ESP alumnus named Director of Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

We are proud to recognize ESP alumnus Steven Monfort (Ph.D., 1993) for being named Director of Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, after having already served as Acting Director since November 2017.

In 2006, Monfort became the director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal, Virginia. In that role, he co-founded the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, an in-residence program at SCBI that immerses Mason students in an interdisciplinary, conservation-learning environment. Overseeing the sprawling campus of both the National Zoo and the SCBI is indeed a challenge. In an interview, Monfort shares how his studies at Mason had trained him to be a scientist, and how significant the partnership between Mason and the Smithsonian was and is.

Please read the article and interview with Monfort in Mason News on 11/27/18:

Important Dates for Students

SPRING 2020 Semester (modified due to COVID-19)

MLK Day (university closed): Jan 20

First day of classes: Jan 21

Spring Break (extended): Mar 9-20

Dissertation/Thesis Deadline: May 8

Last day of classes: May 11

Reading Day(s): May 12

Final Exam Period: May 13-20

University Commencement: May 22 (tentative)

COVID-19 DATE CHANGES – For the complete modified spring calendar, see and for latest COVID-19 updates, see: