Advisory & Trustees of the Board | World Ocean Observatory


Board of Directors (2023)*
100% of the board participates in annual giving to the W2O

Tundi Agardy, Ph.D.

Tundi Agardy works at the interface between science and policy in marine systems around the world.  She is an internationally renowned expert in marine conservation, with extensive field experience in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and North America. She is the Executive Director of Sound Seas, a marine conservation policy group based in the Washington D.C. area that develops initiatives to promote truly effective marine conservation by working at the interface between public policy and community-based conservation at the more localized level. Her major research interests and publications focus on coastal and marine planning, ocean zoning, marine protected areas, ecosystem services, and marine ecosystem based management and has published widely, including the book “Marine Protected Areas and Ocean Conservation” (Academic Press, 1997.) She has consulted with such groups as the Center for Environmental Cooperation (Canada, U.S., Mexico), American Museum of Natural History, Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Italian Ministry of Environment, World Bank, MacArthur Foundation, WorldFish Center, Ecological Society of America, California Marine Life Protection Act Task Force, and The Nature Conservancy. Tundi received her PhD in Biological Sciences and a Masters in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island.

Andrew Hudson, Ph.D.

Andy has held leadership positions in international and nongovernmental organizations, and has worked as a scientist and educator. From 1996 to 2022, he was Head of the United Nations Development Programme’s Water & Ocean Governance Programme, where he led the mobilization and implementation oversight of $1 billion in grant financing for the protection and restoration of some of the world’s most significant marine and freshwater ecosystems. From 2010 to 2013, he served as the coordinator of UN-Oceans, the UN’s interagency coordination mechanism on oceans. He also conceptualized, raised funding for, and initiated implementation of UNDP’s Ocean Innovation Challenge, which awards competitive grants to entities (NGOs, academia, start-ups, etc.) advancing innovative solutions–technical, policy, economic, financial – to key ocean challenges, such as plastics pollution and overfishing. Andy also served as Executive Director of the Center for Field Research at Earthwatch Institute, leading the development of an annual portfolio of over 150 research and conservation projects for Earthwatch funding. Originally trained and practicing as a chemical oceanographer (MIT, University of Rhode Island), Hudson completed his Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences at the University of Massachusetts/Boston, specializing in marine policy and resource economics. He has also taught at the university and secondary school levels and has served as a speaker or moderator at numerous ocean-related international conferences and events, such as the UN Ocean Conference and the Economist World Ocean Summit.

Wendy Watson-Wright, Ph.D.

Dr. Watson-Wright retired in December 2019 as the inaugural CEO of the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), an interdisciplinary transnational research institute based in Atlantic Canada. From 2010 to 2015, she served as the Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO) in Paris. For most of her career, she held various senior positions within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, including eight years as its Assistant Deputy Minister of Science. She is a member of and gender focal point for the UN Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine environmental Protection (GESAMP) and serves on several boards and panels. A Killam scholar, she holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Peter Neill, Chair, Director

Peter is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory (, a web-based place of exchange for information and education about the health of the ocean. Neill served as President of the South Street Seaport Museum, New York for 20 years; is former Director of maritime preservation at the National Trust; is co-founder of The Sound School and The Harbor School; and has dedicated his career to marine affairs. He is author of three novels and numerous non-fiction books on ocean issues, maritime history, and art. He is the host of two popular radio shows: World Ocean Radio and Conversations from the Pointed Firs. He lives in Sedgwick, Maine.

Trisha Badger, Secretary
Mary Barnes


Board of Advisors (2023)
The following individuals have participated significantly
in the development of the World Ocean Observatory. 

ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS DESIGN                             
Marc Angélil

agps architecture
Zurich / Los Angeles
Paul A. Mayewski

Climate Change Institute
University of Maine
Bangor, Maine                        
David Conover

Executive Director, Producer
Compass Light Productions
Camden, Maine
Peter Davidson
Co-Founder & CEO
Aligned Intermediary (AI)
New York, New York
Isabel Hilton

Founder, CEO
ChinaDialogue Trust
London, England
Sylvia Earle
Founder/Chair, Mission Blue
Conservation International
Washington, D.C.
Christopher J. (Kim) Elliman
Open Space Institute
New York, New York
Peter P. McN. Gates
Partner, Retired
Carter, Ledyard & Milburn
New York, New York
Robert A. Johnson
Executive Director,
Institute for New Economic Thinking
New York, New York
Dr. Jacqueline McGlade
Copenhagen, Denmark
Matt Murphy
WoodenBoat Magazine
Brooklin, Maine
Ian Urbina
Investigative Journalist
New York Times
John Seifert
Ogilvy and Mather North America
New York, New York
Thor Sigfusson
Founder, Ocean Cluster House
Author and public speaker
Reykjavik, Iceland
Michael McNicholas
CEO, Culinary Collaborations LLC
New York
Craig Strang
Associate Director
Lawrence Hall of Science
University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Mary Christina Wood

Philip H. Knight Professor, Faculty Director, Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Program, University of Oregon School of Law
Commodore Rajan Vir
The Indian Maritime Foundation
Pune, India
Mary Ann Dickinson
Former President, Alliance for Water Efficiency
Blue Jay, California
Andrei Polejack
Senior Ocean Advisor for the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
Federal District, Brazil