PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Roger Williams Park Zoo will soon have to begin searching for a new executive director.

That’s because Jeremy Goodman, who’s been with the zoo since 2013, will be leaving for a new gig in Pittsburgh next month.

“It has been a great privilege working alongside the board and staff of Roger Williams Park Zoo for the past eight years.,” Goodman said. “I am incredibly proud to have led the organization to financial stability and animal and educational programming excellence.”

Throughout his tenure, Goodman helped the zoo complete $27-million worth of improvement projects, including the construction of the Rainforest exhibit, which opened in 2018, a new commissary building, a new veterinary quarantine building and the Alex & Ani Farmyard.

Come September, Goodman will step down from his position and join the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium as their next president and CEO.

“This was an incredibly difficult decision for me as I truly love the zoo and I have the deepest respect and admiration for everyone who works here and makes it the great place that it is,” Goodman said. “We’ve had an extremely successful trajectory over the past several years, including the past 18 months dealing with COVID.”

“Thanks to the dedication and hard work of the entire team, I am confident that Roger Williams Park Zoo will continue to thrive as it enters its 150th year in the Rhode Island community in 2022,” he continued.

Patrick LeBeau, chairman of the zoo’s Board of Trustees, said Goodman leaves behind and impressive legacy.

“We will miss Jeremy’s capable leadership talents, but we congratulate him on his new position,” LeBeau said. “He will be greatly missed.”

“With the depth of the zoo’s senior staff, the support of the board of trustees and the Rhode Island community, Roger Williams Park Zoo will continue to thrive in the years to come,” he continued. “Jeremy’s leadership during the past year and a half of COVID has been exceptional and he leaves the zoo in a secure financial position.”

LeBeau said the zoo will be conducting a “national search process” for its next executive director.

Prior to taking the helm of Roger Williams Park Zoo, Goodman had stints at the Turtle Back Zoo in New Jersey and the Indiana Potawatomi Zoo.