San Francisco (May 26, 2015)—California Academy of Sciences Executive Director Dr. Jon Foley has named Ike Kwon as the Academy’s Chief Operating Officer. In this role, Kwon will oversee infrastructure, guest and building operations, and technology for the institution, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. He will also oversee the institution’s relationships with local government as well as civic and community groups.
“During his time at the Academy, Ike’s leadership has helped the museum develop a truly world-class visitor experience for the over one million people who walk through our doors each year,” says Foley, the Academy’s Executive Director. “With a strong background in strategic operations, deep institutional knowledge, and passion for community involvement, we’re thrilled to welcome Ike to this role during this exciting chapter in the Academy’s history.”
Kwon joined the Academy in 2008 as Director of Guest Services and was instrumental in leading the museum’s public-facing operations during the reopening of its new Golden Gate Park facility. Under his leadership in customer service and visitor relations, the Academy has exceeded the national benchmark for customer satisfaction. In 2012, Ike was named General Manager, overseeing all operational aspects of the institution and serving as an ambassador within the Bay Area community.
Before joining the Academy, Kwon spent nearly two decades in leadership roles at several large-scale cultural institutions and leisure services, including the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, the Walt Disney Company, and Starwood Lodging.
Kwon also serves as a Commissioner for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, as well as a board member for the San Francisco Travel Association and San Francisco Parks Alliance. In 2013, he was recognized by Supervisor Katy Tang as an Asian Pacific Islander Leader in San Francisco. Additionally, Kwon is an active volunteer with several community and cultural organizations, including Friends of the Urban Forest, City Impact, Cornerstone Church, and Supervisor Tang’s District 4 Leadership Group.
A Chicago native, Kwon is a graduate of the University of Chicago where he studied public policy with an emphasis on policy reform. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two daughters.