California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

California Academy of Sciences. © 2008 Tim Griffith


SAN FRANCISCO, CA (August 17, 2023) — The California Academy of Sciences is pleased to welcome Ayat Elnoory as Chief People and Culture Officer and Amber Mace as Managing Director/Chief of Strategic Partnerships. Elnoory’s first day at the Academy was Aug. 14, and Mace will join the Academy in October.

Elnoory has focused her work on purpose-driven organizations that are on the leading edge of social impact, community-led development, and trust-based philanthropic initiatives. She most recently worked with The Panorama Group as Vice President of People and Culture to support employees and projects across 23 countries. Prior to that, she was Lead Global HR Business Partner at the Wikimedia Foundation, with staff and operations spanning 60 countries.

Elnoory has also consulted for organizations of all sizes and missions to help bring to life their commitment to human-centered workplaces and compassionate leadership policies and practices. She brings a keen interest in co-creating thriving organizational cultures and in advancing local, individual, and communal participation in programs and practices that are aimed at sustainability and regeneration.

“Passionate about creating inclusive workplaces, Ayat brings impressive experience working within the people and culture field at mission-driven organizations,” said Academy Executive Director Scott Sampson. “She is a thoughtful and empathetic leader, qualities that will undoubtedly serve her well at the Academy.”

Amber Mace will join the Academy from the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST), where has served as CEO since 2018 and before that as Deputy Director since 2013. During her 10 years at CCST, Mace has built a diverse and high-performing team to deliver scientific guidance to the state of California on a range of important issues, from climate change to disaster resilience to energy policy. Through a collaborative and inclusive approach, she has spearheaded many cross-sectoral partnerships to tackle some of today’s most pressing issues.

Before joining CCST in 2013, Mace served as the inaugural associate director of the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy. Early in her career Mace worked in the National Marine Sanctuary Program in San Francisco, where she led the development of a visitor center on Crissy Field. She has served as executive director of the California Ocean Science Trust and science advisor to the California Ocean Protection Council. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her as the assistant secretary for coastal matters at the California Natural Resources Agency, where she then served as executive director of the California Ocean Protection Council.

In addition, Mace served nine years on the National Sea Grant Advisory Board at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is also a member of the California Sea Grant Advisory Board and the San Francisco Estuary Institute Board of Directors.

“We look forward to Amber Mace joining the Academy to lead our efforts to expand and deepen regional, national, and international partnerships,” Sampson said. “Her responsibilities in this new role will include guiding the Academy's work in convening and community engagement, and overseeing our divisions devoted to science and education. We are excited to launch this new role, which will be critical to the Academy’s mission of regenerating the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration.”

About the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a renowned scientific and educational institution with a mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, it is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and environmental education—all under one living roof. Museum hours are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Saturday, and 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Sunday. Admission includes all exhibits, programs, and shows. For daily ticket prices, please visit or call (415) 379-8000 for more information.

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