News Release
Contact: Sondra Katzen, Public Relations, 708.688.8351,
October 30, 2020

12: Dr. Jon Paul Rodríguez, Ph.D.

Chicago Zoological Society to Virtually Honor Dr. Jon Paul Rodríguez, Ph.D., during Its
2020 Conservation Leadership Awards Celebration

Brookfield, Ill. – Since 2003, the Chicago Zoological Society’s (CZS) Board of Trustees and Women’s Board have been hosting the Society’s annual Conservation Leadership Awards celebration to recognize individuals who have made significant impacts and commitments to conservation and animal welfare, both locally and globally. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Conservation Leadership Awards event will be held virtually on Thursday, November 12, at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds from the fundraiser will benefit CZS’s conservation, education, and animal programs.

The 2020 recipient of the George B. Rabb Conservation Medal is Dr. Jon Paul Rodríguez, Ph.D., chair of the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Elected chair in 2016, Dr. Rodríguez is the first person outside of Europe or North America to hold this position. The SSC, which is a science-based network of more than 9,000 volunteer experts from around the world, provides several leadership roles, including guiding organizations, government agencies, and other IUCN members to address urgent species’ conservation issues and building collaborations with programs within IUCN. Considered one of Venezuela’s most-respected scientists for his extensive field conservation efforts with the endangered yellow-shouldered parrot, Dr. Rodríguez also is co-founder and president of Provita, a non-governmental organization that works to protect threatened wildlife in that country. Additionally, he is a professor at the Center for Ecology of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Investigation and 2019 Whitley Fund for Nature Gold Awardee for his outstanding contributions to conservation.

“Each year, we celebrate the achievements of an individual who shares our mission to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature and lead the charge in animal advocacy and welfare,” said Stuart Strahl, president and CEO of CZS, which manages Brookfield Zoo. “The Chicago Zoological Society is pleased to honor Dr. Rodríguez for being a true leader in the conservation community and sharing our passion of protecting the ecosystem and wildlife.”

The cost for the virtual event is $100 for an individual attendee. At the $500 conservation patron level, guests can attend a pre-event party and have the opportunity to meet Dr. Rodríguez in a virtual live format. Additional contribution levels are available. To make reservations or for further information about the Chicago Zoological Society’s Conservation Leadership Awards celebration, go to or contact Kerri Doherty at (708) 688-8670 or


#      #      #

About the Chicago Zoological Society
The mission of the Chicago Zoological Society is to inspire conservation leadership by engaging people and communities with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. Its Center for the Science of Animal Care and Welfare is at the forefront of animal care that strives to discover and implement innovative approaches to zoo animal management. Brookfield Zoo is the first zoo in the world to be awarded the Humane Certified™ certification mark for the care and welfare of its animals, meeting American Humane Association’s rigorous certification standards. The zoo is located at 8400 31st Street in Brookfield, Illinois, between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and also is accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA and PACE bus service. For further information, visit


Sondra Katzen
Media Relations Manager
Office: 708-688-8351
Cell Phone: 708-903-2071


Center for the Science of Animal Welfare

Read about our innovative practices in animal welfare to ensure the ultimate care of our individual animals.

Classes and Camps

Center for Conservation Leadership

We place a high priority on developing and supporting conservation leaders of all ages and backgrounds.


Visit Brookfield Zoo

Create extraordinary connections with animals and nature!

Animal Welfare

You Can Help!

Become our partner in caring for animals and in connecting people with wildlife and nature.