Introducing our New President & CEO, Leah Melber, Ph.D.


Introducing our New President & CEO, Leah Melber, Ph.D.

By Adventure Science Center

Leah Melber, Ph.D. - Adventure Science Center's new President & CEO - joins Nashville’s science and technology center at an exciting time of growth for the organization. Leah will lead the beloved institution into its next chapter as it aims to fulfill its goal of delivering innovative and inclusive learning experiences for all. 

With more than thirty years of experience as a museum professional, Melber is a seasoned and dynamic executive passionate about advancing science literacy through innovative practice, impactful execution, and strategic partnerships. She currently serves as the Senior Director of Education at the Catalina Island Conservancy, where she sits on the executive leadership team and leads all aspects of the education program, providing formal and non-formal experiences designed to deliver nature-based engagement and experiential learning.

A former elementary school teacher and university professor, Melber has held various positions at other notable institutions throughout her career including the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science. While at the Zoo, Melber was the founding Director of the award-winning Hurvis Center for Learning Innovation. She was also part of the senior leadership team for the grand opening of the Frost Museum of Science.

"We are thrilled to have Leah on board to lead Adventure Science Center,” said incoming Board Chair, Josh Trusley. “The science center has exciting things planned to continue to meet the needs of our growing and dynamic region. Leah is the right leader to invest in and partner with the organization as we continue to create experiences that inspire, educate, and promote new opportunities for our community.”

An active member of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and other cultural associations, Leah frequently contributes to the field. She has served as a national and international thought leader, advancing innovation in the museum field and informal learning through publications, presentations, and advisory committees.

Melber earned her Bachelor’s in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and her Master’s in Education from Pepperdine University. She also holds a Doctorate in Education from the University of Southern California.

“One of my greatest passions is supporting science discovery and igniting curiosity among learners of all ages,” said Melber. “As I take on this leadership role at Adventure Science Center, I am filled with excitement and enthusiasm for our shared commitment to promoting exploration and discovery."

The science center’s Board of Directors created a seven-member search committee comprised of current Board and Advisory Board members to lead a thorough and inclusive search process. The search committee partnered with executive search firm, Koya Partners | Diversified Search Group, to find the new President and CEO. 

Melber joins the science center at an exciting time of growth for the organization. In June of 2022, the science center launched the Beyond 75 campaign to commemorate its milestone 75th anniversary in 2020 and to announce the evolution of more than 15,000 square feet of exhibit space. Since then, the science center has opened the EY Sensory Room – a designated, sensory-friendly space, Adventure Gallery – a 1,300-square-foot gallery that teaches guests about the creative engineering that enables extraordinary adventures and includes an interactive Kinetic Climber with nine unique, climbing challenges, and Infinium Room – an immersive, audiovisual experience that explores the concept of infinity.

Melber will be an essential leader as the science center progresses with the reimagination of a second-floor gallery space that will explore how healthcare and technology enable and empower human performance and the expansion of the recently relaunched TWISTER conference which is a daylong event presented by Adventure Science Center to inform, motivate, and empower middle and high school girls to pursue careers in STEAM.

Adventure Science Center is thrilled to have an inspirational and highly-motivated leader at the helm as it continues to offer premiere experiences, programming, and unique events to Nashville and beyond. Please join us in welcoming Leah to the team! 




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