BOARD OF DIRECTORS
M. Benjamin Eichenberg
M. Benjamin Eichenberg
Ben Eichenberg is a California attorney with additional expertise in international trade law. In his position as the principle enforcement attorney for San Francisco Baykeeper, Ben is responsible for prosecuting an active docket of high-impact water quality cases through research, litigation, and settlement negotiations. Throughout his legal career, beginning in 2010, Ben has represented environmental and community groups in civil litigation to protect endangered environmental resources. Ben received his J.D. from University of California Hastings College of the Law in 2008. After law school, Ben was a Fulbright Scholar in Oslo, Norway, where he studied climate change regulation and international trade and received a master’s degree in Public International Law from the University of Oslo. Ben’s Master’s thesis and subsequent related research has been focused on the interaction of environmental regulation with tariffs and trade, both under the auspices of the World Trade Organization and other mechanisms of public international law.
Selina Heppell, Ph.D., is Department Head and Professor of marine fisheries ecology at Oregon State University. She strives to bridge quantitative ecology and practical solutions to marine resource issues. Her work with biologists, fishermen and management agencies takes her all over the globe, and she often works with her husband, Scott, on fisheries research and teaching. Recently, she served as Chair of the Ecosystem Management Subcommittee for the Science and Statistical Committee of the Pacific Fishery Management Council. She regularly serves on advisory teams for marine conservation projects, including a National Research Council review of sea turtle assessment methods, the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force, and the Ecosystem Science and Management Working Group for NOAA’s Science Advisory Board, as well as a variety of working groups and review panels for NOAA-Fisheries. Selina’s awards include Fishery Worker of the Year (Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society), Excellence in Leadership and other awards from OSU (College of Agricultural Sciences), and a nomination by the Carnegie Foundation for U.S. Professor of the Year.
David Kibrick is an Enrolled Agent and business/nonprofit consultant, with a background in taxation, accounting, IT, and online nonprofit development. He has worked with the Verified Voting Foundation and the Election Verification Network to improve the availability of voter-verifiable ballots and post-election audits nationwide. He is also a founding member and the current webmaster of KSQD Radio 90.7 FM, a new community radio station. A lifelong Santa Cruz, California resident, David is keenly interested in the preservation of ocean ecosystems and assuring the sustainability of ocean-based food supplies for the many nations that rely on them.
David has an A.S. degree from Cabrillo College in Accounting, and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, along with additional training in computer networking and information security. He is also a semi-professional macro/nature photographer who has done several photo series showcasing the environment of the Monterey Bay.
George Leonard, Ph.D.
George Leonard, Ph.D.
Trained as a marine ecologist, George has 20 years of experience in ocean policy and advocacy, market-based solutions to environmental challenges, and marine research. As Chief Scientist at Ocean Conservancy, he provides strategic leadership on science and policy across the organization’s initiatives, including marine debris, ocean acidification and climate change, marine protected areas, and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture. George led an effort to re-envision Ocean Conservancy’s 30-year effort on marine debris that resulted in an institutional commitment to a new global strategy to secure private sector commitment to stem the flow of plastics to the marine environment. He also launched and led new programs on ocean acidification and aquaculture. Before joining Ocean Conservancy in 2007, George developed the scientific foundation for the nascent sustainable seafood movement at Monterey Bay Aquarium and helped launch COMPASS (the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea), an innovative approach to communicating conservation science. George holds a Ph.D. from Brown University in Rhode Island and a M.S. from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories in California. A native of New England, he is located in Ocean Conservancy’s West Coast office in Santa Cruz, California.
Dr. Marc Mangel
Dr. Marc Mangel
EMERITUS; IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Dr. Marc Mangel is Distinguished Research Professor of Mathematical Biology and Director of the Center for Stock Assessment Research (CSTAR) at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he has served since 1996. He also acts as the Senior Scientific Advisor for MRAG Americas. MRAG Americas is an independent consulting business dedicated to promoting responsible, rational and sustainable utilization of aquatic resources. MRAG Americas performs multi-disciplinary projects for a variety of clients including international, governmental and non-governmental entities, as well as industrial and commercial companies.
From 1980-1996, Mangel was at the University of California Davis, where he served as Assistant, Associate and Full Professor. There, he was founding Director of the Center for Population Biology. His awards include, in part, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1987; Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, Oxford University, 1988; George Gund Foundation Distinguished Environmental Scholar, Case Western Reserve University,1992; Distinguished Statistical Ecologist, International Association for Ecology, 1998; Mote Eminent Scholar, Florida State University, 2000; Fellow, California Academy of Sciences, 2000; Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003; UCSC Academic Senate Excellence in Teaching Award, 2003; Frohlich Fellow, CSIRO Hobart, 2006; Astor Lecturer, University of Oxford, 2007; Kaeser Lecturer University of Wisconsin, 2008; Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2009; and an honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Guelph, 2014.
