Doug CressChief Executive Officer, World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

    Doug Cress is the Chief Executive Officer of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), which provides and leadership and support to nearly 400 regional associations, national federations, private companies, zoos, and aquariums in more than 50 countries. Established in 1935, WAZA is based in Gland, Switzerland. Cress previously spent six years (2011-16) as a Programme Coordinator for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. His portfolio included the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), a coalition of 105 national governments, conservation organizations, research institutions, zoos, and UN agencies that aim to protect apes and their habitat in Africa and Asia. Cress also worked on issues such as illegal wildlife trade, sustainable development, protected area management, and climate change.  Before joining UNEP, Cress served for a decade as the Executive Director of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA), the network of primate rehabilitation centres across Africa. He was also a Vice-President of the Orangutan Conservancy (2007 – 2011) and the Executive Director of the Great Ape Project (2001-2004).  Additionally, Cress spent two decades as an award-winning journalist for publications such as The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Daily News, and the Atlanta Constitution, and co-authored the critically acclaimed book, In My Family Tree: A Life with Chimpanzees (2001). He worked as a makeup artist in Hollywood from 1993 to 2001, and was a badminton referee at the 1996 Olympic Games.