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Terry Garcia

Chief Scientist. Global Policy Advisor. Blue Water Protector.

Terry Garcia

For 17 years, Terry Garcia served as Executive Vice President and Chief Science and Exploration Officer for the National Geographic Society where he was responsible for the Society’s core mission programs including those that supported and managed more than 400 scientific field research, conservation and exploration projects annually.


Under his leadership, the Society’s science and education programs experienced significant growth in global impact and prominence. He led National Geographic’s successful domestic and international retail licensing, experiential entertainment, 3D/large format films and live events division, and its education foundation. Terry also was responsible for the growth and expansion of the National Geographic Museum and its traveling exhibitions, developing and launching some of the most successful exhibitions of the last decade, including the seven-year global tour of Tutankhamun’s Treasures seen by more than 10 million people.


In June 2010, he was appointed by President Obama to serve on the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling. He investigated the root causes of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and made recommendations on how to prevent future incidents. In 2011, he received Peru’s highest civilian award, La Orden del Sol del Perú, for his role in helping repatriate a collection of ancient artifacts taken from Machu Picchu in 1912.


Prior to joining National Geographic, Terry was the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere for the US Department of Commerce, and the Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He also served as NOAA’s General Counsel from 1994 to 1996. Prior to his years in service of our natural world, Terry was a partner at a Los Angeles law firm.


Terry is currently leading Exploration Ventures, which provides strategic advice and counsel to global clients in a range of sectors.


Recently, Terry co-authored a book, The Future of Exploration: Discovering the Uncharted Frontiers of Science, Technology, and Human Potential (2023, Earth Aware Editions, Simon & Schuster) with National Geographic Photographer Chris Rainier and more than three dozen leading explorers, including Bob Ballard, Richard Branson, Yvon Chouinard, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Zahi Hawass, Paula Kahumbu, Louise Leakey, Wasfia Nazreen, and Nainoa Thompson. At this critical point in time for the planet and its inhabitants, they share their insights about what motivates them, what is left to explore, and why we should care.

Terry Garcia

The Future of Exploration


Even today, when you can board a plane and travel to just about any point on the planet, when it seems as if nearly all the blank spaces on the maps have been filled in, there are still surprises awaiting us—mysteries to be solved and discoveries to be made. In fact, Terry Garcia argues that the 21st century will be the greatest age of exploration in the history of humankind. Garcia, who for 17 years was the chief exploration officer for National Geographic, takes his audience on an exciting journey into the world of exploration—a world of hidden treasures, lost cities, and shipwrecks—and to explore the last wild, pristine places on the planet.  Drawing on nearly two decades of field experience, he explains who is exploring today, why they do it, and where they’re going.  Along the way, he considers what it means to be a modern day explorer, painting a vivid picture of the men and women leading the way, whose obsession to go farther, deeper, and higher than ever before, will reveal incredible discoveries and unimaginable wonders, and—in all likelihood—change the world as we know it.


https://www.thefutureofexploration.org/

Featured Presentation

Photos: courtesy Terry Garcia

Current Titles

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