Meet Rachael Confair
My name is Rachael Confair and I am pleased to have joined the FishWise Team. I am a Project Manager working with the Traceability and IUU project team under Mariah Boyle, the Division’s Director. I look forward to working with such a great team and meeting the rest of the FishWise community!
My path to FishWise is not straightforward, but looking back there is a clear route towards sustainable fishing. I grew up in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where my love for the ocean sparked my interest in human impacts on our natural resources. Fast-forward, my undergraduate education is in Conservation Biology and in English from Arizona State University. I worked as a Camp Instructor at the Phoenix Zoo, educating the public of all ages about the natural world. While an undergraduate, I ran a project studying the impacts of UV-B on an Antarctic plant species, but it was policy and working alongside industry that I enjoyed the most.
After college, I worked in Washington, D.C. with two non-profit organizations focusing on sustainability and wildlife conservation, but ended up back in Arizona working in the public sector as an inspector. Working in food safety was both challenging and encouraging. I was on the ground level, witnessing everyday problems that impacted operators, while working within their capacity limits and improving food safety.
This experience inspired me to visit a successful women’s aquaculture cooperative in Nepal. After witnessing first hand the importance of keeping the balance between natural resources and human livelihoods, I was inspired to return to school for a master’s in international policy at Middlebury Institute for International Studies. My graduate research focused on illegal fishing and the means to prevent illicitly caught goods from entering our domestic market and preventing economic hardship on vulnerable fishing communities.
I am excited to build on my past experiences by helping FishWise partners achieve their sustainability and traceability goals.