Jo-Elle Mogerman is a native Chicagoan who grew up with a love of animals. Mogerman applied that love to her academic pursuits, obtaining a B.A. in biology from Macalester College, an M.A. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. in biology with a focus on foraging ecology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. In addition, she is currently adjunct at DePaul University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies, teaching an on-line course that engages students as citizen scientists.
Currently, she serves as the first African-American female zoo director as the Director-Saint Louis Zoo WildCare Park. There she is leading the effort to build from scratch a new safari experience and animal science and conservation breeding facility. At John G. Shedd Aquarium she oversaw the vision and strategic direction for all learning and community programs. She brings extensive executive experience in informal education and community relations and is well-versed on topics related to the conservation and zoological community through nearly 14 years at Chicago Zoological Society’s Brookfield Zoo.
Dr. Mogerman currently serves the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) as the Chair of the Wildlife Conservation Committee and advisory to the Diversity Committee. She has served as chair of the AZA’s Diversity Committee and a member of the Ethics Committee. She currently serves on the boards of North County Inc. and WildEarth Allies and Alliance for the Great Lakes (as Chair). She is also an Illinois Nature Preserves commissioner. She has garnered more than 10 awards for the organizations, programs and projects under her lead.