Executive Leadership

George Jacob M.Tech., MMS., D.Lt., CCF, FRCGS, Chief Executive Officer

Trained at the Smithsonian, educated at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, University of Toronto, Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University and Yale School of Management, he is known internationally for spearheading stellar interpretive planning and design-build assignments and is one of the leading museum thinkers of our times. A Canadian Commonwealth Scholar, his $480 million + design-build portfolio of over 50 museums, nature and science center assignments can be seen in countries around the world. Founding Director of 4 museums in his career spanning three decades, he is credited with developing the first Masters Studio on Museum Design at the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba, the first Executive Program on Cultural Leadership and Diplomacy at the University of Texas and the fastest museum design-build project delivered. His 150+ opinion columns and editorials on interpretive planning, museum design, civic reach, sustainability, public art, exhibit design, master planning and advocacy, have appeared in many newspapers and publications. Author of 7 seminal books on the future of Museum Design and Practice, he currently serves on the Peer Review Council of the American Alliance for Museums, ICOM Canada, CASC, ICOM-ICTOP, among others. He was honored to be the Project Director for the production of the 1812 Star Spangled Banner permanent exhibit- Smithsonian’s most treasured national icon- re-dedicated to the nation by President George W. Bush in 2008. In July 2015, he won the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Museums Association and Outstanding Project Leadership Award from the Canadian Association of Science Centers, while Alberta Venture named him one of the 50 most influential persons. He is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.

Laura Canaya, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Director of Human Resources and Volunteer Services
A native to San Francisco, Laura Canaya is our Director of Human Resources (HR) and Volunteer Services. She is an accomplished HR professional with over 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Canaya spent most of her career in public education where she worked with multiple unions and built School District HRIS platforms. She was involved in contract negotiations and sat on the Personnel Commission for Contra Costa County Office of Education.  She joined the bay.org team in June of 2014, where she handles all aspects of HR and Volunteer Services. She is responsible for implementing human resource management strategies that enable bay.org to recruit, train, and retain a high performing and motivated workforce.  Canaya specializes in executive recruitment, talent management, staffing and employee benefits. She is a member of SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management) and volunteers as a Policy Advocate for the local chapter.  She currently serves on the Human Resources Committee for AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Canaya is SPHR and SHRM-SCP certified. She believes that the primary role of anyone in HR is to provide superior customer service to all the internal stakeholders- the employees.

Carrie Chen, Director of Education and Conservation

As a leader within the rapidly expanding bay.org organization, Carrie Chen brings 20+ years of experience working with aquatic and informal science education organizations around the country and a passion for connecting all audiences with the wonders of nature.  Chen joined Aquarium of the Bay in 2004, and as Director of Education and Conservation, she currently provides leadership for all of bay.org’s interpretive programs, K-12 student and teacher programs, fee-based youth programs, and sustainability initiatives – along with supporting fundraising efforts, staff training, professional development, evaluation, and other related projects. This includes providing leadership for educational staff and programs at Aquarium of the Bay, the Sea Lion Center and the EcoCenter at Heron’s Head Park.  She is also very active within the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), as the former chair Conservation Education Committee, leading the Association’s professional development course for Conservation Education Effective Program Design, and as a current member of the Association’s Annual Conference Program Committee. Prior to joining Aquarium of the Bay, Chen graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a degree in Biology and spent many years “island hopping” and developing her skills and passion in marine science education before relocating the Bay Area in 1999 to pursue her Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from California State University at Hayward.

Christopher Low, Senior Director of Life Support Systems and Facilities

Christopher Low has worked for Aquarium of the Bay for 15 years. During his tenure, he has been responsible for project management of new exhibits, upgrades to life support and building systems, safety protocols and training, and filling in as Director of Operations and Husbandry during gaps in leadership in these departments. Prior to working at Aquarium of the Bay, Low was an active member of the United States Coast Guard stationed in Seattle and Monterey as a crew member on a Coast Guard Cutter and as a coxswain of a motor surf lifeboat. After his service in the USCG, Low worked on tug boats for 5 years in the capacity of engineer and operator in the San Francisco Bay. Low also is an artist working with found objects to create assemblages and shadow boxes.

Jacqueline Murray, Marketing and Communications Director

With over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Jacqueline Murray joined the bay.org team in January 2015 to usher the brand development and launch of bay.org as an umbrella brand, as well as direct the organization’s marketing for its six divisions. Her experience in marketing covers the gamut from PR and campaign creation, to brand development and sales. She has worked in a variety of industries both in the private and nonprofit sectors including media, biotech, and digital platforms. Additionally, she has launched campaigns for a wide range of clients including Dow Chemical, KitchenAid, Scharffen Berger Chocolate, Disney, and Bank of America. Murray earned an MBA from St. Mary’s and a BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. Her connection to the bay.org mission is a strong and personal one: growing up in Hawaii, she learned very early the direct link between water and life and the importance of preserving our waterways globally. 

Christina J. Slager, Director of Animal Care and Exhibits

Christina Slager has more than 25 years of experience working with aquatic animals.  Specializing in penguins, sharks and marine birds, some of her career highlights include: fieldwork in Patagonia and Antarctica; designing penguin exhibits and penguin breeding programs; capturing and transporting large sand tiger sharks from Delaware to New Orleans; coordinating the evacuation of penguins and sea otters from the Aquarium of the Americas after Hurricane Katrina; participating in Monterey Bay Aquarium’s successful juvenile white shark capture program; implementing a live Laysan Albatross program at Monterey Bay Aquarium; and directing a sevengill shark tracking program at Aquarium of the Bay. During her career, Slager has worked at Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences (CA), the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas (LA), Monterey Bay Aquarium (CA), Mystic Aquarium (CT) and Aquarium of the Bay (CA). She is the author of numerous published articles and several books.

Cathy Tolentino, Director of Sales

Cathy Tolentino a native of San Francisco is very proud to showcase the place she calls home to visitors from around the world. Tolentino began her tourism career with Crowley Maritime’s Red & White Fleet in the 1980’s. Since then she has served in tourism marketing positions with PIER 39’s Blue & Gold Fleet, Bay Quackers San Francisco Duck Tours and the Walt Disney Family Museum. Tolentino's sales skills have allowed her to generate over $11.5 million dollars in a single year. Her areas of responsibility have included: sales, marketing, strategic planning and business development. She has been a leader in the tour & travel industry opening new markets and created rapid growth in new and emerging markets. Tolentino joined Aquarium of the Bay in 2010.