Dr. Dwight Lawson joined the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden in May 2014 as Executive Director/CEO. As the Executive Director, he plans, coordinates, and directs the day-to-day operations and long-term management of the Zoo, and ensures the Zoo’s continued development. Dwight came to Oklahoma City from Zoo Atlanta where he served as Director, Senior Vice President of Collections, and General Curator. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a Master of Science in Biology and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. His doctoral degree is based on more than 4 years of field research on the diversity, evolution and natural history of exploited rainforest reptiles in Central Africa. Much of these studies were undertaken while concurrently developing and directing a wildlife conservation project in Cameroon, Africa. Dr. Lawson is a Professional Fellow member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). In addition, he serves as Vice-President of the non-profit conservation organization, the Turtle Survival Alliance. He is a graduate of Leadership OKC. Dr. Lawson resides in Edgemere Park with his wife, Dr. Rebecca Snyder, and daughter Rory.
Chair of the Day
Peggy Kates grew up on a dairy farm in Calumet, a town with a population just shy of 600.
Kates graduated from UCO with a degree in biology and chemistry. She was the oldest of four siblings and the first in her family to earn a college degree. After a brief stint as an educator, she and her husband Ben started Midwest Wrecking Company in 1976 and from the beginning Peggy was the financial officer.
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