Wigglesworth appointed SVP/Chief Philanthropy Officer at Natl. Aquarium

The National Aquarium is pleased to announce the appointment of Marisa Wigglesworth as Senior Vice-President/Chief Philanthropy Officer (CPO).


Marisa Wigglesworth

As a member of the Aquarium’s leadership team, Wigglesworth will be responsible for all development functions, including capital and annual operating fundraising, and will play an integral role in setting long-term strategies for all aspects of the Aquarium’s operations and future.

“Marisa brings to the Aquarium a strategic approach to philanthropy and a wealth of talent in a development career that spans 20 years,” said John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium. “Her enthusiasm for our mission, appreciation of our renewed focus on conservation and eagerness to join us as we confront very real issues and find solutions, makes her an excellent addition.”

Wigglesworth comes to the National Aquarium having served as Vice President for Development and External Affairs at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia since 2008, where she led all aspects of the Institute’s fundraising and corporate communications efforts, including a capital campaign that exceeded its $60M goal by nearly $5M. She previously served as Director of Major Gifts and Development Information Systems as well as Assistant Director of Development for Research and Development Information Systems at The Franklin Institute from 1998 to 2003.

“As National Aquarium’s first ever Chief Philanthropy Officer, I am eager to begin developing our strategic approach to philanthropy and engaging with the community to help us achieve our mission,” said Wigglesworth.

Wigglesworth, who has also served as Chief Development Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters International and Vice President of Development for Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, holds a B.A. in English and Communications from Rutgers University and an M.A. in Recreation Service and Resource Management from New York University. She is recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals as a Certified Fundraising Executive.

Wigglesworth will begin her new role as Senior Vice-President and Chief Philanthropy Officer on February 3, 2014.

National Aquarium

The National Aquarium is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures. It champions environmental initiatives by engaging with visitors, volunteers, education groups and schools to actively participate in the preservation of the world’s natural resources and living systems. The National Aquarium delivers meaningful experiences through its living collections; science-based education programs and hands-on experiences in the field from the Chesapeake Bay to Costa Rica; and partnerships and alliances with like-minded organizations around the world. For more information on the National Aquarium, visit www.aqua.org.