PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Roger Williams Park Zoo officially has a new executive director.

Following a national search for former executive director Jeremy Goodman’s successor, the zoo’s Board of Trustees selected Stacey Johnson to fill the role.

Goodman stepped down earlier this year after accepting a new job as the president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

Johnson is moving to Rhode Island from California, where he most recently served as San Diego Zoo Global’s director of conservation science operations.

While there, Johnson was in charge of an initiative to prevent the extinction of the endangered northern white rhinoceros. He also oversaw San Diego Zoo’s delegation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

“My vision for the 21st century zoo is that it is a treasured community asset that offers wholesome, fun experiences and guides public opinion toward active coexistence with nature and natural processes,” Johnson said. “I look forward to being part of the Roger Williams Park Zoo community.”

Patrick LeBeau, chairman of the zoo’s Board of Trustees, said Johnson “exemplifies all the qualities we were looking for.”

“Stacey brings experience, enthusiasm and a fresh perspective to the zoo,” he said. “He is the right person to lead this institution into an exciting future as we begin our 150th anniversary in 2022.”

Johnson started his career at Busch Gardens, where he was hired as a zookeeper. Throughout his 30-year career, he’s held a variety of positions at several other zoos across the country, including ZOOWORLD, Palm Beach Zoo and Forth Worth Zoo.

He also previously served as the executive director of the Lehigh Valley Zoo and the CEO of The Living Desert Zoo and Garden.