Sakurako and William Fisher Executive Director
Chris Flink has always found the Exploratorium phenomenally inspiring. He was honored to become its executive director in the summer of 2016.
Chris is responsible for expanding the institution’s impact by amplifying its renowned visitor experience, broadening the reach of its world-class teacher professional development programs, increasing its worldwide influence through Global Studios, and leading the Exploratorium to reimagine what it means to be a science center in the twenty-first century. He brings more than twenty years' experience spanning creative leadership, engineering, design of hands-on educational experiences, and business. Chris was a partner at IDEO for nineteen years and a founding faculty member of Stanford University’s d.school, where he remains a consulting associate professor. Chris holds a B.S. in engineering/product design from Stanford University and an M.S. in management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Chris has two extraordinary young daughters from whom he learns the most important things.
Blair Richard Winn
Senior Director of Institutional Advancement
Blair joined the Exploratorium staff as the Director of Special Projects for Institutional Advancement in 2015. In his current role, Blair is responsible for facilitating all contributed income strategies supporting the museum’s programs and operations. He also oversees the capital campaign and related planning and outreach. Prior to joining the Exploratorium, Blair was the Director of Advancement for Illuminate the Arts where he completed the fundraising necessary to ensure that Leo Villareal’s light sculpture, The Bay Lights, was reinstalled permanently on the San Francisco Bay Bridge. He has more than 20 years of for-profit and not-for-profit arts management and fundraising experience in New York City and the Bay Area. Blair served as the Deputy Director of Development and Director of Development at SFMOMA, and as the Associate Director and Development Director of Headlands Center for the Arts, an international artist residency program in the Marin Headlands. A native of San Francisco, Blair also served as Development Director for the New Museum of Contemporary Art and The Drawing Center, both in New York City. He has a BA in art history from San Francisco State University and an MA in nonprofit administration from New York University.
Senior Director of Organizational Development
Anne Jennings became Director of Organizational Development in 2015, after holding positions in almost every area of the organization—from teacher education to the exhibit environment and project and program management—since she started making exhibit videos as a volunteer in 1985. She took an 11-year break to found and direct the East Bay nonprofit Community Resources for Science, and then “boomeranged” back in 2009 to manage the move of exhibits and galleries from the Palace of Fine Arts to the Piers. She currently directs the efforts of the Human Resources team, Volunteer Engagement, Diversity Equity and Inclusion, and Internal Communications/Learning Exchange. Anne holds a BA from Brown University and an MA from the University of California, Berkeley.
Senior Director of Educator Engagement
Jessica Parker joined the Exploratorium in 2017 and is responsible for developing and leading the institutional strategy for educator learning programs. In her previous role as the Director of Teaching and Learning, she oversaw the implementation of the K–12 Science Leader Network, which supported over 800 educational leaders across California with implementing standards-aligned, phenomena-based science education. The Exploratorium was recognized with a Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education in 2019 for this impactful work.
Before joining the Exploratorium, Jessica co-founded the Maker Certificate Program at Sonoma State University, where she was previously an Associate Professor in the Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education department. She is the author of Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids: Bringing Digital Media into the Classroom. Jessica received her PhD in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.
Senior Creative Director of Global Collaborations
Tom Rockwell is a Creative Director at the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s museum of science, art, and human perception. Since joining the Exploratorium in 2005, Tom has led the exhibits and media departments, the development of new galleries for the museum's move to the waterfront in 2013, as well as the Geometry Playground exhibition and other National Science Foundation supported projects. His interests include exhibiting the human sciences, mathematics, and fundamental physical phenomena, as well as exploring the relationship between science, art, and religion. Prior to coming to San Francisco Tom founded and ran Painted Universe, Inc. where projects included exhibitions such as It’s a Nano World, The Enchanted Museum: Exploring the Science of Art, and illustrations for The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene.
Director of Global Collaborations
Anne leads Global Collaborations, working closely with partners worldwide and their communities to achieve shared goals for impact. She joined the Exploratorium in 2003 and spent her first decade directing the Field Trip Explainer Program, while also completing her doctoral dissertation on science-learner identity development in a community of practice. In 2013 she successfully launched and directed Helix, a grant-funded, one-year, experimental community science center. Anne brings to this work deep commitments to learning and to community, with extensive experience and a highly collaborative approach. In her early career, she developed and implemented learning experiences at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago Department of Environment, Mass Audubon, and the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Anne holds a PhD and an MS in environmental studies from Antioch University New England, and a BA in art history from Northwestern University.
Director of Information Technology
Chris Axley came to the Bay Area in 1995, and his first job on arriving was a fixed-term position at the Exploratorium for the Multimedia Playground ’95 exhibition. This initial stint at the museum turned into a career in information technology, including positions such as Digital Media Developer, Educator, and IT Manager for various companies. He returned to the Exploratorium's IT department early in the new century and worked in multiple positions before becoming Director of Information Technology. Along the way, he built an adaptable, service-minded department that utilizes good planning and efficient use of technology to increase the effectiveness of the Exploratorium community. He also led the effort to design, build, and move the Exploratorium’s IT infrastructure to Piers 15 and 17. Chris has a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Veronica Garcia-Luis has more than 20 years of experience researching and developing programs and exhibits to increase access to STEM learning opportunities for non-dominant communities. She is dedicated to leading the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts of the organization toward becoming a more equitable, anti-racist and inclusive workplace in order to better engage and reflect our communities and audiences.
Most recently she has co-led the following NSF-funded programs Cambio: A Professional Development Approach for Building Latinx-focused Cultural Competence in Informal Science Education Institutions; Ciencia Pública: Co-creating Public Outdoor Learning Spaces with Latino Communities; EDGE: Exhibit Designs for Girls’ Engagement; and GENIAL: Generating Engagement and New Initiatives for All Latinos. Ms. Garcia-Luis has a BA in art history from UCLA and an MA in museum studies from John F. Kennedy University.
Senior Director of Visitor Experience
Robyn Higdon has worked at the Exploratorium for over 30 years. She’s currently the Senior Director of Visitor Experience, which includes the Public Space, Tactile Dome, Field Trip Program, High School Explainer Program, Public Programs, and Moving Images. Robyn has been a Co-Principal Investigator on NSF, NOAA, and NASA projects, including the Total Solar Eclipse: Stories from the Path of Totality, and NOAA’s Scientific Residency program. She has received several Webby and MUSE awards for her work. On the weekends, she is working on an off-the-grid cabin in the Gold Country.
Senior Director of Marketing
Julie is responsible for developing comprehensive, integrated expressions of the Exploratorium’s brand. She strategizes and creates marketing plans and campaigns that maximize the museum’s presence locally and globally. She developed marketing campaigns for the Science of Sharing; Strandbeest; Inflatables; Self, Made; and After Dark. Julie also manages a communications department, which includes social media and digital marketing, and oversees Visitor Services operations, including retail, ticketing reservations, and membership marketing and sales. Julie has developed business models and worked with local publishers on Exploratorium publications including The Art of Tinkering, Seeing, and The Art of Curiosity. Prior to joining the Exploratorium in 2010, Julie’s professional experience included Hasbro, the DaMert Company, The Nature Company, and Gap Inc. She holds a BA in philosophy from Sarah Lawrence College and an MBA in sustainable enterprise from Dominican University of California. Abbey, her beloved Hurricane Katrina rescue hound dog, is never far from her side.