Oceans 5 includes new and experienced philanthropists with a common inspiration for collaborative, results-oriented grantmaking. We share a desire to secure tangible improvements in global ocean health, while also strengthening ocean conservation philanthropy.
Who We Are
Addison FischerCo-founder and President Planet Heritage Foundation (PHF)Close
Mr. Fischer is the Co-founder and President of Planet Heritage Foundation (PHF), which is devoted to protecting the environment by leading and supporting effective strategic collaborations.
In his professional life, Mr. Fischer is a computer entrepreneur, the Founder of VeriSign and was formerly the co-owner of Duquesne Capital Management with Mr. Stanley Druckenmiller until Mr Druckenmiller retired in 2010.
PHF launched Oceans 5 in 2011 with the other Partner foundations as a means to grant collectively and more strategically, as well as give newer funders a safe and trusted place to invest.
The foundation recently funded two new climate change initiatives, one called Energetics which has the primary goal of identifying and promoting game-changing technology solutions, as well as a project at Stanford University’s Global Project Center, which seeks to better understand how impact/philanthropic capital can more effectively interface with for-profit capital.
Other PHF initiatives and projects include: the Electrification Coalition — a nonpartisan alliance of business leaders committed to promoting electric vehicles on a mass scale; the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust which PHF spearheaded a funders’ circle around; and, the TED Mission Blue Voyage to fulfill Dr. Sylvia Earle’s TED Wish, whereby 100 influential leaders gathered for a week seeking solutions to restore the health of the oceans.
Mr. Fischer serves as a director of The Jane Goodall Institute and the East West Institute, and is on the advisory boards of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Amazon Conservation Team and the Sylvia Earle Foundation.
Amanda NicksonSenior Program Officer for Ocean Conservation Paul M Angell Family FoundationClose
Amanda Nickson serves as the Senior Program Officer for Ocean Conservation at the Paul M Angell Family Foundation, providing strategy, support and guidance to the Conservation portfolio. Prior to joining the Foundation, Amanda served as Director of International Fisheries at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Where she led Pew’s international fisheries program, including intergovernmental fisheries policy reform, conservation and management of tunas and sharks, as well as work to end illegal fishing and roll out fisheries reforms in European waters.
Before joining Pew, Amanda worked for WWF for nearly 12 years, including leading international efforts to protect threatened charismatic species including tigers, pandas and marine turtles. She also developed and led WWF’s Bycatch Initiative, a major policy and field program aimed at reducing the incidental catch of non-target species in fisheries in more than 20 countries throughout the world.
Amanda began her career in health promotion policy, serving as the New South Wales state lead for the National Breast Cancer Centre in Australia. She also ran the first publicly funded campaign to prevent homophobic violence, which won the Australian government’s Violence Prevention Award.
Ann ColleyDirector of public relations and charitable giving Moore Capital ManagementClose
Director of public relations and charitable giving, Moore Capital Management, LP and Executive Director and Vice President, The Moore Charitable Foundation (MCF) and its affiliate foundations.
As the principal adviser to Moore Charitable founder and chairman, Louis Bacon, Ann has spent more than two decades guiding the foundation’s grant making and partnerships with many of the nation’s foremost conservation organizations. She also represents Moore Charitable in collaboration with local community organizations.
A native of North Carolina, Ann joined MCF in 1994 as its first executive director, after working in presidential, gubernatorial and congressional campaigns. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Waterkeeper Alliance, which MCF was instrumental in founding, and is on the board of the University of North Carolina’s Institute for the Environment. She is a member of The National Council of the Land Trust Alliance, Oceana’s Ocean Council, and Oceans 5.
Ann attended Hollins University and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She lives in New York City and has two sons.
Anne HenshawProgram Officer Oak Foundation Marine ConservationClose
Anne Henshaw joined Oak Foundation in 2007 as a marine conservation program officer overseeing a global fisheries portfolio. She has a special interest in supporting the rights of Indigenous Peoples in building their capacity to support and community-led conservation, food sovereignty, co-management as well as to engage in international governance policy forums. In addition, Anne is a board member of Climate Justice Resilience Fund, an international funding platform designed to support Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth in community-led rights-based approaches to advance adaptation and resilience to climate change.
Before joining Oak, Anne was a visiting Professor in the Sociology and Anthropology Department at Bowdoin College from 1996-2007, and director of Bowdoin’s Coastal Studies Center from 2000-2007. Anne holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University and a B.A., magma cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire in anthropology. Anne has been a fellow with the National Institute for Global and Environmental Change at Indiana University and with the American Association of University Women. The results of her work have been published in a variety of peer reviewed journals and international venues. She has served on the Advisory Committee for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation, and sits on the board of the International Funders for Indigenous Peoples and the Arctic Funders Collaborative.
