Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation organization, announced new leadership for its Board of Directors. Actor and long-time Oceana Board Member Sam Waterston was elected Chair, succeeding Valarie Van Cleave, and María Eugenia Girón was elected Vice Chair, succeeding actor Ted Danson.

“Sam and Maria will be excellent leaders of Oceana’s board, helping us win science-based policies that protect and restore the world’s oceans,” Oceana CEO Andrew Sharpless said. “Thank you to Valarie and Ted for their steadfast leadership these past two years and commitment to Oceana’s mission.”

Sam Waterston is an award-winning actor and has served on Oceana’s board of directors for over a decade. Waterston is a tireless advocate for Oceana’s campaigns, and has testified before national legislatures regarding the prevention of shark finning and the expansion of offshore drilling. He also been a featured speaker (and spokesperson) for Oceana with press around the world, at Oceana’s marquee events and for its campaigns, including a recent Oceana public service announcement calling attention to the dangers of ocean plastic pollution and Oceana’s campaign to pressure companies to provide consumers with plastic-free choices.

“I’ve loved the ocean all my life,” Waterston said. “As a New Englander, I’ve seen first-hand the damage fisheries mismanagement has done to the life of seaside towns and the healing power of Oceana’s science-based, results oriented, campaigns for an abundant ocean. And I’ve seen the impact of unbridled plastic production and pollution, and the North Atlantic on the brink of losing all its right whales forever. With much to do, and time of the essence, I know Oceana gets things done for our oceans. It always has. I’m honored to accept the position of Board Chair and look forward to restoring our oceans’ abundance.”

María Eugenia Girón, who joined Oceana’s board in 2006 after holding the position of CEO of Carrera y Carrera jewelry, will become Oceana’s new Vice Chair. Maria is currently non-executive director at Corporación Financiera Alba, serves at the Board of IE University, chairs Fundacion Diversidad, and is the founder of Premium Observatory at IE Business School. Girón brings a wealth of knowledge in strategic planning, marketing, and public relations to her new leadership position for Oceana. Longtime Board Member Keith Addis remains President of the Board. Board Members Diana Thomson and James Sandler were re-elected as Treasurer and Secretary, respectively.

Other Oceana board members include Gaz Alazraki, Monique Bär, Herbert M. Bedolfe, Ted Danson, Sydney Davis, Nicholas Davis, Dr. César Gaviria, Loic Gouzer, Jena King, Ben Koerner, Sara Lowell, Stephen P. McAllister, Dr. Kristian Parker, Dr. Daniel Pauly, David Rockefeller, Jr., Susan Rockefeller, Simon Sidamon-Eristoff, Dr. Rashid Sumaila, Valarie Van Cleave, and Jean Weiss.

Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-third of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 225 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever.

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