PORT ANGELES — A teaching aquarist with Chicago’s noted Shedd Aquarium has been named new executive director of the Feiro Marine Life Center at Port Angeles City Pier.
Melissa Williams, who has been vice president for learning at Shedd since 2011 and a staff member since 2006, will begin in Port Angeles on May 7.
She replaces Deborah Moriarty, who will become Feiro’s first development director, focusing on the marine center’s future expansion of educational programs, research and visitor facilities.
Moriarty has served as Feiro’s director since 2008 and guided the center’s transition from a city facility to a nonprofit organization, preserving the late professor Art Feiro’s dream of community marine science center on the Port Angeles waterfront, according to a statement from the marine life center.
“Deborah was instrumental in the formation of Feiro as a nonprofit and has been the heart of this organization for the past seven years,” said Feiro Marine Life Center Board President Betsy Wharton. “The reorganization and expansion of our management team reflects the expanding scope Feiro’s strategic vision for a new and improved facility to continue Art Feiro’s vision of a hands-on community-focused marine life center.”
Williams began her professional career in 2000 at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, while completing a master’s degree in instructional leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.