GSA Announces Melanie Brandt as Next Executive Director and CEO

Boulder, Colo., USA: The Geological Society of America (GSA), a global scientific society uniting a diverse community of geoscientists, is pleased to announce Melanie Brandt as its next Executive Director and CEO, starting 31 October 2022.

Brandt brings effective, creative, and transformational leadership skills and an exceptional record of directing membership organizations in service of their missions. She has a fundamental and deep-rooted appreciation of the value of collaborations and partnerships to grow organizations. Brandt is excited to build on her experience by serving as an advocate for the geoscience community. She is passionate about science and science-based solutions and is eager to advance the Society to meet the challenges of our shared aspirations, as we have done for more than 130 years. She shares GSA’s dedication to ensuring the organization moves forward with implementing our decadal strategic plan.

Brandt joins GSA from the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), where she was President & CEO for Atlanta and the South Region. During her nine-year tenure at ACG, Brandt oversaw dramatic attendance and membership growth through the organization’s advances in media, publications, data management, and the execution of the organization’s strategic plan. She created highly successful event offerings and implemented significant and impactful growth strategies, for which she received the 2018 ACG President’s Award for Leadership and Excellence. At ACG, she also led diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts that expanded the representation of women and people of color on the Atlanta Board of Directors and markedly increased the diversity of committee members and conference participants. Brandt is inspired to continue this work to advance GSA’s ongoing commitment to DEI.

“This announcement represents another milestone in GSA’s esteemed history,” said GSA Past-President Barbara Dutrow who coordinated the nearly yearlong, international search. “Melanie comes to GSA with many years of leadership experience, a demonstrated ability to grow membership, create dynamic events, and generate new lines of revenue. She brings a genuine passion for her team members and for leading membership organizations. We are thrilled to have her join GSA at this time and look forward to her transformational leadership to expand GSA into a larger ecosystem embracing the many aspects of the earth sciences.”

“Melanie has an impressive track record of building new relationships across disciplines and geographies,” said GSA President Mark Little, “and so I am very excited to see how she will help GSA achieve its goals of increasing international collaborations and expanding the diversity of people, organizations, and perspectives represented in the geosciences community.”

“I am excited to make GSA my professional home. I have a profound appreciation for geoscience as a principal driver for addressing energy issues, climate change, and the everpresent regional competition for water resources, and GSA’s mission and vision resonate with me. I am certain I will be a valuable asset to the organization, the noble scientific profession it serves, and the important solutions GSA members are pursuing,” said Melanie Brandt.

Prior to her role at ACG, Brandt served as COO for the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG), the largest industry association in the state and one of the most successful technology organizations in the U.S. She provided innovative and strategic leadership, as well as management of TAG's operations, including fundraising and staff management responsibilities. Brandt initiated several noteworthy projects, including the annual TAG S.T.E.M. Education Awards, the TAG Education Foundation, and the TAG Public Policy Initiative. Prior to that, she worked with the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce as their Business Development Manager for Technology and Advanced Communications.

Brandt has been honored by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as a Bizwoman Mentor, a Women Who Mean Business honoree, and a 40 under 40 winner. Hailing originally from Evanston, Illinois, she holds an MBA from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology from the University of Colorado Boulder.

The Geological Society of America ( unites a diverse community of geoscientists in a common purpose to study the mysteries of our planet (and beyond) and share scientific findings. Members and friends around the world, from academia, government, and industry, participate in GSA meetings, publications, and programs at all career levels, to foster professional excellence. GSA values and supports inclusion through cooperative research, public dialogue on earth issues, science education, and the application of geoscience in the service of humankind.

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For Immediate Release
29 Sept. 2022
GSA Release No. 22-50

Justin Samuel

Melanie Brandt
Melanie Brandt, MBA