Antha N. WilliamsGlobal Head of Climate and Environmental Programs Bloomberg PhilanthropiesClose
Antha Williams leads the Climate and Environment Program at Bloomberg Philanthropies, supporting Michael Bloomberg's personal efforts to combat climate change as well as initiatives to improve sustainability of cities, to accelerate the transition to clean energy, combat overfishing and protect coral reefs, and help businesses and investors better understand climate-related financial risks and opportunities. Antha was Consulting Producer of Paris to Pittsburgh, a film about communities across America grappling with the impacts of climate change, and From the Ashes. Previously she served in leadership positions at Corridor Partners, Atlantic Philanthropies, The Beldon Fund, the Campaign for Change, and Green Corps. Outside of philanthropy, Antha has worked as a campaigner and organizer, directing large scale voter protection efforts and serving in leadership positions for five years with Green Corps, a training program for aspiring environmental organizers. Antha graduated from Dartmouth College and lives in New York.
Dr. Bob CookGrant Development Officer For Environment & Science Zegar Family FoundationClose
In 2017, The Zegar Family Foundation (ZFF) refined its grantmaking priorities toward two areas, 1) environment and sustainability; and 2) justice and human rights. By 2021 it added climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as environmental justice to its portfolio. The Foundation has more than tripled its funding to these environment related causes in the past several years.
Dr. Bob Cook joined ZFF in late 2018. Bob worked previously as the Chief Veterinarian and then General Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). As Chief Vet, he cared for tens of thousands of wild animals in the New York City zoological parks. He helped develop the first international wildlife health field program, dedicated to understanding the health of people, domestic animals, and wildlife. Bob also served as New York Aquarium Director and was later appointed WCS General Director, overseeing their NY parks.
In 2012 Bob became the Program Director for the Helmsley Charitable Trust, assembling a team to oversee grantmaking in conservation and human medical research. The conservation program focused on placed-based initiatives in the Galapagos, Ecuador, Baja California Sur, Mexico, Madagascar, and Myanmar. He participated in the creation of the Shark Conservation Fund. Bob is also a Lecturer and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University. He just concluded a 3-year appointment as the Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of Avian Medicine & Surgery. He is also the Senior Science Advisor to the Mayday Fund, which is focused on pain alleviation, while representing ZFF in several intermediary funds.
In his “spare time” Bob enjoys hiking, wildlife photography and occasionally, fly fishing (which he points out is vastly different than fish catching - barbless hooks, catch & release).
Cherie Prothro-SheaManaging Director Waitt FoundationClose
Cherie Prothro-Shea is Managing Director of the Waitt Foundation where she cultivates and executes initiatives on behalf of the board of directors. Cherie began working for Mr. Ted Waitt at Gateway, Inc. nearly 20 years ago. In 2004, when Mr. Waitt retired from Gateway to focus full-time on his philanthropic interests at the Waitt Foundation, Cherie joined the team and helped define the future vision of the organization. In addition to oversight of daily operations and reporting, Cherie manages a diverse global portfolio of non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, and the Waitt Rapid Ocean Conservation (ROC) small grants program.
With the launch of the Blue Prosperity Coalition, Cherie helps evaluate conservation opportunities and is closely involved in establishing international government relationships. She facilitates the development of a network bringing together world class technical experts to create customized partnerships for the purpose of advancing global ocean protections goals. Cherie has an extensive background in business and investor relations. Combining her corporate background with the conservation initiatives of the Foundation, Cherie provides a unique perspective to program development, management and effectiveness. A native Texan, Cherie resides in Southern California with her husband, Larry.
Cindy MercerCo-founder and Vice President Planet Heritage FoundationClose
Cindy Mercer is an entrepreneur, impact investor/ philanthropist, and collaboration enthusiast. Cindy’s passion is connecting systems thinkers, original ideas, resources and knowhow seeking to solve critical global challenges.
Despite a prosperous career, Cindy recalls her initial philanthropic work involved “a deep learning curve.” More than two decades of hands on philanthropic experience has led Cindy to value the power of collaboration in building solutions that work for all stakeholders.
With Addison Fischer, Cindy Co-founded Planet Heritage Foundation: a grant and impact investing foundation focused on funding solutions to improve environment and health.
