Audubon CEO Ron Forman to Retire in 2024

NEW ORLEANS — Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman has announced plans to retire at the end of 2024.

Forman has led Audubon Nature Institute through multiple decades of growth. The nonprofit’s attractions include Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium, Audubon Insectarium, Woldenberg Park, Audubon Park, Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center, Audubon Coastal Wildlife Network and the recently launched Riverfront for All.

“With his vision and leadership, Ron helped turn a once shameful animal ghetto into one of the top zoos in the country,” said Dr. Willard Dumas, chairman of the board of the Audubon Nature Institute, in a press release. “His drive to save wildlife and share the wonders of nature with people young and old has earned him countless honors, and his impact will be felt for generations to come.”

“I have been so fortunate to have had the opportunity to help bring the world of nature to others,” said Forman. “I have also had the pleasure of working with amazing colleagues and volunteers that have helped create this unique organization devoted to conservation, quality family attractions, and saving threatened and endangered species. Most importantly, we have been able to achieve this in one of the great cities of the world, New Orleans.”

Forman is credited with turning the Audubon Zoo into an international attraction, leading the late-1980s development of Woldenberg Park and Audubon Aquarium and revitalizing Audubon Louisiana Nature Center in New Orleans East

He helped launch the Business Council of New Orleans and the River Region, Greater New Orleans Inc. and New Orleans & Company. He chaired the Louisiana Stadium Exposition District (Superdome Commission), the Louisiana State Museum and the Louisiana Nature Conservancy.

The Audubon Board soon will begin a nationwide search for the next CEO. 

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