Science Museum of Minnesota Names Alison R. Brown as President

Museum's 16th president brings experience as a transformational leader and champion for science and education to her new role

Mar 03, 2016, 13:09 ET from Science Museum of Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn., March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Science Museum of Minnesota's Board of Trustees successfully concluded a national search and today announced that it has named Alison Rempel Brown as the organization's sixteenth president and CEO. She is the Science Museum's first female president and CEO.      

"We are delighted to welcome Alison as the museum's next president," says Andrea Walsh, chair of the Science Museum of Minnesota's Board of Trustees and Executive Vice President, HealthPartners.  "She brings a wealth of experience and leadership in science learning, and a vision to increase the relevance of the Science Museum of Minnesota in the community and in the nation."

Brown comes to the Science Museum from the esteemed California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, the only place in the world that is home to an aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum. She served as Chief of Staff and, before that, Chief Finance and Operations Officer. During her 17-year tenure, Brown provided strong strategic and financial leadership, leading the Academy through a nine-year transition that started with a move to a temporary facility, an extensive rebuilding project, and the opening of a trailblazing new facility in Golden Gate Park. In Brown's time at the Academy, attendance doubled, membership tripled, and the Academy was ranked in the top 8% of museums measured in The Morey Group's 2014 National Visitor Survey Benchmark.

"I'm incredibly honored to serve as the next president of the Science Museum of Minnesota, taking the helm at a time when museums matter more than ever," said Alison Brown. "As science and technology continue to rapidly evolve and shape our lives, places like the Science Museum will play a larger and more important role in preparing our next generation of learners for the challenging and exciting future that lies ahead. I'm eager to combine my passion for science and education to advance the critical mission of one of Minnesota's, and our nation's, greatest institutions," Brown said.

"As a former Minnesotan, I'm absolutely thrilled that a world-class leader like Alison will be taking the helm of this fantastic, world-leading science museum in Minnesota and I look forward to developing exciting collaborations between our institutions in the future," said Dr. Jon Foley, Executive Director of the California Academy of Sciences. "For nearly two decades, Alison has been a key member of the Academy's senior leadership and we look forward to watching her create similar transformation and impact in her new role."

"The Twin Cities are special for the Atwater family and I couldn't be happier that the Science Museum of Minnesota has chosen Alison as their new leader," said John C. Atwater, former Chairman of the California Academy of Sciences' Board of Trustees. "Alison's financial and strategic leadership has played a critical role in the Academy's growth and development as a world-class science institution. With instinct and expertise, she led the organization through a period of great transformation, and her contributions will have a lasting impact on the Academy for years to come."

In 2008, the San Francisco Business Times recognized Brown's exceptional leadership as Chief Financial Officer of the Year in the Transformation Agent category, a testament to her role in guiding the Academy through a remarkable period of growth and change, setting the institution up for success as a museum and research institution of the 21st century. In 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Business Times recognized Alison as one of the Bay Area's most influential women in business.

Before joining the Academy in 1999, Brown served as Chief Financial Officer of StayWell, a $100 million sales patient education publishing firm previously owned by Times Mirror. She also spent nine years with the Blood Centers of the Pacific, based in San Francisco, as Treasurer and Director of Finance & Information Systems during the period when the AIDS crisis hit blood centers around the world.

Brown received her Master's in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where her area of concentration was nonprofit and government organizations. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics with an emphasis in mathematics from Pomona College.

Brown will officially start at the Science Museum in early May.

About the Science Museum of Minnesota
The Science Museum of Minnesota is the Upper Midwest's most popular museum, inspiring more than one million people each year to explore their changing world through science. Among the nation's largest and most-esteemed science museums, the Science Museum of Minnesota conducts research, collects artifacts, produces and distributes exhibits and giant screen films, and offers educational programs for all ages. For more information, call (651) 221-9444 or visit

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