Cindy serves as a board member for Oceans 5, Kimbal Musk’s BIG GREEN, The Jane Goodall Institute, The Philanthropy Workshop, The National Center for Family Philanthropy, as well as an advisor to several donor education initiatives including the Raikes Foundation Impact-Driven Philanthropy Initiative.
Dr Emma McIntoshConsultant to Environmental Programmes Arcadia FundClose
Emma is Consultant to Environmental Programmes at Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Previously, Emma coordinated the Great British Oceans coalition to expand marine protected areas in the UK Overseas Territories, managed the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership’s Science Program in the Great Barrier Reef, and promoted science-based policy making with the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists. She has led field projects in the UK, Australia and French Polynesia and is a keen technical and cave diver. Emma has a DPhil (PhD) in conservation science from the University of Oxford, UK.
Eric BrissonSobrato Philanthropies Sobrato PhilanthropiesClose
My first passion was rock climbing, the stakes are high and your life literally depends on focus, patience, commitment to your path and perhaps, a little luck. I've found that these aptitudes served me at every level of my career in my over 25 years as a tech sales executive. Two years ago, I turned my talent for solving complex problems toward one of the defining problems of our time ie: Ocean Health & Plastic Pollution. I'm guided by optimism (we created this problem in about 60 years, we can solve it) and outcomes. My professional career was driven by a passion for problem solving, specifically in the world of sales. For the past two and half decades, I’ve focused on selling complex software products to a diverse global market. It is a job that requires translation, specifically distilling the complex into simple terms and helping people to understand how it serves their needs. I am bringing that same focus and intention to this new "career". When I look at the state of our oceans, I see a big problem and a complex problem, but I also understand that the solutions are fundamentally simple, if not easy. I am focused in investing in projects and organizations committed to addressing upstream solutions at the scale they require, and with innovative approaches that achieve results.
Dr Gerardo FragosoDirector of Environmental Programmes Arcadia FundClose
Gerardo is Director of Environmental Programmes at Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin. Gerardo was previously Head of Programme at the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, where he was responsible for overseeing the provision of advice to national and intergovernmental authorities on the protection of endangered species and their habitats. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Gerardo’s professional and academic experience span marine and terrestrial conservation, both in tropical and in temperate environments. He is also a qualified financial manager.
Herbert “Beto” BedolfeExecutive Director Marisla FoundationClose
Beto is the executive director of the Marisla Foundation where he has focused on international biodiversity conservation, protection of the marine environment and environmental health since 1992.
Prior to his current responsibilities, Mr. Bedolfe directed programs for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), primarily in West and Southern Africa. He has lived in the Cape Verde Islands and Mozambique and, with the World Bank and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he implemented short-term assignments in Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome-Principe. From 1977 – 80, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. Beto served for six years as chair of the board of directors of Oceana, an international marine conservation organization, and he is also a member of the board of directors of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Environment Fund. Previously he served as a board member and the treasurer of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity. Mr. Bedolfe earned his B.A. degree from Swarthmore College and his Master’s of Business Administration from California Lutheran University. He resides in Southern California and is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.
Jim AngellDirector of Conservation and Board Member Paul M. Angell Family FoundationClose
Jim’s work at the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation focuses primarily on supporting efforts to protect and conserve the world's ocean habitats, coral reefs, and apex predators whose survival is imperiled by overfishing and global climate change.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Jim worked as an attorney for nearly two decades for Earthjustice, a public interest environmental law firm. As an attorney in Earthjustice’s Bozeman, Montana office, and later as the managing attorney in the organization’s Denver, Colorado office, he litigated and directed numerous cases whose goals were to protect the landscapes and endangered species of the American west, and to preserve the clean air and water upon which the region’s residents depend.
Jim has degrees from Columbia College (BA), the University of California at Los Angeles (MA), and the University of California at Berkeley (JD). Jim lives in Denver, Colorado with his two sons, of whom he is inordinately proud.
Karlijn SteinbuschProgram Manager Adessium FoundationClose
Karlijn joined Adessium Foundation in 2016 and she oversees Adessium’s program People & Nature. Founded in 2005 by the family Van Vliet, Adessium Foundation aspires to help build a society that encourages people to live in harmony with each other and with their environment. Through its People & Nature program Adessium contributes to initiatives that involve the conservation and restoration of valuable nature in the Netherlands and Europe. Adessium pays special attention to improve the health and productivity of the Mediterranean Sea, which is currently the most overfished sea worldwide. At the same time, Adessium supports initiatives that promote healthier environments to reduce people's exposure to harmful pollutants.
