Kathayoon Khalil, PhD is the Conservation Impact Manager for the Oregon Zoo. Prior to joining the zoo, Kathayoon was the Principal Evaluator for the Seattle Aquarium. She received her PhD in Learning Sciences and Technology Design from Stanford University, studying the use of social network analysis to understand how innovation spreads among the zoo and aquarium community.
Kathayoon started her career at as a teen volunteer at the Oregon Zoo and quickly developed a passion for wildlife and conservation. Through over a decade of work in zoo education, Kathayoon has implemented authentic approaches to evaluating visitor learning, including attitude and behavior changes that may have resulted from their visit. She has consulted on education and evaluation for a variety of zoos and aquariums throughout the world and serves as the champion of the AZA's educational research and evaluation initiative. Kathayoon is also a researcher for Fostering Empathy for Animals, a joint project among the Seattle Aquarium, the Woodland Park Zoo, and the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. As such, Kathayoon participates in publications, public speaking engagements, and guides workshops on empathy development and measurement.
Kathayoon received her Masters of Environmental Science degree from the Yale School of Forestry and her Bachelors in Organismal Biology from Claremont McKenna College and is an alumna of the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program as well as an instructor for Project Dragonfly at Miami University of Ohio. In service to the field, Kathayoon acts a Science Advisor for Defenders of Wildlife and a member of the editorial board for Zoo Biology.