Fred Koontz, PhD is an ethological zoologist with a long, diverse, wildlife career at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Trust (now “EcoHealth Alliance”), Teatown, Woodland Park Zoo, and Washington Fish & Wildlife Commission. Fred has held adjunct appointments at Columbia University, New York University, and University of Washington.
Fred has undertaken projects both in zoos and nature, mostly focused on endangered species. As a curator at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, Fred participated in the early development of endangered species programs for the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Fred has published more than 50 articles for varied audiences and is a sought-after commentator.
Fred’s work has crossed the globe: training wildlife professionals in Argentina, Belize, China, India, and Mexico; co-leading a howler monkey reintroduction in Belize; launching a tiger project in Malaysia; and consulting on conservation projects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia when Fred served as Wildlife Trust’s Vice President of Conservation and Woodland Park Zoo’s Vice President of Field Conservation.
Fred gained experience in the U.S. as the founder of the New York Bioscape Initiative (1999–2004) and Woodland Park Zoo’s Living Northwest (2012 -2017). From 2005 to 2011, Fred served as Executive Director of Teatown, an organization devoted to nature in New York’s Hudson Valley. Fred has served on many committees in New York and Washington focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable living.
In 2016, Fred led the Washington Wildlife Leaders Forum, a conference on wildlife agency reform, especially aimed at improving non-game conservation. This led to Fred’s current focus on wildlife agency reform, including his serving as a Fish & Wildlife Commissioner in 2021, where he witnessed the need for a greater dialogue on ethics in setting fish & wildlife policy.