Prior to joining Adessium Foundation, Karlijn worked at KPMG Sustainability which offers a wide range of advisory services from renewable energy to human rights, sustainable finance, impact measurement and sustainable supply chains. Her love for diving led her into marine conservation, and she has developed a passion for understanding how human activities are impacting marine habitats. Karlijn likes to drive change by connecting dots, people and distributing intelligence, while continuing to learn through her work with Adessium Foundation.
Kathryn MengerinkExecutive Director Waitt InstituteClose
Dr. Kathryn Mengerink leads a team of ocean experts in developing and implementing marine spatial planning. She brings both her PhD in marine biology and law degree to bear in undertaking this effort. When not at the La Jolla office, you can typically find Kathryn at one of the Waitt Institute project sites around the world, either in a meeting or in the water. Working globally, the Waitt Institute, a San Diego-based non-profit, works in partnership with Governments to achieve marine protection and blue economy growth through marine spatial planning.
From 2006 -2016 Kathryn served as Director of the Ocean Program at the Environmental Law Institute. Under her leadership, the Ocean Program launched law and policy projects related to regional ocean management, coastal zoning, fisheries management and enforcement, aquaculture, ocean and coastal restoration, offshore energy development, marine protection, Alaska Natives rights and ocean management, environmental DNA, deep seabed mining and more. From 2007-2016, Kathryn served as a Lecturer Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she taught ocean law and policy and served as an advisor to the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation. She holds a B.S. in Zoology (Texas A&M University), Ph.D. in Marine Biology from SIO (UC San Diego) and a J.D. with a certificate in Environmental Law from University of California, Berkeley.
Katie LeonbergerPresident Coleman Family VenturesClose
Katie Leonberger is President of Coleman Family Ventures, a philanthropic investment organization focused on early childhood, the climate, and NYC communities, working to create a sustainable, more equitable world where all people can thrive.
Katie previously served as President and CEO of Community Resource Exchange, a nonprofit consulting firm. In this role, she led CRE’s work with 500 organizations each year, as well as lectured and wrote on impact strategy and planning, nonprofit business models, and organizational development. Before that, Katie was a senior leader on the Government Innovation team at Bloomberg Philanthropies, where she led initiatives to promote public sector innovation and spread ideas among cities.
Her private sector experience includes serving as a consultant at McKinsey & Company and at Cornerstone Research. She also taught as an Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. Katie serves on the boards of Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust, Riley’s Way Foundation, and Microlumbia Fund.
Katie holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and an M.A. in international policy studies as well as a dual B.A. in economics and international relations with honors from Stanford University.
Kristian ParkerChairman Oak FoundationClose
Mr. Parker is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Oak Foundation and a member of its founding family. He has directed the Oak Foundation’s environment program since its inception in 1998 and has worked full time for the program since 2003. The Oak Foundation’s environment program dedicates a majority of its resources to two of the world’s biggest challenges: climate change and collapsing fishing stocks. Parker has launched several funder Collaboratives in these areas with great success. He is both a British and Danish citizen, born in Aalborg, Denmark and raised in Switzerland. He graduated from Colby College and received a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences from the Duke Marine Laboratory. From 2001 to 2002 Parker held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is also Chairman of the Board of Oceana and a founding board member of the European Climate Foundation.
Matt ElliottExecutive Director OceankindClose
Matt is the Executive Director of Oceankind where he focuses on international marine conservation work. Prior to joining Oceankind in early 2020, Matt spent the previous fifteen years at CEA Consulting, where he led the firm's strategic planning for nonprofits, particularly in the marine conservation and climate arenas. He has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and a master’s degree in Environmental Change and Management from Oxford University.
Meg CaldwellDeputy Director, Oceans The David and Lucile Packard FoundationClose
Meg joined the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Conservation and Science program as Deputy Director in 2015. She leads the Foundation’s Ocean team. Prior to joining the Foundation, Meg was the Environmental and Natural Resources Law and Policy Program Director at Stanford Law School, Senior Lecturer in Law for the Law School and the Woods Institute for the Environment, and Executive Director of the Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) at Stanford. Meg’s scholarship focuses on the integration of science into ocean and coastal governance, including articles and book chapters on coastal adaptation to sea level rise, ocean acidification, ecosystem-based marine spatial planning, international environmental law, and coastal land use planning. In addition to her 20-year academic career, Meg has devoted much of her professional life to public service, including serving on the California Coastal Commission, the California Coastal Conservancy Board, the California Marine Life Protection Act Blue Ribbon Task Force, and as a senior consultant to The National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
Mike LightFounder and Director Stellar Blue FundClose
Mike is an environmentally-focused artist. He is the founder and director of the Stellar Blue Fund, a marine conservation organization with an emphasis on international MPAs and high-seas governance.
