Academy exterior building Golden Gate Park

SAN FRANCISCO (September 30, 2016) – The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the California Academy of Sciences, Jerome C. Vascellaro, is pleased to announce that five new members have been elected to the Academy's Board of Trustees. These new members join the Board as the Academy reaches its eighth anniversary in a Golden Gate Park facility designed by renowned architect Renzo Piano, which welcomes more than 1.5 million visitors each year. The only place in the world to house an aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum under one living roof, the Academy is also home to world-class scientific research and environmental education programs that support the institution’s mission to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth.

The Academy is also pleased to announce the election of Dr. Harold A. Mooney, Paul S. Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology, Emeritus at Stanford University, as its new President. Mooney succeeds Dr. Jill Tarter, renowned astrophysicist and pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial life and the Bernard M. Oliver Chair for SETI Research at the SETI Institute, in this important scientific leadership position. The new Board members are:

GRETCHEN C. DAILY is Bing Professor of Environmental Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. She also serves as faculty director of The Natural Capital Project (a partnership among Stanford, University of Minnesota, WWF, and The Nature Conservancy), whose goal is to improve human well-being and the environment by mainstreaming the values of nature into important decisions globally. Daily is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and serves on the boards of The Nature Conservancy and the Stockholm Resilience Centre. An ecologist by training, her greatest loves are the mountains and the tropics—and her efforts span fundamental research and policy-oriented demonstrations in over 30 nations worldwide. Her recent books include The Power of Trees (2012), Natural Capital: Theory & Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services (2011), and The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable (2002). Daily received her BS, MS, and PhD in Biological Sciences from Stanford University.

MICHAEL MILLMAN is Global Head of Technology Investment Banking and Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets Americas at J.P. Morgan. Michael spearheads strategic advisory and capital raising services for some of the firm's most important clients. His client coverage includes a range of emerging and established companies across nearly all sectors and geographies. Michael works closely and has developed strategic relationships with key institutional investors, financial sponsors, and venture capital firms. He joined J.P. Morgan in 1997 and holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University and an MBA from Columbia University. Michael serves on the non-profit boards for Teach for America Bay Area and YMCA Bay Area. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Emily and son Lucas.

CLAIRE NGO is Managing Director, Americas, and concurrently, Managing Director, Organisation & People for Temasek International, a Singapore investment company. In her role she oversees the investment and office operational matters for the U.S. offices and Latin America. Prior to that, Claire established CMN Consultancy, an advisory business aimed at developing human capital in Asia as well as providing pro-bono consulting support to non-profit Organisations. Prior to which, Claire joined Goldman Sachs in 1995 and worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. She helped build and lead their Asian Share Equities business in Asia and the U.S. Claire was appointed Managing Director in 2002. Claire served on the GS Singapore Board of Directors as well as a delegate for the ASEAN 100 Leadership Forum. She has served on the boards of various non-profit Organisations and currently serves on the Executive Committee for United Nations Women Singapore and the Harvard Business School Alumni. In 2012, she was selected to be a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. She holds a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia. Claire resides in San Francisco with her husband and son.

ADAM SAVAGE is a polymath and notable science communicator. He has worked as a projectionist, animator, graphic designer, carpenter, interior and stage designer, toy designer, welder, and scenic painter. In the 90s, Savage concentrated his career on the special-effects industry, honing his skills through more than 100 television commercials and a dozen feature films. He also worked and consulted in the research and development division for toy companies, made several short films, and acted in several films and commercials. Savage co-hosted MythBusters on the Discovery Channel from its start in 2003 through its finale in 2016. Fourteen years, 1,025 myths, nearly 3,000 experiments, six Emmy nominations, and 53,000 yards of duct tape later, the series continues to inspire its global audiences. Today, Savage stars in and produces digital content for He also teaches, lectures, and consults on a variety of topics to students, business folks, and everyday Joes. His regular public appearances include San Diego Comic Con, Maker Faire, and w00tstock. Savage also finds time to devote to his own art—his sculptures have been showcased in over 40 shows in San Francisco, New York, and Charleston, West Virginia. Otherwise, in his very limited spare time, you’ll find Savage in his workshop, known as the Cave, meticulously building anything from a costume to a movie prop to a space-glove vacuum chamber. Savage lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, twin boys, and their two dogs.

MICHAEL D. VARNEY is the Executive Vice President of Genentech Research and Early Development. He is responsible for overseeing the strategy for Genentech’s research, drug discovery, business development, and early development activities through proof of concept in the clinic. Varney is a member of Genentech’s Executive Committee and the Enlarged Roche Corporate Executive Committee. Varney joined Genentech in 2005 as Vice President, Small Molecule Drug Discovery, and was promoted to Senior Vice President in 2008. He assumed his current role on January 1, 2015. Varney received his BS in Chemistry in 1980 from UCLA and his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in 1985 from the California Institute of Technology. Varney’s research has focused on the use of combinatorial chemistry and protein structural information in the design of therapeutics in the fields of oncology, immunology, ophthalmology, neurodegeneration, viral diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Outside of work, Varney enjoys swimming and biking with his wife and two children. He plays guitar in the band “Fingerpuppets” along with his wife Jennifer, who sings and plays French horn and trumpet. Fingerpuppets proudly won the Genentech Battle of the Bands in 2008 and played at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

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