Academy Leadership

Melissa B. Felder

Chief Marketing Officer

Alison Brown The Chief Marketing Officer of the California Academy of Sciences, Melissa Barritt Felder strives to drive museum visitorship, and strengthen recognition and understanding of all that the Academy has to offer its diverse audiences. In order to attract and engage visitors of all ages, Felder pursues marketing and public relations initiatives, sales strategies, partnerships, and campaigns that highlight the Academy’s offerings in new and compelling ways. Through strategic communication channels and product offerings, her team provides critical ongoing financial support to further the institution's mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. Drawing upon the Academy’s one-of-a-kind exhibits, compelling programs, and scientific expertise, she aims to inspire curiosity about science and the future of the natural world among all who encounter the institution.
Felder joined the Academy in April 2012, bringing an extensive background in marketing and sales with a variety of large corporations as well as start-ups. She has successfully driven revenue and consumer engagement for leading brands in the financial services, packaged goods, and technology sectors. Most recently, Felder was Vice President of Sales Operations at AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, where she was responsible for the strategy, marketing and sales for their membership, travel, and insurance agency operations. There, she led the transformation of sales and service effectiveness at over 100 retail locations, resulting in growth, improved productivity and customer satisfaction. She began her career in market research with Kraft and then moved through marketing positions with Nabisco and Tropicana-Dole before becoming a Vice President of Marketing with Del Monte. After Del Monte she led marketing for successful start-ups and Posit Science.
Felder earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also received her Masters of Business Administration in Marketing. In her spare time, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and spending time with her husband and children in Kentfield, California.