Mike has made a career in the visual arts by metaphorically and literally putting himself in extreme landscape spaces and then examining their meanings, often in in terms of American power and culture. He has exhibited globally, and his work has been collected by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Research Institute, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, among others.
For the last seventeen years, Mike has aerially photographed over settled and unsettled areas of American space, pursuing themes of mapping, vertigo, human impact on the land, and various aspects of geologic time and the sublime. A private pilot and Guggenheim Fellow, he is currently working on an extended survey of the arid Western states. Radius Books published the first of a multi-volume series of this work, , in 2009. The second, , was released in 2011. The third, , was published in 2015.
Light is also known for his archive-based works. His first, (1999), used lunar geological survey imagery made by the Apollo astronauts to show the moon both as a sublime desert and an embattled point of first human contact. (2003), focused on the politics and landscape meanings of military photographs of U.S. atmospheric nuclear detonations from 1945 to 1962.
Mike holds a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Amherst College and a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. He has lived in the Bay Area since 1986.
Melissa WrightOceans Program Lead Bloomberg PhilanthropiesClose
Melissa leads the Vibrant Oceans Initiative and supports other program efforts on the Environment team at Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Prior to joining the Philanthropy, Melissa was the Director of the City Energy Project – an initiative to cut energy waste in large buildings and make U.S. cities healthier and more prosperous through energy efficiency. Melissa worked on energy and climate issues in Mayor Bloomberg’s Administration for six years. During this time, she served at both the New York City Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability as well as the DCAS Division of Energy Management where she was responsible for implementation of the PlaNYC initiative to reduce municipal greenhouse gas emissions. She also spent time in development and membership engagement at Greenbelt Alliance in San Francisco. Melissa holds a master’s degree of public administration in environmental policy and science from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs where she was an Adjunct Professor. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Oberlin College and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Peter BryantSenior Program Officer Builders InitiativeClose
Peter Bryant joins the Oceans 5 Board of Advisors from the Builders Initiative, a philanthropic organization founded by Lukas Walton dedicated to “shifting minds and markets for good.” Peter leads ocean-related grantmaking, as well as its impact investing through the Rising Tide Fund.
Peter is a longstanding colleague of many of ours. He served formerly at the Walton Family Foundation, where he managed marine conservation grantmaking in Indonesia, Chile, Mexico, and Costa Rica. Peter also directed marine and freshwater programs at The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund. He has a master’s degree from the prestigious Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Peter lives with his children in Carlsbad, California.
The Builders Initiative Foundation supports nonprofit organizations focused on fisheries management, climate resilience and aquaculture. It provides about $20 million annually to groups in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
Peter enjoys kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, diving and pretty much anything related to the ocean. He’s also a tennis and pickleball fan (for our overseas colleagues, “pickleball” is a cross between tennis and ping pong, typically played by people over 60 here in the United States J). However, Peter’s real claim to fame is that he recently published a cookbook of recipes from his international travels to more than 40 countries!
Prithi TrivediProgram Officer The Sobrato Family FoundationClose
Prithi Trivedi is a Program Officer at the Sobrato Family Foundation, where she manages capacity building across the foundation in addition to special projects, including a new oceans initiative and a growing impact investment portfolio.Prior to this, she was a fellow in the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Effective Philanthropy Group, where she worked to strengthen both the foundation’s practices and the philanthropic sector more broadly.
Before joining the Hewlett Foundation, she was part of the Organizational Effectiveness team at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Prithi also taught first grade with Teach for America in downtown San Jose and has worked with UNICEF India.
A Bay Area native, Prithi holds a Master of Public Policy and a B.S. in Economics and Political Science, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
Rebecca NgSenior Program Officer, Vulcan Inc. and Portfolio Manager Paul G. Allen Family FoundationClose
Rebecca leads marine wildlife and ocean health projects and programs on behalf of Vulcan and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. She is responsible for developing and managing a robust portfolio that includes science, research, community-based conservation and regulatory reform. She currently chairs the Advisory Board to the Shark Conservation Fund and brings over 15 years of experience leading diverse groups to accomplish ambitious conservation projects.
Previously, Rebecca was Program Lead for the Greater Mekong Program at World Wildlife Fund where she promoted strategies, projects and communications that addressed large-scale threats such as unsustainable infrastructure development and illegal wildlife trade.
