The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee Announces New Chairman of the Board


Media Contact:
Brian Fulton
(615) 780-3327


HOHENWALD, Tenn. - Feb. 14, 2013 - The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee announced today Dr. Richard Rhoda, Executive Director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), has been named Chairperson of the organization. Dr. Rhoda previously served as the 2012 Secretary–Treasurer.

“I am honored to be named Chairperson of such a meaningful organization and look forward to working with the dedicated staff as we lead the organization forward,” said Dr. Rhoda. “I’m excited about the future of The Sanctuary as we continue to keep our focus firmly rooted in the well-being of the elephants.”

In addition to his involvement with The Sanctuary, Dr. Rhoda has had an extensive career in higher education. As Executive Director of THEC, Dr. Rhoda is a member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, Tennessee Board of Regents, Tennessee State Board of Education, Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation Board of Directors, Board of Trustees of the Baccalaureate Education System Trust and Tennessee Foreign Language Institute Board of Directors. On the national level, he is active in the Education Commission of the States as the organization’s Treasurer.

The Sanctuary held elections during its January Board meeting. The full list of 2013 Board of Governors may be viewed on The Sanctuary website.

The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee is the nation’s largest habitat for needy, old and/or sick Asian and African elephants, and provides a spacious and rich natural environment in which captive elephants – typically retired from circuses and zoos – can spend their remaining years with minimal intrusion.  In addition to the home it provides for its elephants, The Sanctuary's mission includes the advancement of methods of humane management and care of resident elephants, and an international education program to raise awareness about the needs of elephants both in captivity and in the wild.  For more information, visit