Michael Hutchins, Ph.D.
Director, Conservation and Science
Dr. Michael Hutchins has considerable experience with non-profit organization management, having served as the Executive Director/CEO of The Wildlife Society (TWS)—the premier professional and scientific society for wildlife professionals--from 2005-2012, as Director/William Conway Chair of Conservation and Science for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) from 1990-2005, as Coordinator of Research, Conservation Biologist and Curatorial Intern in Mammalogy for the Wildlife Conservation Society (Bronx Zoo) from 1985-1990, and as Graduate Instructor and Acting Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle where he taught courses in animal behavior and behavioral ecology from 1976-1984.
He received his Ph.D. in Animal Behavior with minors in Ecology and Statistics from the University of Washington, Seattle in 1984, where he studied the behavioral ecology of Rocky Mountain goats in Olympic National Park, WA. He is currently an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Maryland’s Graduate Program in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development and Affiliate Professor in George Mason University’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy.
Dr. Hutchins has written and edited over 200 books, articles, and reports, many peer-reviewed, including serving as Editor Emeritus for Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia, an 18-volume compendium covering the entire animal kingdom. While at AZA, he chaired the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, a consortium of 30 zoological parks and conservation organizations focused on stopping the illegal, commercial trade in wildlife for meat in western and central Africa. While at AZA, he also managed the AZA Conservation Endowment Fund, led a planning effort to revise the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s’ (USFWS’) Black-footed Ferret Recovery Plan, initiated the Butterfly Conservation Initiative, developed the concept of regional collection planning, and co-organized a national planning effort on the future of elephants in North American zoos.
While at TWS, he worked with the USFWS and others to develop a National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Plan, co-organized a Blue Ribbon Panel on the Future of the Wildlife Profession, and also co-organized a series of meetings that led to the establishment of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Climate Change and Wildlife Science Centers.
Michael has traveled to six continents and 35 countries to pursue his interests in conservation and sustainability, including Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.