Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128


SAN FRANCISCO (December 1, 2009) — California Academy of Sciences Executive Director Greg Farrington, Ph.D., has announced that Janet Harris will join the Academy as Chief Development Officer in January 2010. Harris is currently the Vice President of Development for the International Rescue Committee, the United Nation’s largest partner on all matters relating to refugees and displaced persons. "Janet comes to the Academy with an outstanding record of accomplishment at the International Rescue Committee in New York," said Farrington. "She was attracted to us—as we were to her—because we share a deep commitment to the Academy’s causes: science, education, and the sustainability of life on Earth." Harris will oversee the Academy’s efforts to support not only its public facility in Golden Gate Park, but also its world-class scientific research and education programs.
At the International Rescue Committee, Harris was responsible for raising more than $50 million in operating income and $11 million in non-operating support each year. Over the course of her nine years with the organization, she more than tripled the number of major donors and the amount of their contributions. She also spearheaded a $110-million capital campaign for a new endowment fund. Additionally, as a member of the IRC’s senior staff, Harris helped to set the strategic direction for the organization, which operates in more than 40 countries around the world and resettles refugees in 22 cities across the United States, including San Francisco.
Prior to her experience at the International Rescue Committee, Harris served as a development and planning consultant for a number of non-profit clients, including the Roundabout Theatre Company, the James Beard Foundation, and the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She will join the California Academy of Sciences on January 1, 2010.