George Jacob Biography
George Jacob is the President & CEO of Bay.Org in San Francisco that oversees six institutions (Aquarium of the Bay, The Bay Institute, Sea Lion Center, Eco Center at Heron’s Head Park, The Bay Model Alliance and the Bay Academy) with a unified mission to protect and conserve the San Francisco Bay and its fragile ecosystems from the Sierra to the Sea. While the Bay Institute was established 39 years ago, the Eco Center at Heron’s Head Park is the first LEED Platinum building in San Francisco that won the 2018 Environmental Sustainability Secretary’s Award from the California Association of Museums.
He currently leads the landmark transformation of the Aquarium of the Bay on Pier 39 into an iconic $260 million living immersive ecotarium- the first of its kind Climate Resilience and Ocean Conservation Living Museum in the United States.
Trained at the Smithsonian, educated at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, University of Toronto, Getty Leadership Institute and Yale School of Management, he is known internationally for spearheading stellar museum design-build assignments and is one of the leading museum thinkers of our times. Former Vice President of Oregon Museum of Science & Industry and OMNIMAX, he went on to be the founding Director of the NASA-Ames funded astronomy education center and the founding Director of the $364 million Khalsa heritage complex on a 100 acre site.
A Canadian Commonwealth Scholar, his portfolio of over 108 museums, nature parks, wetlands, sea, wildlife and science center assignments, have been visited by millions around the world.
In 2008, he was honored to be the Project Director for the production of the 1812 Star Spangled Banner permanent exhibit- Smithsonian’s most treasured national icon, that inspired the American National Anthem rededicated to the nation by President George W. Bush.
In 2015, he delivered the fastest museum design-build project in north America with helicopter rides over the world’s densest dinosaur bone-bed sites, winning 9 awards in 9 months including the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Museums Association and the 2016 Outstanding Project Leadership Award from the Canadian Association of Science Centers. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society and recipient of the 2019 Louie Kamookak Medal.
Jacob has authored 150+ opinion editorials on interpretive planning, museum design, civic reach, sustainability, public art, exhibit design, master planning and advocacy, for newspapers and publications. Author of 7 seminal books on the future of Museum Design and Practice, he has served on the Peer Review Council of the American Alliance for Museums, and is on the Boards of CAL-Travel, International Council of Museums USA, ICOM-ICTOP. Early this year he was appointed Chief Advisor to UN Environment on Climate and Ocean Conservation Museum initiatives