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U environmental director Foley to leave for California

Jon Foley of the Institute on the Environment will become executive director of the California Academy of Sciences.

Jon Foley, who’s been director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, is leaving for the west coast.

Foley will start in August as executive director of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco.

On his Facebook page today, Foley writes:

The University of Minnesota and the Institute are thriving places of environmental research, innovation, education and engagement, and I will always be thankful for the years I spent at the IonE and Minnesota.

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But, ultimately, it was impossible to pass up the offer of the Cal Academy directorship, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I have long admired the Cal Academy as a place that brilliantly connects science and society, and I am excited to help lead the Academy as they pursue their vital new mission of “Exploring, explaining and sustaining life on Earth.”

Brian Herman, vice president for research at the University of Minnesota, praised Foley’s work in a statement on the IonE website:

“His cutting-edge work and research, along with his ability to forge new partnerships, grow and mentor talent in this field, and think outside of the box has helped establish a strong foundation from which the IonE and University can continue to build. Our goal to transform Minnesota’s research enterprise so that we can better address the world’s most pressing challenges requires work and engagement like that accomplished at IonE, and the University remains committed in its support of the Institute.”