The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (Joint Initiative) is a bipartisan, collaborative group of senior leaders who come together to call for concerted ocean policy action at the local, state, regional, and national level. Among groups working on ocean and coastal policy issues, the Joint Initiative is unique in its ability to provide high level, credible, bipartisan leadership and engagement. Since 2005, the Joint Initiative has served as a trusted advisor to Republican and Democratic administrations and members of Congress, brought together all sectors of the ocean community to identify urgent priorities, communicated recommended actions to decision makers, and educated and cultivated ocean champions. Over its tenure, it has established itself as a preeminent American voice for thoughtful ocean policy reform.
The Joint Initiative is guided by a 23-member Leadership Council that is co-chaired by the Honorable Norman Y. Mineta, former Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Commerce, and the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman, former U.S. EPA Administrator and Governor of New Jersey. The Leadership Council includes former members of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (2000-2004) and the Pew Oceans Commission (2000-2003) and additional leaders with experience in industry and commerce, government, academia, civil society, and scientific research at the local, state, regional, and national levels.
Meridian Institute serves as the secretariat for the Joint Initiative. Meridian is a nonprofit that specializes in helping diverse parties find collaborative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.
Joint Initiative Leadership Council Co-Chairs
Norman Y. Mineta – President and Chief Executive Officer, Mineta & Associates, LLC; former Secretary of Transportation (2001-2006); former Secretary of Commerce (2000-2001); Member of Congress (1975-1995)
Christine Todd Whitman – Founder and President, The Whitman Strategy Group; former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2001-2003); former Governor, State of New Jersey (1994-2001)
Joint Initiative Leadership Council
Frances Beinecke – Senior fellow and former President, Natural Resources Defense Council
Donald Boesch – Professor of Marine Science and President, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Lillian Borrone – Former Assistant Executive Director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Member, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
Norm Dicks – Senior Policy Advisor, Van Ness Feldman; former Member of Congress (1977-2013)
Quenton Dokken – Executive Director, Texas Institute for Applied Environmental Research, Tarleton State University
Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney, U.S. Navy (Ret.) – President Emeritus, Monmouth University; Member, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
Robert Gagosian – President Emeritus, Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Sherri Goodman – Public Policy Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Scott Gudes – Vice President of Government Affairs, American Sportfishing Association; former Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere (1998-2003)
Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher – Chief Executive Officer and Director, GeoOptics, Inc.; former Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator (2001-2008)
Margaret Leinen – Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences and Dean, School of Marine Sciences, University of California, San Diego; U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean
Christopher Lischewski – President and Chief Executive Officer, Bumble Bee Foods
Jane Lubchenco – Distinguished University Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University; former U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean; former Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator (2009-2013); Member, Pew Oceans Commission
Julie Packard – Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium; Member, Pew Oceans Commission
Leon E. Panetta – Co-founder, The Panetta Institute for Public Policy; Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Defense (2011-2013); former Director of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (2009-2011); former White House Chief of Staff (1994-1997); Chair, Pew Oceans Commission
John Pappalardo – Chief Executive Officer, Cape Cod Commercial Fishermen’s Alliance; former Chair, New England Fishery Management Council (2006-2011)
Pietro Parravano – President, Institute for Fisheries Resources; Member, Pew Oceans Commission
Randy Repass – Founder and former Chairman of the Board, West Marine, Inc.
Andrew Rosenberg – Director of the Center for Science and Democracy, Union of Concerned Scientists; Member, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
William D. Ruckelshaus – Strategic Director, Madrona Venture Group; former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1970-1973, 1983-1985); Member, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy
Paul Sandifer – Research Associate and Director, Center for Coastal Environmental and Human Health, College of Charleston; former Senior Science Advisor to the NOAA Administrator; Member, U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy