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Marine Debris Program Announces the Inaugural Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors

APRIL 11, 2022 — On April 6, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the inaugural board of directors for the new Marine Debris Foundation.

The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act of 2020 established the Marine Debris Foundation as a charitable and nonprofit organization to support the efforts of NOAA and other entities to address marine debris and directed the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere to appoint the foundation’s governing board of directors. 

The appointees were selected to meet the criteria required by the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act and represent diverse points of view, expertise, education, and experiences relating to the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris. The following individuals have been appointed to serve on the board (in alphabetical order):

  • Scott A. Cassel, chief executive officer and founder, Product Stewardship Institute.
  • Katie A. Conlon, Ph.D., National Geographic Explorer.
  • Julianne J. Curry, public affairs manager, Icicle Seafoods and commercial fisherman.
  • Ginny L. Eckert, Ph.D., director, Alaska Sea Grant and professor, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks.
  • John P. Foley, founder and executive chairman of Peloton.
  • Jenna R. Jambeck, Ph.D., distinguished professor in Environmental Engineering, University of Georgia.
  • Sherry M. Lippiatt, Ph.D., risk and finance communications specialist, Scoot Science.
  • Nicholas J. Mallos, senior director, Trash Free Seas Program, Ocean Conservancy.
  • Erica L. Nuñez, program officer, The Ocean Foundation.
  • Neil V. Tangri, Ph.D., science and policy director, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives.
  • Carrie A. Thompson, senior foreign service officer (ret.) and former acting assistant administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development.
  • Miki K. Tomita, Ph.D., founder and CEO, Education Incubator.

Collectively, these appointees also include diverse representation across geographic location, sector, gender, ethnicity, and career stage.

NOAA commends every candidate who applied to serve. Many candidates were well-qualified and deserving of selection, but were not selected for service on the board due to the limited number of seats. 

NOAA welcomes the service of the new board and looks forward to its efforts in helping the foundation begin operations and work to meet the global challenge of addressing marine debris. For more information, please visit the Marine Debris Foundation website

For additional information, please contact

Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:41pm PST