The Chicago Zoological Society is uniquely positioned to expand our leadership role in conservation on a local, regional, national, and international level. Our approach to applied science and education has led to a history of significant programs that have directly benefited the conservation of wildlife and the natural world.
To maximize and sustain conservation impact, programs must integrate and apply scientific knowledge toward human action while leveraging cultural shifts through training, community engagement, strategic collaborations, and public policy involvement. The management team—along with the Board of Trustees of the Chicago Zoological Society—is accountable for leading CZS toward desired strategic outcomes that advance the institution.
Based on rigorous review and evaluation of the best available data and alternatives, our leadership team functions collaboratively in a trusting and respectful environment, passionately committed to the mission of inspiring conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature.
Stuart D. Strahl, Ph.D., President and CEO
Richard G. Gamble, Senior Vice President of Operations
Dr. Stuart Strahl is a career conservationist with deep experience in applied science, restoration ecology, public policy, and not-for-profit management. Prior to arriving at CZS, Dr. Strahl led Audubon into national prominence as the acknowledged private-sector leader in the largest ecological restoration initiative in history, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. His prior positions include founding President/CEO of Audubon of Florida, Vice President and Everglades Conservation Director of the National Audubon Society, and Research Fellow and founding Director of Latin American Programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Dr. Strahl is dedicated to converting conservation into a mainstream public issue. He has worked extensively to develop lasting partnerships in the United States and Latin America, which have resulted in preservation of over 30 million acres of wildlife habitat and over $15 billion in conservation funding. He has broad experience in bringing together diverse interests around mainstream causes. He has served on various Boards of Directors, including the Society for Conservation Biology, the Everglades Foundation, and Vital Ground Foundation. Dr. Strahl is also well-versed in philanthropic support, having raised many millions of dollars in operational funding to support these initiatives. Dr. Strahl received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Bates College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and his Ph.D. in Biology from the State University of New York at Albany. He served for over 10 years as the founding Chair of the IUCN/SSC Specialist Group on the Avian Family Cracidae and on adjunct faculties of the University of Florida, State University of New York, Washington College, and elsewhere.
Cindy Zeigler, Chief Advancement Officer
A Chicago native, Richard Gamble most recently served as Vice President & General Manager of Chicagoland Publishing and Publisher of Chicago Magazine for the Chicago Tribune Media Group. During his impressive 16-year career with the Tribune, he held several leadership positions, including Vice President of Finance & Operations, Publisher & General Manager for Exito! Newspaper, Director of Business Development, and Director of the Packaging Division. Prior to his employment at the Tribune, Gamble held various logistics and operations positions for Taco Bell Corporation and McMaster-Carr Supply Company, all which added to his deep experience and skills to assume the Society’s leadership position. Gamble holds a Masters of Management degree from Northwestern University with concentrations in marketing, management strategy and planning, and organizational behavior. An active community leader, he serves on several nonprofit boards, including Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Loop Alliance, Greater North Michigan Avenue Association, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, and SOS Children’s Villages of Illinois, among others.
William Zeigler, Senior Vice President of Animal Programs
Chris Jabin, Senior Vice President of Development
Cindy Zeigler is a seasoned career professional with more than 32 years of diverse experience in development and fundraising, marketing, and overall institutional management. For 13 years, she was a partner in Zeigler and Zeigler, working on a consulting basis with such organizations as National Audubon Society/Audubon of Florida, The Center for Orangutan and Chimpanzee Conservation, The Cullen Vivarium, The Trout Lake Nature Center, The Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, The Humane Society of Marion County, and the Turtle Survival Alliance. Prior to her work as a consultant, she held positions as Deputy Director of the Zoological Society of Florida at Miami’s Metro Zoo, overseeing development, membership, special events, marketing, finance, Board development, gift concessions, and capital projects; as Executive Director of Miami’s Parrot Jungle and Gardens, responsible for the management and development of the attraction; and as Assistant Director for the State of Florida for CARE International, responsible for fundraising, marketing, media development, and direct mail.
Chris Jabin became Senior Vice President of Development for the Chicago Zoological Society in January 2014. In this capacity he leads a team responsible for Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Corporate Partners, Planned Giving and Special Campaigns. Prior to assuming this position Jabin served as Director of Institutional Giving at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he began his development career 27 years ago. As a member of the company’s senior management team, Jabin supported General Director, Anthony Freud and Creative Consultant, Renée Fleming by facilitating partnerships with other organizations in relation to new artistic, educational and community engagement initiatives. Prior to returning to Lyric, Jabin served the John G. Shedd Aquarium as its Executive Vice President for Development for over a decade. He was responsible for supervising all fundraising, membership and travel programs of the aquarium, as well as assisting the CEO and trustees with Board governance, development and succession planning. During his tenure, Jabin directed campaigns raising more than $100 million for capital improvements and expansion, implemented a planned giving program to help grow the organization’s $130 million endowment, and directed annual fund campaigns that increased from $5 million in 2001 to more than $11 million in 2010. Before joining Shedd Aquarium, Jabin was Director of Development for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) where he oversaw the completion of a $60 million capital campaign and an expanded annual giving program. Prior to his work at the MCA he served the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Foundation in Oak Park as Director of External Relations. His first tour with Lyric Opera began in 1987 when he was Assistant Director of Development for Guild Board Activities and Director of Planned Giving. Jabin received the Benjamin Franklin Award from the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2014. He was elected to the Board of Arts Alliance Illinois in 2012, and became a member of the Executive Committee in 2013. Jabin was honored by UBS in 2008 as one of the first participants in their Nonprofit Scholars Art of Leadership Program offered in conjunction with Northwestern University. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at the School of the Art Institute, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Chicago in the arts administration programs. Jabin received his BA in psychology from Albion College in Michigan with a concentration in public service from the Gerald R. Ford Institute for Public Service.