• Share this post on Delicious
  • StumbleUpon this post
  • Share this post on Digg
  • Tweet about this post
  • Share this post on Mixx
  • Share this post on Technorati
  • Share this post on Facebook
  • Share this post on NewsVine
  • Share this post on Reddit
  • Share this post on Google
  • Share this post on LinkedIn

Detroit Zoo Announces New Director Dr. Haley Murphy

Detroit Zoo Announces New Director Dr. Haley Murphy

(Detroit Zoo, Sept. 13, 2021)

Royal Oak, MI -The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has named Dr. Hayley W. Murphy director and chief executive officer.

Murphy, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, is the first woman in the Zoo’s 93-year history to hold the position. She comes to the DZS from Zoo Atlanta where she was promoted through increasingly responsible management positions and currently serves as deputy director.

Dr. Murphy’s appointment was the result of a rigorous, months-long search led by a committee of the DZS Board and Koya Partners, an executive recruiting firm that specializes in serving mission-driven clients.

“Hayley is an incredibly successful and respected leader who is often praised for being a strong listener, investing in relationships and showing compassion in all that she does. Not only is she a superb zoo executive, her accomplishments as a scientist will allow the DZS to continue growing as a leading animal and environmental research institution,” said Board Chair Tony Earley.

With more than 30 years of zoo experience and extensive involvement with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Dr. Murphy has proven expertise in conservation, animal welfare and education. She serves on the AZA’s Ethics Board and professional development committee. Also notable is her strong background in zoological veterinary medicine.

Dr. Murphy served as senior director of veterinary services and vice president of animal divisions before her promotion to deputy director at Zoo Atlanta, where she is responsible for mission-related areas including education, animal care and welfare, research, human resource management, exhibits and construction.

One of the country’s leading experts in gorilla cardiac health, Dr. Murphy is also Director of the Great Ape Heart Project, an innovative, international, multi-institutional effort – in which the Detroit Zoological Society is an active participant – aimed at investigating, diagnosing and treating heart disease in great apes. She also serves as the national veterinary advisor for the Gorilla Species Survival Plan and the Ape Taxonomic Advisory Group.

Murphy earned an Associates of Science from the State University of New York, and a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.

Widely known as a bold, courageous and compassionate institution, the DZS has earned the reputation as one of the most respected and innovative zoos around the world. Murphy spent her childhood summers in metro Detroit and is drawn to the Zoo’s clear commitment to excellence in animal welfare, conservation, education and community engagement.

“I am thrilled to join the Detroit Zoological Society and to work with such a dedicated board of directors, Zoo staff and the Greater Detroit community to continue the history of excellence and innovation for which the Detroit Zoo is known. Animal welfare, education, research and community engagement are critical to the future of our planet, and I am excited to lead an organization so clearly aligned with this mission,” said Murphy. “My family and I are looking forward to living in the Detroit area and becoming part of this progressive and diverse community.”

DZS Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan is retiring after 28 years of service.

Murphy is expected to begin her role leading the Detroit Zoological Society Nov. 1.

The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center.  With an annual regional economic impact of more than $167 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.3 million visitors annually.  Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,800 animals representing 239 species.  The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit.  For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit

About the author

Oakland County Times has written 13733 articles for Oakland County Times

Contact for any questions or story ideas! Please support this work by becoming an advertising sponsor or by chipping in through the PayPal button on the right side of the page.

Comments are closed.