Volunteer scuba diver swims in the Philippine Coral Reef exhibit among colorful fish

Meet the senior leadership team, Trustees, and Academy Fellows whose vision and direction make the Academy's mission possible.

Management Team

Scott Sampson, PhD

Scott D. Sampson, PhD
Executive Director and William R. and Gretchen B. Kimball Chair

Dr. Sampson leads the institution’s world-class museum as well as its programs of scientific research, sustainability, and education. A renowned paleontologist, passionate science communicator, and seasoned museum leader, Sampson joined the Academy in September 2019.

Dr. Elizabeth Babcock, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Babcock, PhD
Chief Public Engagement Officer and Roberts-Wilson Dean of Education

Responsible for creating and implementing public engagement, outreach, and education programs, Dr. Babcock seeks to ignite a lifelong curiosity about—and love for—the natural world in all who come in contact with the Academy.

Shannon Bennett, PhD

Shannon Bennett, PhD
Chief of Science and Harry W. and Diana V. Hind Dean of Science and Research Collections

Dr. Bennett is responsible for the Academy’s programs of scientific research and exploration, as well as overseeing the Academy’s priceless collection of nearly 46 million scientific specimens from around the world.

Raul del Barco

Raul del Barco
Chief Human Resources Officer

del Barco leads the Academy’s people practices with a focus on diversity and inclusion, overseeing human resources and volunteer services for the Bay Area’s largest cultural attraction.

Melissa Felder

Melissa Felder
​Chief Revenue and Marketing Officer

Felder leads the museum's earned revenue and marketing strategy, strengthening understanding of all that the Academy has to offer its diverse audiences through strategic marketing, branding, communications, sales, membership, and exhibits.

Ike Kwon

Ike Kwon
Chief Operating Officer and Head of Government Affairs

Kwon is responsible for infrastructure, guest and building operations, and technology for the Academy. He also oversees the institution’s relationships with local government and civic and community groups.

Mike McGee

Mike McGee
Chief Financial Officer

In his role as Chief Financial Officer, McGee oversees strategic financial planning for the Academy, ensuring that the institution’s resources are managed wisely and aligned with its long-term strategic plan and mission.

Portrait of Academy CPO Mary Nemerov

Mary Nemerov
Chief Philanthropy Officer

Nemerov works closely with the Board of Trustees and a team of development professionals to raise philanthropic gifts that support the Academy's scientific research, environmental literacy programs, conservation initiatives, and public museum.

California Academy of Sciences logo

A governing group of approximately 450 distinguished scientists, Academy Fellows have made notable contributions to one or more of the natural sciences and help further the reach of our research and education initiatives through individual and collaborative efforts with Academy researchers. Nominated by their colleagues and selected by the Board of Trustees, Academy Fellows remain members of the Fellowship for life.


Board of Trustees

The strategic guidance and oversight provided by Academy Trustees, an exceptional group of leaders from the Bay Area and beyond, help shape the institution’s vision and strategic direction.

The Academy's Board of Trustees may have vacancies. If you wish to propose a nomination to the Board of Trustees, please contact us or you may do so at a public meeting of the Board of Trustees.

John Adams
Elizabeth Blackburn, PhD*
Nathan Brostrom
Dan Carroll
Felicia Chiu
Marc Ebbin
Peter Fenton
Christopher Field, PhD*
Jack Forestell
Laura E. Furstenthal, PhD
Corey Garza, PhD*
Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD*
John Goldman
Nick Giovanni

Kevin Hartz
Tessa M. Hill, PhD,
  Vice President*
Dan Janney, Chair
Jay Kahn
Steve Kawa
David M. Kennedy, PhD
Jeffrey Koseff, PhD*
Zachary Lara
Rebecca Lin
Marie O'Gara Lipman
Charles Marshall, PhD,
Lawrence Miao

Michael Millman
Derek S. Mitchell, PhD
Joe O'Donnell
Kirsten Rhodes
Adam Savage
Andrew J. Schwab
Nicholas Simon
Gary T. Steele
Mike Sweeney
Virginia Goss Tusher, PhD,
Lisa White, PhD*
Bill Younger
Ron Zeff

*Science Trustee

Trustees Emeriti

Bruce Alberts, PhD
James N. Alexander
Alissa J. Arp, PhD
John C. Atwater, Chair Emeritus
Peter Avenali**
Laurence M. Baer
Foster Bam
Matthew Barger
Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr.
Peter B. Bedford
W. Richard Bingham, Chair
Richard C. Blum
Bruce Bolt, PhD, President
Roberta Borgonovo
Teresa Briggs
Mark Buell
Shawn Byers
Lyman H. Casey
Huifen Chan
Peter Y. Chung
William A. Clemens, PhD,
  President Emeritus**
Lewis W. Coleman
Joyce Mobley Corrigan
Penny Coulter
Gretchen Daily, PhD
Troy Daniels
Paul L. Davies, Jr., Chair
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD
William F. Duhamel
Lynn G. Dunne**
Richard P. Emerson
John H.N. Fisher
Randi Fisher
Peter M. Folger
​Mark Gaumond
Edward A. Gilhuly​
Rosemary G. Gillespie, PhD
Diane B. Greene

John Hafernik, PhD, President
Harry R. Hagey
William R. Hearst III
Glenn W. Holsclaw
David A. Hoyt
William J. Hume, Chair Emeritus
Nelson Ishiyama
Oliver Jenkyn
Ann L. Johnson, MD
James C. Kelley, PhD, President
Salman Khan
William R. Kimball, Chair
Patrick V. Kirch, PhD
Thomas B. Klein
Steve Krognes
Martha W. Kropf
Roger Kuo
W. M. Laetsch, PhD
John W. Larson
John W. Larson**
Laura F.K. Lazarus
Sandra Linder
Sharon Long, PhD
Laura Davies Mateo
Lucia Matzger
Steve McCormick
Janet McKinley
Linda Meier
​Hamid R. Moghadam
George G. Montgomery, Jr.**
Harold A. Mooney, PhD
Gladys Moore**
Craig Moritz, PhD
​Mervin G. Morris
David Morrison, PhD
Michael J. Murray
Susan Oberndorf
Emilie Munger Ogden

Arthur C. Patterson
Elizabeth R. Patterson, Chair
William J. Patterson, Chair
John S. Pearse, PhD, President
Carrie W. Penner
Gary Pinkus
Carmen A. Policy
William S. Price III
Christine H. Russell
​Evert I. Schlinger, PhD**
Wendy Schmidt
​Fidela Z. Schneider
Russell Schweickart
Judy Siebel
Kurt Simon
Leo Soong
Clare H. Springs
Tania Stepanian
Jill Tarter, PhD, President
Richard T. Thieriot
Charles H. Townes, PhD**
Thomas W. Tusher
Robert D. Valdez
Jerome C. Vascellaro, Chair Emeritus
​Geerat Vermeij, PhD
​Marvalee H. Wake, PhD
Summer Tompkins Walker
Ward B. Watt, PhD, President
Barry L. Williams
Geisha Williams
William Wilson, III**
Russell D. Woo, MD
Paul M. Wythes**
Richard Yorke
Adrienne Zihlman, PhD
Mary Zlot

** deceased