The Academy in Golden Gate Park

SAN FRANCISCO (July 16, 2018) – After four years of dedicated service, Dr. Jonathan Foley has announced that he will step down as Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences on July 16 to pursue a new chapter in his career as a sustainability scientist and thought leader and spend more time with his loved ones. Foley will continue to be affiliated with the Academy as a Senior Scholar through June 30, 2019. In this role, he will pursue a variety of international research, writing, and speaking projects related to the science of sustainability.

“It has been a privilege to lead the Academy over the last four years, and to serve this great institution and its mission,” says Foley. “Together, we have accomplished an incredible amount, including investing heavily in increasing the quality and diversity of our science; developing exciting new strategic initiatives that scale our impact across the Bay Area, the nation, and the world; and becoming a world leader among museums tackling sustainability issues. I want to thank the Academy staff, volunteers, and board members for the amazing experience of overseeing this exciting chapter in the institution’s history. I’m very proud of what we achieved together, and I look forward to continuing to support the Academy’s mission in my role as Senior Scholar.”

Under Foley’s leadership, the Academy launched a suite of new, high-impact initiatives designed to amplify its mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. These major initiatives—which range from pioneering coral reef research and restoration programs to global efforts to dramatically increase environmental literacy for learners of all ages—have already made significant progress toward addressing critical environmental challenges and will continue to do so in the years to come.

"Over the past four years, Jon has brought passion and vision to the Academy’s efforts to shape the science and issues that will determine our collective future," said Jerome C. Vascellaro, Chair Emeritus of the Academy’s Board of Trustees. "During his tenure, the Academy has become firmly established as a global leader in sustainability science, education, and public engagement. We are grateful for Jon’s many contributions to the institution.”

The Academy’s board of trustees will begin a search process for a new Executive Director over the summer. In the meantime, Academy Chief Financial Officer Mike McGee will serve as interim Executive Director, working with the institution’s board and senior leadership team to continue the Academy’s legacy of excellence in advancing its mission.

About the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution dedicated to exploring, explaining, and sustaining life on Earth. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and education—all under one living roof.

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