POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) – Steve Burns, former director of Zoo Boise, has been chosen to lead the Idaho Community Foundation (ICF). He will take the reins at the beginning of January.
“Steve has a proven track record of leadership,” said ICF Board Chairman Candi Allphin. “He worked tirelessly to build community confidence in the organizations he led. “
Burns said he was honored to serve as President and CEO of ICF.
“It is an organization that I have long admired for the enormous work it has done around the state,” he said. “I am thrilled to be working with the incredible team of the Board of Directors, staff and all the supporters who made the community foundation possible. “
Burns ran Zoo Boise for 16 years, first as executive director of Friends of Zoo Boise, then as director of Zoo Boise. He left Idaho in 2017 to run the Utah Hogle Zoo and returned to Idaho earlier this year.
While at Boise Zoo, Burns transformed the organization from a small local organization to a leader and innovator in animal conservation.
Zoo Boise was the first zoo in the country to create a conservation tax, an initiative developed and implemented by Burns. Over the years, it has generated $ 3 million for wildlife conservation around the world.
Under Burns’ leadership, Zoo Boise developed a partnership with Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Africa, which generated over $ 2 million for park restoration efforts and led to the development of the exhibit at the Boise Zoo Gorongosa National Park.
In addition, Burns led the effort to achieve the zoo’s first national accreditation, increased attendance by 90%, and built, expanded or renovated 85% of the zoo exhibits.
“Steve’s leadership skills, passion and innate sense of urgency will help ICF take it to the next level,” said Doug Oppenheimer, ICF Board Director. “These skills, along with her knowledge of Idaho, will help her continue the philanthropic leadership of the Idaho Community Foundation in all 44 counties across the state.”