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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.

DAVIS, Robert

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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

DAVIS, Robert. On June 6, 2016 Dr. Robert Davis became the President and CEO of the NATIONAL MISSISSIPPI RIVER MUSEUM AND AQUARIUM and the DUBUQUE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY succeeding Jerry ENZLER, DCHS/NMRM&A founder and retiring CEO. (1)

Before coming to Dubuque, Dr. Davis served ten years as the President & CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee. Davis also served as vice president of education at Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, and director of education and external affairs at Zoo Atlanta. He was a lecturer at City Colleges of Chicago; supervisory veterinary medical officer at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park/ Department of Animal Health; and a Smithsonian faculty fellowship recipient, Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park/Department of Animal Health/Reproductive Physiology Program. (2)

Dr. Bert, his nickname, served on numerous committees for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA); he was the Chair of the Diversity Committee and was elected to the national Ethics Board. He was also a member and instructor of the team (AZA and AZAK) that created the AZA Best Practices in Animal Keeping course. He served as a member of national AAM Board of Directors and previously served as the Chair of the Diversity Committee of American Alliance of Museums (AAM). (3)

Dr. Davis held a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, and a Bachelor of Science in Animal and Poultry Sciences with a minor in Biology, all from Tuskegee Institute and University in Alabama. (4)

It was announced on February 17, 2017 that Dr. Davis, president and CEO of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, had resigned after less than a year on the job and just weeks after being arrested for drunken driving. The museum announced that he would join the staff at Silver Oaks Design and Communications in the Quad Cities. A press release from the museum said the search for a new president would begin immediately. In the interim, Davis’ duties were assumed by Mike Budde, a long-standing member of the Dubuque County Historical Society Board of Directors. (5)



1. Hanson, Brad. "Milwaukee Zoo Official to Take Over Dubuque's River Museum," KWWL.com. Online: http://www.kwwl.com/story/31835400/2016/04/27/milwaukee-zoo-official-to-take-over-dubuques-river-museum

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. "Museum and Aquarium CEO Resigns, Online: http://kdth.radiodubuque.com/news/dubuque-tri-state-news/ February 17, 2017