FZS in the United States of America

FZS-US is a non-profit 501c3 organization founded in 2007 by American friends and supporters of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. The organization is dedicated to protecting biodiversity and wilderness in some of the world’s last wild places.

Around the globe, few truly wild areas are left and many of them will be eroded and destroyed by human encroachment in the next decade without adequate protection. Often existing laws will not guarantee their integrity and many of these areas are “paper parks” with minimal law enforcement or effective management.

FZS-US seeks out these refuges and subjects them to a rigorous selection process to determine whether they fit into the organization’s mission and goals. Specific criteria include high biodiversity, area size and wilderness. Once chosen, the organization makes a long-term, in some cases more than 60 years, partnering with local conservation authorities to provide financial resources, technical advice and management support. Currently the organization supports projects in Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Romania and Indonesia.

Dr. Peyton West

Executive Director of FZS US

1000 Potomac St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

Phone: (202) 791-9018

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The mission of FZS-US is to conserve wildlife and ecosystems focusing on protected areas and outstanding wild places.

FZS-US’s main purpose is the conservation of wilderness and biodiversity worldwide. FZS-US also seeks to enhance the general public’s understanding of the importance of wildlife conservation and the appreciation of nature’s diversity on our planet.


FZS-US envisions a world where wildlife and wild places are cherished and conserved in recognition of both their intrinsic worth and economic importance for present and future generations.

FZS-US focuses on the most significant ecosystems on our planet, and works topreserve wildnerness and biological diversity on earth not only for human beings, but also as an end in themselves. We recognize that humans are both the source of environmental problems and the key to their solution.

Supported Projects

The Team of FZS US

Executive Director - Dr. Peyton West

Dr. Peyton West is the Executive Director of FZS-US and runs the organization from its base in Washington DC. She also serves as Secretary and Treasurer of the Board. She obtained her PhD at the University of Minnesota studying the function of the lion’s mane in Tanzania and Kenya. Subsequently she worked with the Bell Museum of Natural History, the television show „Go Diego Go,“ and the Mammal Department at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. Most recently, she was the Senior Project Director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)’s Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion program. She has a BA from Yale University. 

President of the Board - Dr. Christof Schenck

Dr. Christof Schenck is President of the Board and Executive Director of the Frankfurt Zoological Society based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Previously he led FZS’s Giant Otter Project in Peru, and was the scientific assistant to the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s acting president. As FZS’s Executive Director he oversees conservation projects in 18 countries around the world and serves on numerous boards. He is also a member of the IUCN’s Otter Specialist Group.

Vice President of the Board - Dr. Andy Dobson

Dr. Andy Dobson is Vice President of the Board and a professor in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at Princeton University. He also holds an adjunct position in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy at Princeton. His research is focused on the Serengeti region of Tanzania and concerned with the population ecology of infectious diseases and the conservation of endangered and threatened species. He is an active partner in the Serengeti BioComplexity Project.

Matt Arnold

Matt Arnold is Managing Director and Global Head of Sustainable Finance at JP Morgan Chase and leads the firm’s efforts to protect the environment while enhancing business success. Previously Matt was a co-founder of Sustainable Finance Ltd, which helps financial services companies to develop sustainability strategy, manage environmental and social risk, and to identify environmentally superior investment opportunities. Matt has also been Chief Operating Officer at the World Resources Institute and has held positions in marketing with IBM, in investment banking with Merrill Lynch, and in business development with Santa Fe Trading, Hong Kong

Curtis Ravenel

Curtis Ravenel was Global Head of Sustainability at Bloomberg, L.P. In this role, he led Bloomberg’s efforts to integrate sustainability considerations into all firm operations and leverages the Bloomberg Professional Service to evaluate sustainability-related investment risks and opportunities for its 315,000 customers. Previously he was Bloomberg’s Financial Controller for Asia and held various roles in the Capital Planning and Financial Analysis Groups. Prior to his work with Bloomberg, he co-managed a small real estate development group, founded a micro-brewery and worked with the Recycling Advisory Council.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott is a Partner at Encourage Capitol, an asset management firm focused on profitable and strategic investments to solve critical social and environmental problems. He is also Co-Convener of CREO, a network of family office investors exploring and bringing private capitol to the global environmental marketplace. Previously he was an investment analyst at Generation Investment Management, and worked at Acumen Fund, the Blue Ridge Foundation, and the Flatiron Future Fund/Foundation. He also served on the transition advisory boards for the Obama Administration for Technology and Innovation and Energy and the Environment.

Heather Zichal

Heather Zichal is Executive Director of the Blue Prosperity Coalition, an alliance of NGOs, academic institutions, foundations, and other organizations working to assist committed governments in developing and implementing sustainable marine spatial plans to protect the environment and improve the economy. Heather was formerly Deputy Assistant to President Obama for Energy and Climate Change acting as his top White House advisor on energy and climate change. Previously she served as a Policy Director to the Obama Campaign and as Legislative Director to Senator John Kerry after managing energy and environmental issues in the 2004 Presidential campaign. She has also served as Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and U.S. Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ).

FZS US is rated by Guidestar.


Zoologische Gesellschaft Frankfurt von 1858 e.V.
Bernhard-Grzimek-Allee 1
60316 Frankfurt

Telefon: +49 (0)69 - 94 34 46 0
Fax: +49 (0)69 - 43 93 48
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Unsere Geschäftsstelle finden Sie im Zoogesellschaftshaus 1. Stock