Janit Harris
Janit Harris

Janet M. Harris is the Chief Philanthropy Officer of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. In this senior leadership position she works closely with its Board of Trustees and a 27-member team to raise philanthropic gifts to support its public museum (1.5 million visitors/year) as well as world-class scientific research, education programs, and sustainability initiatives. Since 2013, the Academy has raised more than $110 million from individuals, corporations, foundations, and civic supporters committed to partnering with the Academy to deliver on its mission to explore, explain, and sustain life on Earth.

Prior to joining the Academy in 2010, Harris was Vice President of Development for the International Rescue Committee, the United Nations’ largest partner on all matters relating to refugees and displaced persons. Over the course of a decade with the IRC, she raised more than $350 million in private operating support, plus $100 million in endowment funds.

Earlier, she served as Director of Development for Manhattan Theatre Club and then consultant for a number of nonprofit clients, including the Roundabout Theatre Company, New York Shakespeare Festival, the James Beard Foundation, and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Harris graduated with bachelor degrees in theatre and criminology from the University of Iowa, attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, and was a certified sign language interpreter. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, on the Development and Membership board of the American Alliance of Museums, and a frequent speaker for these organizations and others. She also serves on the board of Hands On, an organization that provides theatrical sign language interpreting, and Digital Democracy, an organization that empowers marginalized communities to use technology to defend their rights.

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