Between 2010 and 2013, Mangel was the independent scientific expert called by Australia for the case in the International Court of Justice concerning Japanese special permit whaling in the southern ocean. In 2014, the Court ruled that the Japanese program was contrary to international law.
Mangel has numerous journal publications and books that include, in part, Dynamic State Variable Models in Ecology: Methods and Applications (with Colin Clark, 2000, Oxford), and The Theoretical Biologist’s Toolbox. Quantitative methods for ecology and evolutionary biology (Cambridge, 2007). He has supervised more than 50 undergraduate research projects or senior theses, 30 PhD students and 30 post-doctoral colleagues.
FishWise is deeply grateful to Marc Mangel for his leadership from the organization’s inception through to his retirement from the Board in December 2020.
Dr. Ellen Pikitch
Dr. Ellen Pikitch
Dr. Ellen K. Pikitch is the executive director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science and a professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. Recognized as an international expert in ocean conservation science, she has authored and edited more than 100 articles and books on fisheries science and management. Dr. Pikitch spearheaded the first scientific consensus on ecosystem-based fishery management, which was published in the journal Science in 2004. More recently, she chaired the Lenfest Forage Fish Task Force, which conducted the most comprehensive global analysis of forage fish management to date, releasing its report “Little Fish, Big Impact: Managing a Crucial Link in Ocean Food Webs,” in April 2012.
Dr. Pikitch also focuses research efforts on vulnerable and ecologically important marine species. She co-edited the first book to focus on pelagic sharks and their plight, and was a co-author of the first paper to estimate the number of sharks killed year, both of which energized and propelled the shark conservation movement. Another extensively exploited fish on which Dr. Pikitch has conducted substantial scientific research is the sturgeon.
The scientific work of Dr. Pikitch has informed policy decisions such as the listings of both the Atlantic and beluga sturgeon under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a U.S. ban on the sale of beluga caviar, passage of the U.S. Shark Finning Prohibition Act, regulation of the international trade of six species of sharks, and more precautionary forage fisheries management.
Dr. Pikitch received a Ph.D. in Zoology from Indiana University and M.A. and B.S. degrees in Mathematics from the City College of New York.
Chris Ratto is an accomplished Sustainability and Organization Development Leader. Mr. Ratto collaborates with leaders within organizations to influence and impact initiatives and goals. He received his Master of Science in Organization Development from the University of San Francisco. Chris focuses on talent and leadership development, employee engagement, culture change and succession management. While serving as the Director of Sustainability for a Fortune 100 retail corporation, Chris partnered with internal and external stakeholders to influence sustainable seafood sourcing practices while eliminating illegal and unethically sourced product.
He is engaged in the community through the Boy Scouts of America. In his free time, Chris enjoys backpacking and spending time at South Lake Tahoe.
Gideon Shaanan is an accomplished high-tech executive and an Entrepreneurship Development consultant. Mr. Shaanan works with organizations and executives to rapidly reach their business, organizational and entrepreneurship goals. He also leads the UCSC School of Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Studies Initiative where he developed and teaches the core courses in entrepreneurship.
Throughout his career, in both executive (CTO, VP) and consulting capacities, Mr. Shaanan has been serving large and small organizations in a wide range of industries. These include global corporations, cutting-edge high-tech startups, educational institutions and non-profits. Among them are Apple Computer, Vitro, U3 (a joint Venture of SanDisk and M-Systems), the Foundation for Hearing Research, Catalyst Strategies, The Adizes Institute, the National Geographic Society, Quarto Publishing of London, the Technion and the Santa Fe Institute.
Mr. Shaanan received a Masters of Engineering degree from Cornell University.
Sofia Berto Villas-Boas
Sofia Berto Villas-Boas
Sofia Berto Villas-Boas is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California Berkeley. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley in May 2002. Her research interests include industrial organization, consumer behavior, food policy, and environmental regulation. In particular, Sofia’s work measures consumer responses to information changes in terms of product characteristics in a variety of settings, ranging from nutritional information in grocery retailers to expert opinion about the quality of products. Related to fisheries, Sofia and co-authors investigate whether consumers respond to FishWise retail partner point of sale labeling programs, and whether they are willing to pay for improvements in the sustainability of the seafood they purchase.