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  • Kevin Bell ’74, H’16

    Arents Award Recipient for Excellence in Wildlife Conservation and Education

    Kevin Bell ’74, H’16

    Kevin Bell is president and CEO of Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Born in New York City, he grew up on the grounds of the Bronx Zoo, where his father was curator of birds. Bell became a zoo volunteer at age 10, a part-time animal caretaker at 17, and a keeper at 20. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the College of Arts and Sciences and a master’s degree in zoology from the State University of New York at Brockport.

    In 1976, Bell was hired as curator of birds at Lincoln Park Zoo. He was promoted to assistant director of the zoo in 1992, and appointed director in 1993. After the zoo was privatized in 1995, he was also named president and CEO of the Lincoln Park Zoological Society, which manages and operates Lincoln Park Zoo.

    An American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) member for more than four decades, Bell has served on the Wildlife Conservation Management Committee. In 1996, he was chairman of the privatization task force, which produced AZA’s first reference book for member institutions contemplating a governance change. Bell was elected to the AZA board in 2007 and assumed the role of chair from September 2009 through September 2010. He has published numerous articles in the International Zoo Yearbook and other zoo-related publications. In 2011, Bell was selected as one of three U.S. delegates to serve on the board of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

    In 2006, Bell was elected to the College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors and was named chair in 2017. Additionally, he received an honorary Ph.D. from the University in 2016. He is also a member of various other civic and conservation organizations, including serving for many years as a board member of the Center for Zoo Animal Welfare in Detroit.