She holds a BSc in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Waterloo and an MSc in Ecology from McGill University.
Sara LowellMarine Program Director Marisla FoundationClose
Sara Lowell is a long-time ocean philanthropist and board member of the Marisla Foundation. She also is the Foundation’s Marine Conservation Program Director and oversees efforts to create marine protected areas, advance sustainable fisheries, and protect coastal lands in California, Hawaii, Baja California, Chile, and the broader Pacific.
Shannon JoyDirector Joy Family FoundationClose
Shannon serves as Director of the Joy Family Foundation, which focuses on the protection of our marine ecosystems and the biodiversity and conservation of our ocean. She serves on the boards of SEAlliance/Mission Blue, working with Dr. Sylvia Earle and with Peter Knights of WildAid.
Shannon grew up on a farm in rural Michigan then studied Political Science at University of Colorado, Boulder. After college she traveled extensively and spent three years working and living in the home of the late artist Robert Rauschenberg in NYC. This amazing gift of beauty and exposure to the world of visual arts, dance and creative innovation formed the foundation of her career going forward. She studied at the National Holistic Institute, Berkeley and worked for two decades in the healing arts. She has also photographed and worked with groups in Cambodia, Scott Neeson of the Cambodian Children’s Fund and Dr. Nancy Hendrie of The Sharing Foundation.
Shannon and her husband Bill spent 5 years building the energy efficient sailboat Ethereal, which is often used as an ocean conservation platform for education, research and film. Bill and Shannon live in Northern California and Colorado; they have four children.
Stephanie ColemanCo-Founder Coleman Family VenturesClose
A native New Yorker, Stephanie attended The Chapin School and holds a BA from Wellesley College. She worked in both investment banking and fashion and now devotes time to her family, which includes her four young children, along with her many active philanthropic endeavors.
Stephanie currently sits on the board of the New York Presbyterian Hospital as Vice Chair, and on the boards of The Chapin School, Harlem Children’s Zone, and the Women’s Committee of The Boys Club of New York. Stephanie is Co-Founder of Coleman Family Ventures, a philanthropic investment organization working to create a sustainable, more equitable world by supporting efforts in early childhood, the climate and environment, and New York City communities. Stephanie is also Co-Founder of Valentines Farm, a small biodynamic farm with the mission of growing high-quality food, educating farmers in training, and providing for the local community. Through the farm, insight is also gained as to how best further assistance can be offered to organizations fighting hunger, childhood obesity, and other health related issues.
At an early age, Stephanie found her passion in helping others. Her philanthropic work allows her reach to extend to the greater community at large. Stephanie is committed to continuously looking for ways to make an impact.
Steph StaresEnvironment Fund Manager, The Waterloo FoundationClose
Steph heads up the Environment Fund at The Waterloo Foundation (TWF). The fund focusses on two core areas: marine conservation, through offering support for projects working to halt declining fish stocks; and protecting tropical rain forest, principally through avoided deforestation. We look to support both practical local projects, and wider strategic initiatives.
As well as her role with TWF, Steph also sits on the board of the Environmental Funders Network in the UK, which aims to increase the overall level of financial support for environmental causes and to help environmental philanthropy to be as effective as it can be. Steph has previously worked as a fundraiser, as well as running practical projects for a conservation NGO. She continues to keep her hands dirty by volunteering on local conservation projects, as well as feeding her passion for the marine world by being in or on the sea as much as possible!
Ted WaittCo-founder and former Chairman and CEO Gateway, Inc.Close
Ted helped revolutionize how people use technology to live, work, and play through pioneering the direct marketing of personal computers.
Labeled a maverick by national business publications, he has since gone on to form multiple enterprises: Avalon Capital Group, Inc., Avalon Pictures, Waitt Foundation, Waitt Institute, and Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention. Ted oversees all Waitt Foundation and Waitt Institute efforts and is actively engaged in each project from conception to completion. He believes that the depletion of ocean resources is one of the biggest challenges of our generation. Over the past 10 years, he has dedicated the bulk of his time and resources to the cause of ocean conservation. As Chairman of the Waitt Foundation, Ted was a founding partner and serves as board member of Oceans 5.
