Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum Appoints New President & CEO

Redbelly 1
June 8, 2022
Erin cropped headshot copy

Erin Amico, Chief Marketing Officer at P33, and prominent Chicago nonprofit professional, will lead the institution starting in July 2022.

The Board of Trustees of the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum today announced that they have elected, by unanimous vote, Erin Amico as President & CEO of Chicago’s oldest museum and foremost scientific institution, beginning July 18, 2022.

A Chicago native, Amico will be the first African American CEO to lead the 165-year-old institution. Amico succeeds Deborah Lahey who announced in September that she would be retiring at the end of June 2022, after 12 years as President & CEO.

An eight-member Search Committee, led by Trustees David Hackett and Susan D. Whiting, conducted a rigorous nine-month search in partnership with Koya Partners.

Amico will join the Nature Museum from P33, a nonprofit driving inclusive growth for Chicago’s tech sector, where she serves as Chief Marketing Officer. At P33, Amico partners with corporate, civic, and academic leaders across Chicagoland to direct the strategy and positioning of Chicago’s tech brand in partnership with World Business Chicago. She has been responsible for reaching over 1 million tech professionals nationwide through transformational digital efforts.

Nature Museum Board Chair, David Hackett said, “We are thrilled to announce Erin as our next President & CEO. A visionary, innovative and inspiring leader, Erin will bring the expertise and passion to steer this beloved and historical institution into the future. Her experience in Chicago’s civic, business, and nonprofit spaces, as well as her enthusiasm for nature and the natural sciences, make her uniquely qualified to lead the Nature Museum. We are excited to have Erin build on the institution’s strong foundation and guide us into this next chapter.”

Amico has a strong background in innovative marketing, strategic planning, and fundraising. With over two decades of experience, Amico has generated awareness and revenue for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Her involvement in building purpose-driven brands, cultivating talent, and inspiring partnerships has helped transform Chicago’s tech sector. Her unique combination of experiences and commitment to the mission will enable her to lead the Nature Museum into the future, while honoring its heritage and legacy.

Penny Pritzker, Co-Founder of P33 and Founder & Chairman of PSP Partners noted, “A key focus of P33 is creating pathways to tech-based opportunities, such as STEM education. The Nature Museum does more hours of hands-on science teaching, primarily in underserved areas, than any other museum in Chicago. I am thrilled Erin will continue this important effort so that Chicago’s future scientists are reflective of all our citizens.”

“I am humbled and honored to join the Nature Museum team. I am a life-long learner from a family of scientists who instilled in me a deep value of education, curiosity, and compassion. Nature is a powerful source of inspiration, knowledge, and connection. I am grateful for the opportunity to build on the Nature Museum’s incredible legacy and grow new connections between this important institution and our community,” said Amico.

Amico graduated from Latin School of Chicago and Middlebury College. She also earned Master of Business Administration degrees from both Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in marketing and the University of Cambridge Judge Business School in entrepreneurship.

She currently serves on the Midwest Board of UNICEF and The French American Chamber of Commerce Foundation Board, and she is a mentor to mHUB’s Climate and Energy Tech teams.

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