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Dear colleagues,

I hope you are all doing well in these challenging times. I have been in contact with members around the world and we are all facing the same problems. But we need to remain optimistic and make the best of this situation, and I am sure we will emerge from this stronger than before.

In happy news, I am pleased to announce that after an extensive search and interview process, the WAZA Council has made a decision on the appointment of the new WAZA CEO. I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Martín Zordan as WAZA’s CEO.

We had an incredibly high calibre of candidates who applied for the role, but Martín emerged as the clear choice. During his time as Interim CEO of WAZA, Martín distinguished himself through service and results and has proven to be a very effective Interim CEO. He effectively led the association through some challenging times and circumstances and has helped bring WAZA to a stable position. The WAZA Council are very pleased with everything Martín has accomplished in the past year and are confident that he will be a strong and strategic leader for the association. WAZA has some exciting plans for the future and the WAZA Council and Martín look forward to working closely with all of our members, towards a future where zoos and aquariums maximise their conservation impact and work together as a global community.

Martín, a veterinarian who graduated with the highest honours, has a diverse professional background in science and conservation culminating in his work as Executive Director of the Latin American Association of Zoos and Aquariums (ALPZA), followed by his role as the WAZA Director of Conservation, and subsequently as the Interim CEO of WAZA.


Theo Pagel,

WAZA President

Message from Martín Zordan:

We are privileged, we truly are. As progressive aquariums and zoos we can restore and create new connections between people and animals. We are able to share our passion for wildlife. It is a tremendous honour and responsibility to be at the service of this noble global community of aquariums and zoos. With a committed Executive Office and the support of the WAZA Council, we have three goals for the upcoming three years:

  1. Increase our members’ conservation impact and visibility thereof at a global scale
  2. Increase WAZA’s global representation
  3. Represent the highest standards of animal welfare – which we aim to accomplish through the WAZA 2023 Animal Welfare Goal

WAZA’s recognised regional and national associations of aquariums and zoos are at the heart of these and other developments, and they are essential to our success.

The current pandemic has turned our world around, but we will get through this. Our community is by nature immensely collaborative and experienced in working to manage the biodiversity crisis. We know all of our members are facing incredibly difficult situations during this pandemic, and our community is being challenged like it has never been before. Together we are adapting, becoming more globally unified, taking the opportunities that arise and getting ready to re-open. Our role in society at this time is clear, we need to help others recognise how strongly we are interconnected with nature, so that as societies we can act for species conservation and be safe through a One-Health approach.

As WAZA, we are here for and with you. I look forward to working together with all of you.

Best wishes,

Martín Zordan

AZA Chief Executive Officer