Executive Vice President,
External Affairs, Communications & PR, Great Lakes and Sustainability
As Executive Vice President for Shedd Aquarium, Roger Germann serves as a member of the organization’s executive leadership team where he provides senior counsel and direction for the advancement of Shedd’s mission-based programs, strategic business practices and global institutional relationships as one of the world’s foremost authorities in animal care, conservation and education. In his role, Germann oversees all external and internal initiatives related to strategic planning, public communications, reputation management, government affairs and community relations in addition to directing the aquarium’s largest bi-national conservation program focused on Great Lakes science, action and awareness.
For over 14 years, Germann has dedicated his career to helping Shedd achieve its mission to preserve and protect animals through his leadership in bringing awareness and understanding of the critical role zoos and aquariums play in the conservation of aquatic species and their habitats. His drive and passion to accomplish this goal can be seen in several successes throughout Germann’s tenure, from high-profile media placements to building a national network of like-minded Great Lakes organizations focused on basin-wide issues, to his participation on several significant governmental and industry appointments in which he provides thought leadership, advocacy and support in the best interest of saving species and ecosystems.
In addition to his involvement as a participant and presenter on a wide range of animal and environmental topics for local to national convenings, Germann was appointed in 2013 to serve as a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Great Lakes Advisory Board where he provides counsel to the federal agency’s administrator on Great Lakes restoration and protection as well as the implementation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. A well-respected leader within the international zoo and aquarium community, his appointed leadership roles within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are many. Currently, he serves as Chair of the association’s Aquarium Affairs Committee, which aims to advance professional standards and best practices, and is a member of the Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) Steering Committee, Nominating Committee and Cetacean Task Force. Previously, he served as Chair of the Public Affairs and Public Relations Committees and was selected as one of only 10 individuals across 225 member organizations to be a part of the inaugural class of AZA’s Executive Leadership Development Program, created to train the next generation of CEOs for the zoological community. Locally, Germann is a member of the Museums in the Park Operations Committee and is Past Chair of the coalition’s Public Affairs Committee.
Over the past decade, Germann has earned best-in-practice honors as the recipient of numerous industry awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – including a prestigious Silver Anvil in 2004, Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and others. Additionally, giving back to the community is one of Germann’s core values. When not at work, he lends his time and talents to a number of organizations, some of which have included service as Vice President and Board Member to the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Citizens Academy, as an appointed member of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Job Creation Advisory Board, Board Member of Rags of Honor and as a member of the Board of Visitors for the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Closer to home, he serves as a Coach for the Riverside Park District and a volunteer for Sts. Peter & Paul Preschool.
Prior to joining Shedd in 2000, Germann served as Press Secretary to the Illinois State Treasurer, provided counsel to local and national clients for a Chicago-based public relations agency, and is a former Deputy Press Secretary of the Illinois State Legislature. He began his career in television, working at WLS-TV (ABC O&O) in Chicago, along with production work on the network show, America’s Funniest People. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Illinois-Chicago and currently resides in Riverside with his wife, Laura, and their two children. While being a husband and dad tops his list of favorite activities, Germann enjoys sports and travel during his leisure time.