Hayley W. Murphy

Placed Leader

Hayley W. Murphy

Director & CEO
Detroit Zoological Society

October 22, 2021

Koya partnered with the Detroit Zoological Society on its search for the next Director & CEO.

A bold, courageous and compassionate institution, the Detroit Zoo has earned its reputation as one of the most respected and innovative zoos worldwide. Delivering on its mission of “Celebrating and Saving Wildlife,” it is a leader in animal conservation and welfare.

The search resulted in the appointment of Dr. Hayley W. Murphy in the role. She is the first woman to lead the institution in its 93-year history.

Dr. Murphy brings nearly 30 years of expertise in the field of zoological veterinary medicine.

Dr. Murphy most recently served as the Deputy Director at Zoo Atlanta, where she previously also held the positions of Vice President of Animal Divisions and Senior Director of Veterinary Services. There, she oversaw all mission-related areas at the zoo, including education, animal care and welfare, research, HR, exhibits, and construction.

While at Zoo Atlanta, Dr. Murphy started the world-renowned Great Ape Heart Project, an innovative, international and multi-institutional effort to understand, diagnose, treat and prevent heart disease in zoologically housed great apes.

Before Zoo Atlanta, Murphy had a 13-year tenure as the Director of Veterinary Services at Zoo New England, a leading institution focused on creating fun and engaging experiences that integrate wildlife and conservation programs, research and education.

Dr. Murphy is a veterinary advisor to the Gorilla Species Survival Plan and the Great Ape Taxonomic Advisory group.

She serves as the Vice-Chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Ethics Board and a committee member on the AZA Professional Development. She is past chair of the Veterinary Advisors for the AZA Scientific Advisory Group.

Dr. Murphy is a 2018 graduate of the Executive Leadership Development program of the AZA.

Murphy earned an Associates of Science degree from the State University of New York. She has a Bachelor of Science degree as well as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.

Read the announcement: Dr. Hayley W. Murphy Named Detroit Zoo’s First Female Director.