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.