Ed Clark, President and Co-Founder of Wildlife Center of Virginia, Retiring as President

Ed Clark, President and Co-Founder, is announcing his retirement, after more than 41 years at the helm of the Wildlife Center of Virginia. He will retire from his role as president at the end of March 2024.

February Update: We're currently planning a retirement celebration for Ed. Find out more information as it becomes available on the party's Event Page.

The Wildlife Center Board of Directors is working with a professional recruitment consultant as part of a nationwide search for the Center’s new President. Though Ed will be passing the baton to new leadership, he will remain engaged with the Center’s work in his new role as President Emeritus. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to have led the Center’s incredible team for the last 41 years, but it is now time for me to cheer from the sidelines,” Ed reflected.

Letter from the WCV Board of Directors

Ed is confident that the work of the Center — by a team of dedicated individuals — will continue as he steps down from the role as president. "Since we founded the Center in 1982, it has become a strong and secure organization – we’ve done so much to teach the world – with extremely talented and committed leadership in every department and every aspect of our work. That team will continue to provide world-class care of wildlife, outstanding educational outreach, and dedicated professional training. The Center will not miss a step."

Under Ed’s leadership and vision, the Center has grown from a small, local wildlife rehabilitation facility to a professionally staffed, internationally recognized training and research center. During the past four decades, the Center has:

  • Provided professional training for more than 1,000 veterinary students and professionals, including undergraduate students, fourth-year veterinary students, and postdoctoral interns, fellows and residents from every veterinary school in the United States and Canada and nearly 40 other countries.
  • Reached millions through in-person programming, on-line training, and a vibrant online and social media presence.
  • Engaged in groundbreaking clinical research and issue advocacy. In the 1980s, for example, the Wildlife Center played a major role in banning the agricultural chemical Furidan, which, according to EPA estimates, was killing more than two million birds in the U.S annually, even when used according to label directions.
  • Developed the first comprehensive national wildlife health database for the real-time monitoring of emerging disease in wildlife. In the wake of 9/11, the Center received Department of Defense funding to develop this database as a potential tool for monitoring and detecting bioterrorism and biosecurity threats to the United States [wildlife are often the indicators of pathogenic or environmental contamination]. The system, known as WILD-ONe (Wildlife Incident Log/Database and Online Network), is made available at no charge to wildlife care facilities worldwide. More than 200 wildlife facilities currently use WILD-ONe, which has now accumulated more than 700,000 patient records. In addition to providing the potential for real-time detection of emerging threats, the data is now being used for research into environmental and pathological problems affecting wildlife over time.
  • Published scores of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and publications, based on its clinical studies and research. For example, the Center is currently researching lead poisoning of Bald Eagles and other scavengers that consume shards of lead from the carcasses of animals left by hunters. The Center’s research has found that more than 70 percent of the Bald Eagles admitted to its hospital have measurable levels of lead in their bloodstream.
  • Gained worldwide visibility through three television series hosted by Clark—on PBS and Animal Planet. In the 1990s Clark hosted five seasons of the award-winning series Virginia Outdoors. In the late 1990s, the Center’s work was the focus of Animal Planet‘s weekly series Wildlife Emergency, which was translated into several languages and aired worldwide. Currently, the Center’s work is featured in the PBS series UNTAMED, which is being shown on PBS affiliates across the nation. UNTAMED has won four Telly Awards and was nominated for a regional Emmy Award. Clark has also appeared on national programs including the TODAY show, Larry King Live, Fox News, and C-SPAN’s Capitol Journal, and in a number of documentary films and television specials.

Read the full press release

Read Ed Clark’s complete biography

Join us in wishing Ed all the best in his retirement! Stay tuned for more information on ways to celebrate with us in Spring 2024.