Mike McGee headshot

San Francisco (February 8, 2016) — The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to announce that Mike McGee has been appointed the Academy’s new Chief Financial Officer. In this role, McGee will oversee 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. McGee will join the Academy on March 7.

“Mike joins the Academy with a proven track record of sound financial leadership and a passion for driving organizations through periods of growth and transformation. We’re thrilled to welcome him to the Academy during an exciting time in the institution’s history,” says Dr. Jon Foley, the Academy’s Executive Director. “Mike’s deep appreciation for the critical role that science museums play in engaging and educating the public with the wonders of the natural world will serve both he and the Academy well.”

McGee is currently Vice President of Finance and CFO at Discovery Science Foundation, the program development, marketing, and fundraising arm for Discovery Cube—a nonprofit science education institution with campuses in Orange County and Los Angeles. Most recently, he led the Foundation through the construction and launch of its second Discovery Cube museum location in Los Angeles, which opened in November 2014. In 2015, he was named “CFO of the Year” in the “Not-for-Profit” category by the Orange County Business Journal, an award that recognizes the achievements of Orange County’s top CFO’s.

“I’m honored to be selected as the Academy's new CFO to help further its mission and financial sustainability and to help guide the institution into its next chapter,” says McGee. “I’m proud to join an institution that takes science education out of the textbook and into the real world, connecting people to the important role that science plays in our lives everyday.”

Prior to his work at Discovery Science Foundation, McGee served as Vice President of Finance and CFO for Palace Entertainment, the largest operator of water parks and family entertainment centers in the country. He was also an executive with the Walt Disney Company for 11 years, holding key leadership roles in the Theme Park and Resorts segment.

McGee will succeed the Academy’s current CFO and Chief of Staff, Alison Brown, who announced in August that she was ready to pursue new ventures after 16 years with the organization. During her tenure, Brown’s leadership helped guide the Academy through its transition to a temporary facility, an extensive rebuilding project, and the opening of a groundbreaking new facility in Golden Gate Park. Brown, who has continued to provide financial and strategic leadership for the Academy throughout the search process, will work closely with McGee to ensure a seamless transition.

“Alison's leadership, strategic thinking, and passion for the Academy’s mission have been a driving force behind the organization’s growth and evolution over the past 16 years,” says Foley. “Throughout her tenure, she has been a generous mentor to our staff, a strong partner to our collaborators, and a tireless champion of our efforts to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth. We are deeply grateful for her exceptional leadership and we look forward to watching her create similar transformation and impact in her next endeavor.”

McGee is a member of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) and serves on a regional board of the American Youth Soccer Organization. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting Theory and Practice from the California State University, Northridge and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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