The director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, Cristian Samper, is leaving his post to become president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which oversees the Prospect Park Zoo, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal says that Samper has led the Smithsonian's natural history museum since 2003, overseeing business operations and governance reforms.
The New York Times reports that Dr. Samper, will replace Steven E. Sanderson in August, who has been running the society since 2001. Sanderson announced his retirement in 2010, the report says.
The Times says that Dr. Samper was born in Costa Rica and raised in Colombia, and as a biologist, was the founding director of the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, Columbia’s national biodiversity research institute.
Besides the Prospect Park Zoo, the WCS also runs the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, the Queens Zoo and the New York Aquarium.