Image of Alison Brown at SMM

Alison Brown - President and CEO

Alison Rempel Brown joined the Science Museum of Minnesota in 2016 as its 16th President and CEO. With a deep commitment to science, education, and inclusive experiences, she has reshaped the museum's direction. Brown's leadership prioritizes equity, making science accessible to diverse voices like girls, LGBTQ+, trans and gender nonconforming people, youth of color, and youth from families with lower incomes. Hence, they learn, engage, have fun, and imagine possibilities.

Under Brown’s leadership, the Science Museum drafted a new strategic plan that focuses on the future of museums and their role in society – not just sources of knowledge but as places of curiosity and preparation for a science-driven world. The plan positions the Science Museum of Minnesota as a place where visitors can find resources and have meaningful conversations about critical concerns of our time – helping them understand the dynamics of race, the complexities of mental health, and mitigating climate change.

Brown launched significant new initiatives with the senior leadership team that leveraged the Science Museum’s relationships and rich assets. 2018’s Year of the Engineer put the possibilities and potential of engineering careers in the spotlight. The Science Museum’s Statement on Equity and Inclusion, formally adopted by the board of trustees in 2018, advocates using STEM as a tool for justice and equity. The statement acknowledges that significant change must start from within and recognizes how the museum and science have contributed to creating and sustaining societal injustices and inequalities. Its Statement on Global Climate Change, revised and updated in 2021, affirms the museum’s commitment to sharing the current science of climate change, illuminating societal inequities and the disproportional impact climate change has on those who can afford it least. In the statement, the museum encourages action we can all take now and pledges to be an example of sustainable innovation for the community.

Brown's prior role as Chief of Staff at the California Academy of Sciences underscored her expertise in driving institutional growth and enhancing visitor experiences. During her tenure, the Academy undertook a massive rebuilding project. In addition, Brown facilitated the creation of a shared vision for staff that led to one of the highest-rated museum visitor experiences in the nation.

Brown is an active member of the American Alliance of Museums and Minnesota Private College Consortium’s Board of Directors. She received her Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where her concentration was nonprofit and government organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Pomona College, with an emphasis in mathematics.

Alison Rempel Brown envisions museums as agents of change, making science a tool for justice accessible to all.