Chris Pfefferkorn, President & CEO of The Birmingham Zoo


Chris Pfefferkorn is the President and CEO of the Birmingham Zoo. Pfefferkorn has over 25 years of Zoological experience, which includes serving as the Senior Vice President of the Birmingham Zoo, Deputy Director of Living Collections at Oregon Zoo, General Curator at Oregon Zoo, General Curator at Ellen Trout Zoo, Zookeeper/Behavior Management Coordinator at San Antonio Zoo and Zookeeper/Horticulturist at Glen Oak Zoo.

Pfefferkorn earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois. Pfefferkorn completed the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) School for Professional Management of Zoos and Aquariums, AZA Studbook School, AZA Elephant Managers School, AZA Populations Management Course and AZA Principles of Elephant Management for Institutional Directors. In addition, Pfefferkorn completed the AZA Executive Leadership Development Program, a program designed to train the next generation of zoological executive leaders.

Pfefferkorn has spent over 15 years devoting himself to conservation initiatives including research on the flora and fauna of Zimbabwe, Africa. As the Executive Director of Chipangali CRI USA, he helped with the formation and attainment of non-profit status in order to support conservation and research in Zimbabwe. Pfefferkorn worked on grant writing and fundraising, budget formation and oversight, participation in field research activities, dissemination of field research information and leadership of the non-profit’s Board of Directors. Chipangali CRI provides environmental education to the underserved school children of western Zimbabwe through its Environmental Programs Involving Children (EPIC) Kids program.

Recently, Pfefferkorn and a team of community leaders, cut the ribbon on the new front entrance and arrival experience at the Birmingham Zoo. This is part two of a $18.6 million Capital Campaign at the Zoo. Part one, Henley Park, was complete in 2017. Part three, Asian Passage is set to be completed in 2021.

Pfefferkorn and his wife Teresa moved to Birmingham in 2015 and they currently live in the Birmingham area. They have 5 children Jesika, Cristin, Halie, Morgan and Hunter and their two dogs Dakota and Olivia.

Chris Pfefferkorn, President & CEO of The Birmingham Zoo