The Ocean Foundation, Mark Spalding, Washington DC, USA

The Ocean Foundation, Mark Spalding, Washington DC, USA

Mark J. Spalding, President of The Ocean Foundation is a member of the Ocean Studies Board, and the U.S. National Committee for the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (USA). He is serving on the Sargasso Sea Commission. Mark is a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. And, he is an Advisor to the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy. In addition, he serves as the advisor to the Rockefeller Climate Solutions Fund and the Credit Suisse Rockefeller Ocean Engagement Fund (unprecedented ocean-centric investment funds). He is a member of the Pool of Experts for the UN World Ocean Assessment. He designed the first-ever blue carbon offset program, SeaGrass Grow. Mark is an expert on international environmental policy and law, ocean policy and law, and coastal and marine philanthropy.

Mark has been the CEO of the St. Kitts Foundation and Fundación Bahía de Loreto. These subsidiaries of The Ocean Foundation were designed to be the philanthropy arms of sustainable resort developments. Mark has also served as a consultant to Rancho La Puerta spa/resort and its foundation regarding the conservation of the Tecate River Valley, and as an advisor to Kerzner International Limited to assist its formation of the Kerzner Marine Foundation, and the Blue Project, which continues to provide grants to support marine science in the Bahamas. He is the co-author of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation’s study on ecotourism, he was legal advisor for non-profit ecotourism provider La Ruta de Sonora, and conducted green hotel evaluations in India. Mark is an active member of the Marine Conservation Program and the Mexico Conservation Funders of the Biodiversity Funders Group.

Mark served as a consultant to the Natural Resources Defense Council on UNESCO World Heritage Convention matters. He advised Bajamar (near Ensenada B.C.) on the potential risk associated with the siting of an LNG plant adjacent to the resort. And as a lawyer, he handled the start-up of a new Mexican airline including aircraft purchase and leaseback agreements across international boundaries.

Mark was hired by the Packard Foundation to do a new 5-year strategic plan with a full work plan and management training process for its implementation for the Center for Responsible Travel (CREST). CREST is a non-profit research institute with offices in Washington, DC and at Stanford University.

In 2012, Mark assisted in the creation and installation of a temporary exhibit on [crimes against our] Underwater Cultural Heritage at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment in Washington, DC. In 2013, he advised a planning team in regard to creating an underwater cultural heritage law clinic at Tulane University.

For the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards development process, Mark is a volunteer member of two working groups: Cruise Lines and Hotels & Lodging.

He was a professor at UCSD’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies for 10 years before bringing his extensive experience with the legal and policy aspects of ocean conservation to The Ocean Foundation’s grantmaking strategy, evaluation process, and development of sustainability standards for coastal development.  | | +1-202-887-8996


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