Trevor BaconProgram Officer, Marine Programs The Moore Charitable FoundationClose
Trevor is responsible for developing and implementing grantmaking for MCF marine programs with Panama and the Bahamas as areas of focus. Moore Charitable’s marine program supports the conservation of marine resources for the benefit of current and future generations with a grantmaking approach that is community-based and site-specific. Trevor manages grantee relationships and works closely with other marine funders on the creation and implementation of innovative solutions to persistent marine conservation problems. He has a strategic concentration on sustained research and conservation efforts on overexploited and vulnerable species, including sharks and cetaceans, as well as the protection of specific marine ecosystems.
Adrian AriasProgram Manager Oceans 5 Latin America and CaribbeanClose
Adrian develops and manages Oceans 5 projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. A native of Costa Rica, Adrian has worked in Latin America on a range of marine-related topics including fisheries, tourism, coastal reforestation, science communication, and marine spatial planning. Adrian holds a MSc and PhD from James Cook University in Australia where he studied at fishers’ compliance with marine protected areas. Adrian is passionate about contributing to marine conservation through pragmatic efforts that consider the environment and people’s wellbeing.
Apple ChowProgram Manager Oceans 5Close
CHOW Yuen Ping (Apple) develops and manages Oceans 5 projects in Asia. Apple has worked for the past 14 years in environmental NGOs focusing on oceans and fisheries issues, especially on distant water fisheries and IUU. As a native Hong Konger, Apple has spent most of her time supporting NGOs' capacity building and campaign development in Asia. She recently facilitated the development of the first collaborative strategy on sustainable fishery in China. She also helped Greenpeace set up new offices and started the distant water fisheries campaign in Taiwan and South Korea in 2009 and 2012 respectively, including office set up, budgeting, recruiting and training of local staff, networking with media and local groups. She has witnessed the problems of modern fisheries including illegal transshipment and shark finning at seas during the expeditions in the Pacific. With her extensive experiences in RFMOs and international conferences, those IUU cases were put under spotlights and led to legislation reform in Asia.
Emily SmallDirector Program Delivery Vibrant Oceans InitiativeClose
Emily is the Director of Program Delivery for the Vibrant Oceans Initiative, a program of Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Previously, Emily was the Executive Director for Strategic Operations at the New York City’s Department of Administrative Services, where she led programs to improve government operations and oversaw the agency’s performance management and data governance strategy. From 2009 through 2016, she worked on energy efficiency programs for the city and state of New York, first supporting and leading the strategy for reducing emissions from New York City government operations, and then leading the program performance and evaluation strategy for energy services programs at the New York Power Authority. Emily graduated from Williams College and received a master’s degree in public administration with a focus in environmental science and policy from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs.
Heather GradyVice President Rockefeller Philanthropy AdvisorsClose
Heather is a vice president in RPA’s San Francisco office and leads the practice area of Environment, Rights and Global Development. This portfolio includes a range of sponsored projects and donor collaboratives as well as advisory engagements, research and publications. She also leads the Scaling Solutions toward Shifting Systems initiative that encourages funders to place longer-term, more adaptive resources with grantees who are tackling systemic challenges from the local to the global level. Heather serves as an adjunct professor at the China Global Philanthropy Institute and frequently publishes on philanthropy.
J. Charles FoxExecutive Director Oceans 5Close
Chuck coordinates Oceans 5 on behalf of its Partners and Members. Prior to joining Oceans 5, he served in senior positions with federal and state governments, as well as nonprofit and philanthropic organizations. He served as the Assistant Administrator for Water at the US Environmental Protection Agency and as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Fox also directed the international ocean conservation programs for the Pew Charitable Trusts and served with several conservation organizations including American Rivers, Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Policy Institute. Fox is viewed as a thoughtful, results-oriented manager with 30 years of experience in the field.
Jennifer HolyerOperations Director Oceans 5Close
Jennifer assists Oceans 5 with grants, invoices, calendars, meetings, and other administrative support. Prior to joining Oceans 5 in 2017, Jen worked in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem conserving large predators and their habitats through education and fundraising. A sailor and fly fisherman originally from the Gulf Coast, she is passionate about oceans, water, and conservation of resources. Through nonprofit grant-seeking, board membership, and project management, she has been fortunate to make a small difference in big causes, and continues to learn and contribute to the world of conservation through her work with Oceans 5.
Jonathan KelseyDirector of Strategy and Engagement Vibrant Oceans InitiativeClose
Jonathan oversees program strategy, stakeholder engagement, and communications for key investments of the Vibrant Ocean Initiative, a project of Bloomberg Philanthropies, and advises on a strategic grant-making. Before joining the VOI and Oceans 5, Jonathan spent over 20 years advancing ocean conservation initiatives both in the United States and internationally.
