The former leader of Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley has been named the president and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.

Tom Stalf left Niabi in 2010 to become the senior vice president of operations at the Columbus Zoo. He was appointed interim CEO when Dale Schmidt resigned in August 2012.

Stalf became the youngest zoo director in the country when he took over at Niabi Zoo in 1995. He guided the zoo to national accreditation for the first time.

More than 2.4 million people visit the Columbus Zoo and its other entities each year, making it one of the most successful zoological institutions in the country.

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Stalf is a professional member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, has served as an AZA accreditation mentor and is currently a member of the Government Affairs committee. He earned a bachelor of science degree in biology from Western Illinois University.