Susan Marenoff-Zausner was named president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in 2011, making her the first woman in the history of the institution to hold the position. She joined the Museum in 2003, serving as chief marketing officer and executive vice president for business development and then its executive director.
Marenoff-Zausner has led the Museum through a period of remarkable growth, transforming it from a niche tourist attraction into an internationally recognized cultural and educational institution. During her tenure, annual attendance has doubled to more than one million visitors, and the Museum has ranked among the top 10 cultural attractions in New York City for the past decade.
Marenoff-Zausner has overseen a more than 400 percent gain in marketing revenue and 160 percent increase in corporate, foundation and individual giving, enabling the Museum to continually update exhibits and educational programs. Indicative of that effort, she directed a $115 million project to renovate the Museum’s infrastructure and completely rebuild its pier on the Hudson River. The renovation included restoring historical spaces never before available to the public, refurbishing 16 aircraft and installing new interactive exhibits to highlight the humanity, bravery and ingenuity behind the ship’s hardware.
Under Marenoff-Zausner’s stewardship, the Museum’s award-winning school and afterschool programs have become an integral part of the NYC education department’s efforts. In addition to serving the local community, the Museum’s programming has also extended to impact audiences nationally and internationally. Its robust STEAM programs directly reach more than 40,000 young people each year, and its professional development opportunities for teachers indirectly benefit another 15,000 students. The Museum has also become one of the most accessible institutions in New York City, providing programs and content for individuals with physical, cognitive and sensory disabilities, including autism and dementia. Its efforts have been recognized by prestigious funders such as the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Always looking to move the Museum forward, Marenoff-Zausner was instrumental in bringing NASA’s space shuttle Enterprise to the Museum in 2012—a monumental success for the institution and New York City. When Hurricane Sandy devastated the region and heavily damaged the Museum later that year, she led the recovery which enabled the Museum to rebuild and reopen in only eight weeks.
Marenoff-Zausner has raised the Museum’s profile as a venue and destination by encouraging events with worldwide audiences to utilize the ship, including Bud Light for Super Bowl XLVIII and the inaugural NBC News Commander-in-Chief Forum. The Museum has also been a location for numerous movies, television shows, concerts, festivals and major product launches.
Most recently, she successfully navigated the Museum through two COVID-related closures. During this challenging period, the institution pivoted its programming from in-person to virtual, enabling it to reach millions of people globally. Marenoff-Zausner instituted new and enhanced safety measures, prioritized staff retention despite the economic challenges, and worked to safeguard the long-term financial viability of the institution. She also negotiated a new and mutually-beneficial 30-year lease agreement with Hudson River Park Trust, ensuring that the Intrepid Museum will remain a vital part of New York’s cultural landscape for decades to come.
Before joining the Museum, Marenoff-Zausner was general manager of the New York Power of the Women’s United Soccer Association (WUSA). Under her leadership, WUSA launched New York’s first professional women’s soccer team in less than four months and brought the finest professional talent to the region.
Marenoff-Zausner also served as director of global marketing at the Women’s Tennis Association Tour. She developed high-impact branding campaigns and negotiated one of the largest sponsorships in the history of women’s sports at that time to increase the tour’s credibility and strengthen player loyalty.
As the New York/New Jersey venue director for the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Marenoff-Zausner headed the entire operation of the largest women’s team sporting event in history. Early in her career, she was a top revenue producer at Madison Square Garden and became at the time the youngest woman to be named vice president of “the world’s most famous arena.”
Marenoff-Zausner is on the board and executive committee of NYC & Company, the official tourism, marketing and partnership organization of New York City. She also serves on the board of her synagogue Temple Emanu-El in Closter, N.J., as well as on the board and committees of the Englewood Health Foundation. She previously served as a founding board member of Women in Sports and Events and on the board of SCI, an initiative to provide underserved children with scholarships to attend sleepaway camp.
Marenoff-Zausner was recently named to AMNY Metro and PoliticsNY's Power Players in Tourism and Hospitality list, and as one of City & State New York’s Above & Beyond Innovators. She also was honored with Binghamton University’s Alumni Achievement Award.
Marenoff-Zausner lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.