SOURCE: California Academy of Sciences

January 18, 2007 14:00 ET

The California Academy of Sciences Appoints Gregory Farrington as New Executive Director

Former President of Lehigh University and Distinguished Scientist to Lead New Era at the Academy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 18, 2007 --The California Academy of Sciences today announced the appointment of Gregory Farrington, Ph.D. as its new executive director. Following a six month international search, the Academy's Board of Trustees selected Dr. Farrington to lead the Academy as it enters its most ambitious chapter in its 154-year history. Dr. Farrington is the former president of Lehigh University, a highly selective national research university located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He is a renowned chemist and prolific author and will begin his tenure at the Academy on February 26, 2007.

"The California Academy of Sciences is in the process of constructing a revolutionary, environmentally-sustainable facility designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park," said Richard Bingham, chair of The California Academy of Sciences Board of Trustees. "Dr. Farrington will build on the Academy's proud legacy and successfully steer the institution during this exciting time of advancement. We are confident that his leadership skills in the University world mirror the Academy's needs across its educational, research and community programs."

Dr. Farrington is currently a Distinguished University Service Professor at Lehigh University and oversees the expansion of Lehigh's global program based in London. In June 2006, Dr. Farrington completed eight years of service as president of Lehigh University. During his tenure as president, Dr. Farrington successfully spearheaded a $500 million fundraising campaign to enhance the University programs and quality of life. He established Lehigh University's 2020 initiative with an initial, privately funded $75 million academic venture capital fund focused on creating innovative academic programs and fostering the university's reputation for excellence in research and teaching. He vastly improved university and community partnerships by working closely with the City of Bethlehem, earning him an appointment to the Pennsylvania governor's transition team for the Department of Community and Economic Development in 2003.

"Dr. Farrington's dedication to education and research coupled with his proven leadership record made him the ideal candidate to lead the Academy in its ongoing physical and programmatic transformation," said William Patterson, chair of The California Academy of Sciences Director Search Committee. "Dr. Farrington brings a unique blend of scientific literacy, leadership and fundraising experience to his role as executive director."

Before joining Lehigh University in 1998, Dr. Farrington spent nineteen years at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where he served as Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and as Director of the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter. He holds more than two dozen patents and has written more than 100 articles in the fields of solid state chemistry, electrochemistry and education. Dr. Farrington earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Clarkson University. Dr. Farrington and his wife, Jean Farrington, currently reside in London but will relocate to San Francisco.

"This wonderful institution, with its special history of impacting the lives of children, adults and fellow scientists, is addressing some of the most the intriguing and challenging topics of our time: life, its origins and its sustainability," said Dr. Farrington. "Located in the Bay Area -- a nexus of forward thinking and scientific advancement -- the Academy is poised to champion these critical issues."

Dr. Farrington will succeed Dr. Patrick Kociolek, who announced in June 2006 that he would be returning to research as the Hanna Chair in Diatom Studies at the Academy.

"The Academy is grateful for Patrick Kociolek's inspired vision and leadership over the past nine years and we are delighted that he will remain at the Academy," commented Mr. Bingham. "Dr. Kociolek's passion for research is a great asset to the Academy's renowned scientific research program and his continued involvement with the new Academy project will be very valuable."

About The California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences, the fourth largest natural history museum in the United States, is home to Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Kimball Natural History Museum. The Academy is underway with an extensive rebuilding project in Golden Gate Park. Pritzker prize-winning architect Renzo Piano is designing the new Academy, which is expected to open in Fall 2008. The California Academy of Sciences, including Steinhart Aquarium and the Natural History Museum, is open to the public at 875 Howard Street. For more information, visit or call (415) 321-8000.

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