Detroit Zoological Society Welcomes New Director of Conservation

Dr. David Dimitrie to lead conservation programs locally and abroad

January 22, 2024

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

ROYAL OAK, Mich. — The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has a new director of conservation. 

Dr. David Dimitrie will oversee the DZS’s conservation programs, which protect wild animals, their habitats and the environment. From supporting resilient landscapes in metro Detroit to working with partners globally to preserve the Amazon rainforest and save partula snails from extinction, the DZS participates in conservation work on all seven continents.  

“Dr. Dimitrie’s work in the conservation field is unparalleled, and his extensive passion and knowledge for helping protect and preserve animals and the environment speaks volumes,” said Mike Murray, vice president of life sciences. “He has already made a major impact on our team as we work to further our commitment to conservation and support our mission of creating meaningful connections between people, animals and the natural world so all can thrive.”  

A metro Detroit native, Dimitrie comes to the DZS with more than a decade of experience in conservation and sustainability work. Most recently, he served as an environmental scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (Rancho Cordova, California). He also previously worked at Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, Ohio), Green Diamond Resource Company (Arcata, California) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Carbondale, Illinois).  

“My passion for conservation and zoology started here at the Detroit Zoo, which I visited growing up,” Dimitrie said. “It may be cliché, but this is my dream job. It brings me home and blends everything I’ve been working toward in my career — conservation, education and sustainability. I’m excited to get out in the community, engage in conservation work and tell the story of what conservation means at the Zoo, locally and globally.”  

Dimitrie holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in zoology from Michigan State University (East Lansing, Michigan) and Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, Illinois), respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in biology from Case Western Reserve University.