Who we are

Friends of Ocean Action is a coalition of ocean leaders who are fast-tracking solutions to the most pressing challenges facing the ocean. Its members – the Friends – come from business, civil society, international organizations, science and technology.

This community is supported by funding from Marc and Lynne Benioff as part of the Benioff Ocean Initiative at the University of California Santa Barbara and the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom. It is convened by the World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the World Resources Institute.


Peter Thomson

UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean

Isabella Lövin

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

Friends of Ocean Action members

Diva Amon

Scientific Advisor, Benioff Ocean Initiative; Founder and Director, SpeSeas, Trinidad and Tobago

Inger Andersen

Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, Denmark

Thomas Thune Andersen

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ørsted, Denmark, and Lloyd’s Register, UK

Marc R. Benioff

Chairman and CEO, Salesforce, USA

Claes Berglund

Director, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Stena, Sweden

Dona Bertarelli

Special Advisor for the Blue Economy, UNCTAD, Switzerland

Richard Branson

Founder, Virgin Group, UK

Maria Damanaki

Principal Advisor, SYSTEMIQ, UK; Principal Advisor, The Paradise International Foundation, China

Aniruddha Dasgupta

President and CEO, World Resources Institute, England

Sylvia Earle

President and Chairman, Mission Blue, USA

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Echandi

CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility, Costa Rica

Minna Epps

Director, Global Marine and Polar Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Switzerland

Danny Faure

Former President of the Seychelles and African Union Champion on the Blue Economy

Daniela V. Fernandez

Founder & CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, USA

José María Figueres

Former President of Costa Rica; Former Co-Chair, Global Ocean Commission; Co-Founder, Ocean Unite

Gloria Fluxà Thienemann

Vice-Chairman & Chief Sustainability Officer, Iberostar Group, Spain

Andrew Forrest

Chairman, Minderoo Foundation, Australia

Kerstin S. Forsberg

Co-Founder and Director, Planeta Océano, Peru

Katherine Garrett-Cox

CEO, Gulf International Bank (GIB) Asset Management, UK

GUO Jingjing

Olympic diving champion; Ambassador, Key Connect; Ocean Program Director, Global Green Technology Center (GGTC); China

Wakao Hanaoka

Founder and CEO, Seafood Legacy, Japan

Bill Hilf

CEO and Chairman, Vulcan Inc., USA

Anson H. Hines

Director, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, USA

Svein Tore Holsether

President and CEO, Yara International, Norway

Rupert Howes

CEO, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), UK

Naoko Ishii

Professor and Director, Center for Global Commons, University of Tokyo, Japan

Nina Jensen

CEO, REV Ocean, Norway

Ronald Jumeau

UN Ambassador for Climate Change and Small Island Developing State Issues of the Republic of Seychelles

Marco Lambertini

Special Envoy, WWF International, Switzerland

Pascal Lamy

President Emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute, France

Jim Leape

Co-Director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University, USA

Laura Liswood

Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders, USA

Jørgen J. Lund

Founder and Director, North Atlantic Seafood Forum (NASF), Norway

Àrni Mathiesen

Senior Adviser, Iceland Ocean Cluster; Chairman of the Board, Better Transport, Iceland

Kimberly Mathisen

CEO, HUB Ocean

Douglas McCauley

Professor, University of California Santa Barbara; Director, Benioff Ocean Initiative, USA

Peter de Menocal

President and Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA

Stuart Minchin

Director-General, Pacific Community (SPC), Australia

Jennifer Morris

CEO, The Nature Conservancy, USA

Barkha Mossae

Blue Economy Advisor, African Union Commission, Mauritius

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema

Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, Kenya

Razan Al Mubarak

President, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Managing Director, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, UAE

Cherie Nursalim

Vice-Chairman, GITI Group, Indonesia

Sanda Ojiambo

CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact, Kenya

Julie Packard

Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium, USA

Rolph Payet

Executive Secretary, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Switzerland

Tiago Pitta e Cunha

Chief Executive Officer, Oceano Azul Foundation, Portugal

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco


H.M. Queen Noor

Ocean Elder, Jordan

James Quincey

President and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, USA

Rolly van Rappard

Co-Founder and Co-Chair, CVC, the Netherlands

Vladimir Ryabinin

Executive Secretary, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, and Assistant Director General, UNESCO, France

Enric Sala

Explorer-in-Residence, National Geographic Society, USA

M. Sanjayan

CEO, Conservation International, USA

Wendy Schmidt

President, The Schmidt Family Foundation and Co-Founder, Schmidt Ocean Institute, USA

Afroz Shah

Counsel, Bombay High Court, Champion of Earth, United Nations, India

SHEN Guojun

Founder and Chairman of Yintai Group; Board Member of The Paradise International Foundation, China

Erna Solberg

Former Prime Minister of Norway, UN’s SDG Advocates Co-Chair

Andrew Steer

President, Bezos Earth Fund, USA

Achim Steiner

Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Brazil/Germany

SU Jilan

Professor of Oceanography, Academician, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Gunhild Stordalen

Founder and Executive Chairman, EAT Foundation, Norway

Atsushi Sunami

President, Sasakawa Peace Foundation and Ocean Policy Research Institute, Japan

John Tanzer

Ocean Champion, Australia

Asha de Vos

Founder and Executive Director, Oceanswell, Sri Lanka

Judi Wakhungu

Ambassador of Kenya to France, Portugal, Serbia and The Holy See

Jan-Gunnar Winther

Director, National Center of Ocean and the Arctic, Norway

WANG Songlin

Founder and President, Qingdao Marine Conservation Society, China