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Dr Danielle Shanahan announced as Zealandia Chief Executive
ZEALANDIA Ecosanctuary
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Dr Danielle Shanahan announced as Zealandia Chief Executive

Message from Zealandia Board Chairman Phillip Meyer

It is with much pleasure that I am delighted to advise that your Board has now completed its international search for Zealandia’s next Chief Executive.

We received a large number of applicants for the position, both nationally and internationally. Many applicants were very well qualified for the role and your Board has considered each one carefully and noted the considerable talent and experience each could bring to the role of leading Zealandia in its strategic direction.

I am delighted to advise that your Board has appointed Dr Danielle Shanahan as our next Chief Executive.

As you know, Danielle is currently our Director of the Centre for People and Nature and our Deputy Chief Executive. Danielle has a PhD in Landscape Ecology from the University of Queensland, a Master of Science in Zoology, a Post-graduate Diploma in Wildlife Management and a Bachelor of Science, Zoology from the University of Otago.

Danielle has successfully delivered several significant projects over the past five years that have ensured Zealandia continues to take major steps towards the 500-year valley restoration vision. This includes the recent eradication of perch from Roto Kawau, translocations of several plant and animal species and ensuring our predator exclusion fence remains in top condition.

Danielle has helped grow the national and international profile of Zealandia and significantly expanded researcher involvement both nationally and internationally. She has contributed to internationally significant research outcomes through her leadership role in the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge. Danielle will assume her new role as Chief Executive from 15th November 2021.

Our current Chief Executive, Paul Atkins, will leave us on 12th November 2021 after some six years of enormous achievement for Zealandia. Paul has led a fantastic team of people, from his senior leadership team to our permanent staff, guides and volunteers. Zealandia is now a globally respected, ecologically sustainable destination which offers exciting visitor experiences, conservation education and research. Importantly, Zealandia now enjoys considerable support from its many stakeholders and is financially sustainable after six years of operating surpluses, allowing it to improve its facilities through the construction of Tanglewood House.

I know we are all looking forward to the next chapter in the Zealandia story and am sure it will prove to be a rewarding one for all involved. 

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