Dr. Dawn Zimmerman is the Director of International Programs for the Veterinary Initiative for Endangered Wildlife, a Research Associate with Smithsonian Institution, and affiliate faculty at the University of Nairobi. Her previous positions include the Director of Wildlife Health for Smithsonian’s Global Health Program, Regional Veterinary Manager for UC Davis’ Gorilla Doctors, and Senior Veterinarian at the Memphis Zoo. She completed her DVM at Ross University and MS at San Diego State University focused on the development of techniques for reproductive assistance in exotic canids.
Zimmerman’s field experience includes conservation medicine and capacity building in over 15 countries, with a focus on East Africa. She was the global lead for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT program in Kenya, working to detect pathogens of pandemic potential by investigating the animals most likely to harbor them. Peripherally, she is an associate editor for the Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine, member of the IUCN Wildlife Health Specialist Group, member of the National Science and Technology Council’s Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science & Technology working group, scientific advisor for the Gorilla Doctors at the University of California, Davis, and veterinary advisor for the Tapiridae Taxon Advisory Group and Species Survival Programs, the Tapir Specialist Group, and Sri Lanka’s Elephant Transit Home.
Her primary research interests include applying a One Health approach to the conservation of critically endangered wildlife species and the mitigation of emerging infectious diseases at the wildlife-human interface.