Most recently he directed the Regional Environment Office for West and Central Africa at the U.S. Embassy in Ghana where he led efforts to improve fisheries management and counter IUU fishing, combat wildlife trafficking, and reduce mercury pollution from artisanal gold mining, among others. Prior work at the U.S. State Department involved negotiating multilateral agreements for Antarctic and Arctic high seas fisheries and other marine conservation efforts, including the initiative to establish one of the world’s largest marine protected areas in Antarctica’s Ross Sea. Before joining the State Department, Jonathan spent 12 years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where he managed coastal and coral reef management initiatives in the U.S. Pacific Islands and led regional and national MPA initiatives, including spearheading the policy for the U.S. national system of MPAs. While at NOAA, Jonathan also led engagement in Congress for the agency’s marine policy and ocean and climate science priorities. Jonathan’s first dives on healthy and bleached coral reefs were in Belize while a Peace Corps volunteer, and he also worked as a mate on commercial fishing boats in Alaska and Cape Cod. Jonathan lives in Annapolis, Maryland with his wife, Ellen, and their two children, Adelaide and Parker.
Justine DossaProgram Manager Oceans 5Close
Justine supports Oceans 5 in managing the Africa portfolio. Prior to joining Oceans 5, she worked for the past 18 years in marine conservation with extensive experience in coordinating international scale research, conservation, scientific and monitoring projects, and programs and advocating for innovative measures to mitigate the risks to marine ecosystems and providing practical solutions for marine biodiversity including fisheries management and MPAs. Justine has served at international environmental organizations, academia, inter-governmental agencies, and NGOs including FIBA/ MAVA Foundation and Sub Regional Fisheries Commission. Most recently, she served as the BirdLife International Marine Program Coordinator in West Africa where she helped establish and integrate the marine work into the Africa Secretariat program with marine strategy development, coordination, fundraising, recruiting and training of program staff, and office set up. She holds an MSC in Coastal and Marine Resources Management from Liège University of Belgium as well as an Environmental Engineering Degree.
Katelyn CowanGrants Manager Oceans 5Close
As our Grants Manager, Katelyn keeps Oceans 5’s grant portfolios organized and helps applicants and grantees navigate each step of the granting cycle. She has a BS in Business Administration from the University of California, Riverside, and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of California, Irvine. Katelyn has over 10 years of experience working for nonprofits in various capacities as well as local, state and national government agencies. Katelyn now lives in Guanacaste, Costa Rica where she enjoys the beach, riding her motorcycle, and getting out on the water as often as possible.
Marta MarreroEuropean Programme Director Oceans 5Close
Marta is our European Program Director and coordinates our IUU fishing efforts around the world. Marta is an environmental lawyer with 13 years of experience protecting nature through international and European Union policy and law. She has successfully engaged in various fisheries policy advocacy efforts mainly on IUU fishing and deep-sea fisheries in the EU, Japan, China, in several RFMOs (IATTC, ICCAT, NEAFC, CCAMLR) and she has also worked towards a new UN high seas treaty. Marta manages “Leading Women for the Ocean” and is a mentor of The Economist’s Women and the Ocean initiative.
Seth HorstmeyerProgram Director Oceans 5Close
Seth manages the marine protected area (MPA) portfolio for Oceans 5. Prior to joining Oceans 5 Seth worked for the past 17 years defending key domestic environmental laws, promoting new conservation policies, and creating MPAs globally. Most recently, Seth served as a director for the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Ocean Legacy project where he worked to create marine reserves in Chile, France, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Palau, the U.K. and the U.S. He has also worked on many other conservation issues throughout his career including climate change, energy efficiency, water quality, endangered species, forest protection and sustainable fisheries. Seth holds a bachelor's degree in geology from Miami University of Ohio.
Taehyun Jennifer ParkProgram Manager Oceans 5Close
Taehyun (Jennifer) supports the strengthening and coordination of Oceans 5 projects in the East Asia region including Japan, South Korea, China mainland and Taiwan. Together with Apple, she also develops and manages projects in Asia.
Prior to joining Oceans 5, Taehyun Jennifer worked on oceans and climate nexus as a Global Climate Political Advisor at Greenpeace. Previously, as an oceans campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, she worked on various oceans issue campaigns including Distant Water Fisheries regulation in South Korea, leading a regional project on banning Microbeads across East Asia and improving human rights onboard tuna vessels. Taehyun Jennifer values collaboration across different organisations and loves working to bridge people and strategies for collective work and greater impact. She holds an Erasmus Mundus International MSc in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Ghent University.