Betty Jo Williams
The San Diego Zoological Society is an important trend setter throughout the world in a great spectrum of scientific, reproductive, and animal and botanical conservation achievements. The Society is respected throughout the world...a respect that was earned. Betty Jo Williams is one of those who make these achievements and respect continue to grow. She is the first woman President of the Zoological Society and was responsible for bringing the rare giant pandas to San Diego from the People's Republic of China.
Betty Jo has been on the Board of Directors of the Zoological Society since 1979.
Her professional expertise and great love for and belief in the Society made her election to President in 1986 a natural step. Over the next three years she would participate in such notable accomplishments as the society's continuing financial independence, setting new records in membership growth, increased recognition by scientific and zoological communities of The Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES), along with the first captive California Condor egg laid and successfully hatched.
The Wild Animal Park and the San Diego Zoo bring joy to over five million people from all over the world every year. They provide educational opportunities for children, many of whom will grow up to be involved in animal husbandry, all of who will hopefully grow up to be conservationists. They provide us all with the opportunity to witness animals in their natural setting that many would never otherwise have an opportunity to see. Betty Jo is a part of all that; she helps make it happen.
Betty Jo is a woman of deep convictions about conservation, civic responsibility, and giving something back. She sets a standard of excellence that we would all do well to follow. Her participation in the Zoological Society is a labor of love, and her accomplishments there are truly a Living Legacy.