Roger Germann serves as Executive Vice President for John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
As a member of the executive leadership team, he oversees the Aquarium’s external and governmental affairs, communications, zoological and museum industry relations, policy development, and Great Lakes and sustainability programs. Germann is also an appointed member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Advisory Board. In this elite role, he provides counsel to the federal agency’s administrator on matters pertaining to Great Lakes restoration and protection as well as the implementation of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
Since joining the organization in 2000, Shedd has ranked as one of the top attended aquariums in the country and the best-attended cultural attraction in Chicago, welcoming more than two million visitors annually. The Aquarium has also consistently met or exceeded revenue and attendance projections throughout Roger’s tenure.
While Shedd has achieved unparalleled success over the past 16 years, some notable highlights include sustainable growth of the Aquarium’s annual operating budget from $28M to $58M; media placements on Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, National Geographic, Animal Planet, ESPN, and the BBC among others; and coordination with federal, state and local government officials and policy influencers on topics ranging from Asian carp to oil spill rescue and rehabilitation, to ocean policy and Great Lakes conservation. Roger’s efforts contributed to the completion of several successful philanthropic campaigns and exhibit openings, most notably a $47M expansion creating the Wild Reef in 2003 and a $70M redo of the popular Abbott Oceanarium in 2009.
Prior to joining Shedd, Roger served as press secretary to the Illinois State Treasurer, worked for a successful public relations agency, and is the former deputy press secretary for the Illinois State Legislature. Previously, he worked as a freelance producer for the TV show America's Funniest People and started his career in communications as a writer and producer for ABC7 Chicago (WLS-TV).
Roger serves in leadership roles on several national committees, and is the current Chairman of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Aquarium Affairs Committee, Member of the University of Illinois-Chicago Board of Visitors, and Member of the Board for Rags of Honor. He’s the former Vice President of the Federal Bureau of Investigations Chicago Citizens Academy Board, past chair of AZA’s Public Relations committee, founding member of AZA’s Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) Steering Committee, and was appointed to the Illinois State Treasurer’s Economic Development Task Force. Roger participated in AZA’s inaugural Executive Leadership Program, designed to develop the next generation of CEO’s.
He is an accomplished speaker, regular blogger on Huffington Post, and industry best practice consultant.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Roger serves on several Boards and volunteers his time as a coach and community leader. He resides in Riverside, IL with his wife and two children.