With a passion for protecting nature, an understanding of the challenges the world faces, and a spirit of ruthless optimism, Dolf DeJong has enjoyed an incredible career in the conservation, wildlife protection and education field. Dolf began in his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Toronto Zoo in September 2018, and immediately began a thorough review of all aspects of the organization. His focus and leadership resulted in the Zoo team and the community developing a new Strategic Plan with a focus on saving wildlife, igniting passion, delivering exceptional guest experiences, connecting to the community and revolutionizing technology. At the same time, he decided to revitalize the Zoo’s Master Plan and create a new Technology Master Plan that would work in tandem and guide the organization for the next 10-20 years.
Previously, Dolf held senior positions at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, including Vice- President Conservation and Education, and General Manager. Part of his time included an assignment to the Oceanographic Aquarium in Valencia, Spain as they moved from a traditional aquarium to a Conservation organization committed to connecting with their community. Public engagement, building a positive organizational culture, re-accreditation and animal exhibit upgrade projects were among the many accomplishments he celebrated in these roles.
In addition to his employment at the Vancouver Aquarium, Dolf has previously worked at the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Hamilton as the Director of Biodiversity Programs, at Conservation Halton as a Park Area Manager, and with Ontario Parks at Bronte Creek, Presqu’ile and Ferris Provincial Parks. Dolf has a Master’s of Environmental Studies from Wilfred Laurier University, a Bachelor of Education from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Brock University.