Charles graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in zoology. He’s been the director of the Peoria, Illinois Zoo (1973-1981), the John Ball Zoo (1981-1986), the Pittsburgh Zoo (1986-1990) and the Milwaukee County Zoo (1990-present). Charles is a professional fellow of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). He has participated in the AZA’s accreditation program as an inspector (32 years) and as a commissioner (12 years) including vice chair and chair.