Aquarium of the Bay CEO George Jacob conferred prestigious Queen Elizabeth medal


George Jacob, President and CEO of the Smithsonian Affiliated Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco, was conferred the late Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal of excellence at a sobering ceremony held at McDougall Center in Calgary, Canada on November 28.

Jacob told indica that the awards were announced last month. Sharing his thoughts on receiving the prestigious award, Jacob said, “Museums are the souls of civil societies. It is a privilege to create new institutions of generational learning. Awards that commemorate the Queen’s 70 years as monarch of most of the Commonwealth, remind us that these museums continue to serve the public well and transcend geopolitical boundaries. It is sobering and encouraging at the same time.”

Jacob was awarded for his lifetime of contribution to public service and the establishment of many museums, authorship of numerous books and articles on the future of museum design, policy, and thought leadership on civil societies, as well as his contribution on various national and international Boards.

Jacob’s investiture was presided by RCGS Governor, the Honorable Lois Mitchell.

A recipient of the 2019 Louis Kamookak Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Jacob has planned and worked on over 100 museum projects worldwide. India born Jacob is a Commonwealth scholar and is Canada’s first visible minority immigrant museum CEO.

With the Queen’s passing on September 8, this platinum jubilee year marking the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne, the Platinum Jubilee Medal is the last honor in the Commonwealth that carries her effigy and Royal Cypher. Fifteen Canadians were conferred this distinction for their exemplary contributions to humanity.

Jacob told indica: “As an India-born immigrant to Canada, the medal has an added significance to me. Not only does it endorse the notion of the Canadian multicultural societal fabric, it also affirms the strength and resilience of immigrants. The journey has been challenging and has had its share of disappointments laced with discrimination and marginalization. Identity is a moving target that migrant families struggle with for generations. Becoming the first visible minority founding President & CEO of a Canadian museum was as distinct an honor as recognizing my great grandfather’s graduation from University of Toronto’s Wycliffe college in 1922…marking a 100 years of continuity.”

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