The Oklahoma City Zoological trust has hired Dwight Lawson as executive director, trust members announced during their monthly meeting Wednesday.
Lawson, director of Zoo Atlanta, will assume his job in Oklahoma City on May 27. He succeeds Dwight Scott, who left the zoo in November to become director of the San Diego Zoo. Alan Varsik has been serving as interim director.
Zoo trust Vice Chairwoman Cindy Batt said the zoo had 26 applicants for the position.
“I think that speaks to how much we are on the radar nationally that we were able to draw so many qualified applicants from around the country,” Batt said. “And I think it also speaks to the welcoming nature of the zoo and our community that Dwight would want to move his family here to be our new director.”
In Atlanta, Lawson oversaw the animal and plant collections as well as the zoo’s education, research and conservation programs. Lawson began his career at Zoo Atlanta as a general curator in 2000 before entering into other roles with the zoo.