President and CEO
Buffalo Museum of Science, Tifft Nature Preserve
MANY Board Treasurer
Region: Western NY
Committee(s): Chair–Audit/Finance, Executive
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.
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. Regarded as an effective speaker on the importance and impact of informal STEM learning opportunities, Marisa is recognized as one of the Power 125 Women of Western New York by Buffalo Business First.
Outside of her professional positions, Marisa is a member of the Board of Managers of MusicalFare Theater in Amherst, NY, a former member of the Development and Membership Board of the American Alliance of Museums, and most recently appointed to the Smithsonian Committee of Western New York Women making History in support of the new Smithsonian American Women's History Museum her free time, Marisa enjoys exploring with her husband all that Western New York has to offer – with emphasis on visiting museums, hiking trails, and seeking out the region’s best craft beer.
Smithsonian Committee of Western New York Women Making History