2017 Shine Keynote Speaker - Marisa Wigglesworth

Marisa Wigglesworth came to the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences in May 2016 as only the second woman president in the organization’s 150+ year history. A career fundraiser with deep experience in museum management and a love of the outdoors, Marisa was drawn to the Society by the many opportunities presented in leading the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve.
Prior to moving to Buffalo, Marisa worked on behalf of a variety of outstanding non-profit organizations, including The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, MD. She has helped these and other organizations raise more than $150 million for capital projects and programs. Her experience includes establishing a first-ever diversified, sustainable fundraising program for a national organization, leading multiple strategic planning efforts, and launching numerous programs to engage under-represented audiences in STEM activities. A leader in the museum field, Marisa serves as a member of the Development and Membership Board of The American Alliance of Museum.
While not a scientist by training, Marisa has a great appreciation for science and the scientific process, interests that serve her well in her current role. She received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and a master’s degree from New York University.
Outside of her professional positions, Marisa has always been involved in organizations that support and promote opportunities for women. She is a former Chair of the Board and volunteer hotline counselor for Women in Transition, a Philadelphia-based domestic violence counseling and resource provider, and she is currently serving on the Community Engagement Committee of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York.
In her free time, Marisa enjoys exploring with her husband all that Western New York has to offer – with emphasis on visiting museums, attending festivals, hiking trails and seeking out the region’s best craft beer.