforce all standard operating procedures (SOP?s) related to husbandry.
? Develops, implements and periodically updates staff training programs.
? Oversee all aspects of safety procedures within the department; participate on the internal Safety Committee and Chimpanzee Emergency Response Team.
? Participate on twice -weekly NIH transport calls to plan and coordinate upcoming chimpanzee transfers.
? Assist attending veterinarian with AAALAC accreditation and certification efforts; participate in USDA, NIH, and other site visits as needed; write sections of program descriptions, annual reports, etc. as directed by CEO or attending veterinarian. Assist in assuring compliance with all federal laws and guidelines and institutional policies concerning animal care.
? Work in partnership with the SCCC/IACUC as required.
? Maintain knowledge of industry innovations and best practices related to animal husbandry.
? Represent the husbandry department related to facility expansion and capital improvement projects. Provide accurate and timely information, advice and recommendations to architects and planning team regarding facility design, safety requirements, etc. that would impact the colony.
? Provide departmental information and chimpanzee updates to development and communications staff for use in grants, reports, social media, conferences, etc.

3. Leadership

? Actively participate on the senior management team providing input, recommendations, and sound advice to help with strategic planning, organizational decisions, etc.
? Participate in weekly or bi-weekly meetings with attending veterinarian and director of behavior and research to identify potential challenges and solutions; discuss and coordinate monthly schedules for transports, introductions, and physicals; and align on key decisions impacting the colony and communication plan to staff.
? Encourage and model professionalism among the staff; serve as a brand ambassador for Chimp Haven.
? Work with human resources to recruit, hire and train new husbandry department employees and interns.
? Implement catalytic coaching model among team; help develop direct reports and staff within the department; build succession plan.
? Represent the organization during media interviews, visitor tours, donor outreach events, Discovery Day programs, etc. Media training provided.
? Provide executive leadership in assuring the safety and well-being of personnel.


? Bachelor of Science degree in biology, zoology, wildlife management or related field with relevant coursework (related work experience may be substituted)
? Minimum 10 years? experience in animal husbandry, preferably with chimpanzees or other non-human primates
? Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
? Proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other computer applications


? Calm, deliberate, patient and team-oriented; achieves results through collaboration.
? Collaborates with team members within the husbandry department and across the organization to discuss ideas, develop new processes and solve problems related to chimpanzee care; operates with authenticity, clarity, transparency and effectiveness.
? Conveys optimism and demonstrates resilience. Recovers quickly from set-backs and overcomes obstacles.
? Organized yet flexible. Willing to pivot or adjust plan in order to respond to changing priorities or the needs of chimpanzees.
? Conveys energy and passion about Chimp Haven?s work and mission. Ability to tell the Chimp Haven story and positively engage with visitors during tours.
? Writes clearly and concisely; able to effectively create and conduct presentations for multiple audiences.
? Willingness to readily share knowledge with others, answer questions from staff and help others gain an understanding of your work and decisions made.
? Willingness to seek and listen to feedback from others and find the best way to incorporate feedback.
? Ability to remain calm under pressure and maintain positive interactions with colleagues, staff and volunteers even during times of stress.
? Experience with IACUC activities and protocols helpful.

TBD based on Education and Experience

Term of Appointment:
Permanent, full-time position

Send cover letter, salary requirement and resume to: or fax resume to Human Resources Department @ 318-925-5600.

Contact Information:
Human Resources Department
13600 Chimpanzee Place
Keithville, LA 71047

Telephone Number:
(318) 925-9575

Fax Number:
(318) 925-5600


E-mail Address:

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