President and CEO
Alaska SeaLife Center
Year zoo career began:
Tara Riemer is the President and CEO at the Alaska SeaLife Center. In her position, no one day is the same. She tends to have about four to five hours of meetings each day, hopefully with a bit of room in between to return phone calls and write emails. It may sound boring, but Tara loves it. Few days are easy, but Tara is driven by tackling challenges. Tara’s favorite part of her job is the people she works with- zoos and aquariums attract passionate people who love what they do. Tara also loves puffins and smooth lumpsuckers.
Tara grew up in Indianapolis and Cincinnati and remembers visiting the “old zoo” in Indy many times as a child. Tired of the Midwest, Tara moved to Baltimore, Maryland, for college. She received a B.S. in biomedical and electrical engineering from Johns Hopkins University in 1993 and then a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 2000. Tara does not have a common educational background for someone in the zoo and aquarium industry, which demonstrates that you can succeed in this industry regardless of your academic background! After graduate school, Tara worked as a strategic management consultant for McKinsey and Company in Boston, Massachusetts, and in Auckland, New Zealand. After unexpectedly moving to Alaska in 2002, Tara joined the Alaska SeaLife Center in 2003. She worked as a Research Administrator, Grants and Contracts Managers, Director of Research and Grant Operations, and Chief Operating Officer before being named President and CEO in July 2012.