Terry Garcia has more than 30 years of experience leading large and complex organizations with global operations. He has led public, private and nonprofit organizations in a broad range of industries, including science and technology, government, media, financial services, location-based entertainment, education and law. He has extensive experience in change management, strategic planning, audit and financial management practices, organizational restructuring, budget development and management, media production, new program and business development, strategic alliances, corporate governance and law, public policy and government affairs, and regulatory compliance.
Terry is currently president of Exploration Ventures, a company providing strategic advice to global clients in science and technology, art, media, education, hospitality, social and nonprofit industries across the private and public sectors. He is a frequent event speaker and moderator
Previously, Terry was Executive Vice President and Chief Science and Exploration Officer for the National Geographic Society. 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 film and 33-city NG Live event businesses as well as its Education Foundation. Terry also was responsible for the growth and expansion of the National Geographic Museum and its traveling exhibitions’ business, 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, Terry 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 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and made recommendations on how to prevent future incidents.
In 2011, Terry received Peru’s highest civilian award, “Orden del Sol del Peru,” for his role in helping repatriate a collection of ancient artifacts taken from Machu Picchu in 1912.
Prior to joining National Geographic in 1999, Terry was Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He also served as NOAA’s General Counsel from 1994 to 1996. In these roles, he participated in all major policy decisions of the largest agency in the Department of Commerce, managed the development and execution of NOAA’s programs and budgets and helped lead the development of the agency’s first comprehensive multiyear strategic plan. Among other accomplishments, he oversaw a major initiative to streamline NOAA’s regulatory programs, re-engineered the federal government’s approach to the assessment and recovery of damages for injuries to natural resources, negotiated the first collective bargaining agreement with NOAA general counsel employees and led the implementation of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Plan.
Before entering government service, Terry was a partner in the global law firms of Manatt Phelps & Phillips and Hughes Hubbard & Reed.