POWELL, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has named Tom Schmid as its new president and CEO.  

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium board announced Tuesday that Schmid, 58, who is currently the CEO of the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, as the new leader over the zoo, The Wilds, Safari Golf Club, and Zoombezi Bay.  

“Tom Schmid is widely acclaimed throughout the zoo and aquarium industry to be extremely smart, ethical and passionate about zoos and wildlife conservation,” said Zoo Board Chairman Keith Shumate. “I believe that we have found an individual with the experience to lead this zoo and take it to the next level. In getting to know Tom, I am struck not only by his track record as a leader but also his skills as a listener. I am excited for this community to get to know him and for the Columbus Zoo to move forward under his leadership.”

Schmid will take on the Columbus Zoo’s leadership role December 6, and brings more than 34 years of experience.

“I’m humbled and honored to work alongside this incredible team and to become part of the Central Ohio community,” said Schmid. “What captured my interest—the culture of conservation at the Zoo and The Wilds—is working with rare and endangered species; the staff expertise in animal care and welfare; and the diversified portfolio of parks, which include Safari Golf Club and Zoombezi Bay. This is an extraordinary organization with an exceptional team.”

Schmid says he plans to spend his first months as president listening and learning from staff, volunteers, donors, community partners, and local leaders.