Detroit Zoo Welcomes Dr. Matthews as Director of Diversity and Community Engagement

Detroit Zoo Welcomes Dr. Matthews as Director of Diversity and Community Engagement

(Detroit Zoo, Jan. 13, 2021)

Royal Oak, MI – The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) is pleased to announce Dr. De’Andrea Matthews as the organization’s director of diversity and community engagement. Dr. Matthews will work closely with the DZS executive team, racial equity working group, diversity advisory council and human resource department as well as the board’s diversity and community engagement committee.

“I feel fortunate to embark on this next phase of my career with an organization that recognizes embracing diversity and nurturing an inclusive environment, are essential qualities of an impactful and relevant cultural organization,” said Dr. Matthews. “I look forward to helping this unique institution find even more ways to serve the community.”

Dr. Matthews earned a Bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University and a doctorate of religious education from Destiny Christian University. She has helped Wayne State University’s office of diversity and inclusion for the past fifteen years, serving as the director since 2015.

“I know that Dr. Matthews will dynamically lead our diversity efforts by enhancing and expanding existing initiatives that lead to a rich and robust workforce, while engaging and including everyone in our community through collaborative partnerships with local groups and regional leaders.” said Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO for the Detroit Zoological Society.

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 2,400 animals representing 235 species.  The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit.  It provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community.  For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit

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