Roberta Katz and George Cogan
SAN FRANCISCO (June 19, 2018) – The Exploratorium Board of Trustees has elected Roberta Katz to serve as Board Chair; she assumes the role as the institution approaches its 50th anniversary in 2019. Dr. Katz succeeds George W. Cogan, who has held the position of chair for 11 years. Cogan will continue to play an active role on the Board, and continue to serve as Chairman of the Special Gifts Committee.
"Roberta's diverse professional background, her work in interdisciplinary research at Stanford, and her accomplishments in Silicon Valley make her an ideal fit for the institution," said Cogan. "The board’s decision was unanimous, and we're excited that the institution will begin its next fifty years under the leadership of such an inspiring and accomplished chair." Currently, Katz is a Senior Research Scholar in both the Department of Communication and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, where she is conducting research on the values, worldviews and behaviors of young people. Katz was previously Associate Vice President for Strategic Planning at Stanford, where she worked on developing and implementing interdisciplinary University-wide initiatives. She has also held positions as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of McCaw Cellular (now AT&T Wireless) and of Netscape, in addition to working in private law practice. Katz holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University and a J.D. from the University of Washington.
"I personally believe we are in midst of some very dramatic changes globally and want to make sure the Exploratorium continues to be a positive part of that change," Katz says about her new role. "At the Exploratorium, one is struck by the vitality of the place, by the beauty of the exhibits, and perhaps most of all by the fact that people are deeply engaged not only with the exhibits in front of them, but with one another. Critical thinking, curiosity, and active inquiry are such important aspects of healthy communities. This institution manifests so much of what we need to see in our society today, and it also serves as a prototype for other similar institutions and disseminates its work globally. I am proud to be a part of it."
"I also feel it is a great privilege to follow George in this role. He has been such a spectacular chair, guiding the board and the organization with exemplary leadership," Katz said. "He has led the institution through an extraordinary decade of transformation." During Cogan's tenure, the Exploratorium raised more than $300M in order to expand and relocate to the waterfront, a move that resulted in doubling the numbers of annual visitors and student field trips, and in a dramatic expansion of the Exploratorium's science teacher professional development programs across the state of California.
Cogan and Katz both participated in the search that brought Chris Flink, Sakurako and William Fisher Executive Director, to the Exploratorium in June of 2016.