PALM DESERT, Calif. -

The Living Desert announced today that CEO Stacy Johnson will be leaving to take a position with San Diego Zoo Global, according to a press release. Johnson has served as president and CEO at The Living Desert for the past four years.

"Stacey's expertise came at a pivotal point for The Living Desert," said Roger Snoble, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Living Desert. "We are extremely proud of the progress Stacey has made at The Living Desert. He will undoubtedly bring a wealth of experience to San Diego Zoo Global." 

In 2010 Johnson helped open the Miriam U. Hoover Discovery Center, a 3,600 square foot green-designed building allows visitors to learn about the desert with hand-on exhibits. The following year he was "instrumental" in bringing a female jaguar to the zoo.

"Stacey is joining a terrific organization and leaving behind a legacy that has positioned The Living Desert as a world-class zoo that will continue to flourish," added Snoble. 

The Living Desert was established in 1970 as a 360-acre wilderness preserve.