Jean Case, Chairman of the National Geographic Society Board of Trustees, announced today that Michael Ulica has been named interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Geographic Society. Ulica steps into the interim role following the appointment of Gary E. Knell as Chief Executive Officer of National Geographic Partners, the joint venture between the National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox. The appointment is effective March 1.
“Mike is ideally suited to lead the National Geographic Society during this transition period,” said Case. “His deep understanding of the Society’s mission and impact-driven agenda, combined with the support of our strong senior management team, will allow the organization to move seamlessly forward.”
Case continued: “Gary’s excellent leadership leaves an enduring legacy at the National Geographic Society and we are delighted he can take his extraordinary talents and apply them fully to our strategic joint venture, National Geographic Partners.”
Ulica has served as the Society’s executive vice president, chief operating and financial officer since 2016, overseeing the Society’s financial, operational and administrative functions, including accounting, finance, planning, treasury and investments, human resources, legal, technology, facilities and sustainability.
“Mike has been an extremely valuable partner to me these past four years as we have transformed the National Geographic Society into a leading non-profit institution,” added Knell. “I look forward to continuing to work closely with him in our respective new roles.”
Ulica joined National Geographic in 2006 as the chief financial officer for National Geographic Ventures. He was named the Society’s deputy chief financial officer in 2012 and the chief financial officer in 2014.
He previously worked at Discovery Communications, where he spent 10 years in a wide range of financial roles, including senior vice president and chief financial officer of Discovery’s corporate services division and senior vice president and chief financial officer of the consumer products division. Before working at Discovery, Ulica spent 10 years with Time Life Inc., where he held management positions in finance and operations.
Ulica holds a B.S. in finance from Virginia Polytechnic and State University.