Society for Science Names New Chief Advancement Officer

Society for Science has named Dawn Abel as its new Chief Advancement Officer, where she will be charged with providing the strategic vision and leadership necessary to support the Society’s aggressive program growth priorities and long-term strategic objectives. Abel comes to the Society from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where she served as their Deputy Director of Advancement and significantly increased the museum’s fundraising productivity, leading efforts to raise funds for its $150 million Our Shared Future Campaign.

“Dawn’s experience at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in conjunction with her early career as an engineer makes her an extraordinary fit for our institution,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO, Society for Science and Executive Publisher, Science News. “I am thrilled to have her join the team and look forward to working together to continue to build our advancement program and our community of sponsors.”

Abel brings with her two decades of experience building dynamic and diversified fundraising teams and strategies that leverage individual donors, foundations and corporate philanthropy. Her work has resulted in significant organizational growth and hundreds of millions of dollars in support for mission-based organizations.

Before joining the Smithsonian, Abel served as Director of Development for the National Academy of Medicine and as Director of Community Relations and Foundations for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, where she transformed the grant-making program from transactional and opportunistic to one that is strategic and impact focused.

“I am thrilled to join the Society, an organization whose mission resonates strongly with me. An engineer by training, I have witnessed the Society’s prestigious science and engineering competitions and admire how they inspire innovation and excellence in STEM education. As the issues future generations face increase in complexity, science literacy will become even more important to human advancement. I look forward to working with the Society’s exceptional Board, its committed partners and donors and unparalleled professionals to enhance investments in the Society’s mission and position the organization for the future,” said Abel.

Dawn holds a Master of Arts in Management from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.


About Society for Science


Society for Science is a champion for science, dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement. Established in 1921, Society for Science is best known for its award-winning journalism through Science News and Science News Explores, its world-class science research competitions for students, including the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair and the Thermo Fisher Scientific Junior Innovators Challenge, and its outreach and equity programming that seeks to ensure that all students have an opportunity to pursue a career in STEM. A 501(c)(3) membership organization, Society for Science is committed to inform, educate and inspire. Learn more at and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (Society4Science).