Data News Staff Edited Report
Audubon Nature Institute President and Chief Executive Officer Ron Forman has advised the Institute’s Board of Directors that he intends to step down from his current role at the end of 2024.
Forman has led Audubon Nature Institute for decades, serving first as Deputy Director of Audubon Park and Zoological Gardens in 1973, rising to Director in 1977. In 1988, the non-profit Audubon Nature Institute was formed and named him President and CEO. With him at the helm, Audubon experienced dynamic growth expanding a collection that now includes Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium, Audubon Insectarium, Woldenberg Park, Audubon Park, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network, and recently launched Riverfront for All.
“With his vision and leadership, Ron helped turn a once shameful animal ghetto into one of the top zoos in the country,” said Dr. Willard Dumas, Chairman of Board of the Audubon Nature Institute. “His drive to save wildlife and share the wonders of nature with people young and old has earned him countless honors, and his impact will be felt for generations to come.”
“I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to help bring the world of nature to others,” said Forman. “I have also had the pleasure of working with amazing colleagues and volunteers that have helped create this unique organization devoted to conservation, quality family attractions, and saving threatened and endangered species. Most importantly, we have been able to achieve this in one of the great cities of the world, New Orleans.”
Some of Forman’s notable achievements include:
• The opening of the riverfront in the late 1980s with the development of Woldenberg Park and Audubon Aquarium.
• Chairing the Louisiana Nature Conservancy and working as a partner with Marlon Perkins.
• Revitalizing Audubon Louisiana Nature Center in New Orleans East.
• Helping launch the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, Greater New Orleans, Inc. and New Orleans & Company
• Chairing the Louisiana Stadium Exposition District (Superdome Commission)
• Chairing the Louisiana State Museum and serving on the Board of the American Association of Museums
• Serving as President and longest serving Director of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)
The next step in the process is for the Audubon Board to begin a nationwide search for the next CEO.