Meet the Chiefs
Enter your search term and press enter. Press Esc or X to close.

Meet the Chiefs

Margo McKnight

President & CEO

Margo McKnight brings more than 30 years of experience leading for-profit and not-for-profit conservation and Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) organizations.

She has proven expertise in building and leading teams, developing impactful conservation programs, forging strategic partnerships. In addition, she has worked closely with government, tourism, fundraising and public affairs agencies and individuals. This accumulated experience has enabled her to build teams that create unique, meaningful and measurable programs that link ‘doing well in order to do good.’

At The Florida Aquarium, McKnight created the ground-breaking coral conservation collaboration with the National Aquarium of Cuba as well as designed the organization’s Center for Conservation at Apollo Beach which focuses on shark, sea turtle and coral conservation. Prior to that, she served as the Executive Director of the tri-nationally-focused Wildlands Network conservation organization.

Describing McKnight as a visionary with a great passion for wildlife, Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Jack Hanna explains, “Margo brings a wealth of design knowledge that enriches the lives of animals in zoological care and elevates the guest experience.”

As Executive Director of the Brevard Zoo from 1998 -2004, she created an internationally-recognized conservation program, enabled her zoo to be the first in the U.S. to create a “kayak through animal habitats” experience and designed themed classrooms for Title I schools. McKnight also has held numerous positions at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

A Miami native, she has chosen to live, attend school and work in Florida. McKnight graduated from the University of South Florida, and also pursued field work in ornithology. She is a seasoned spokesperson, artist and outdoor enthusiast. She lives in the Palm Beach area with her horses and dog.