Who we are

Friends of Ocean Action is a coalition of over 50 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. 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

Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

Friends of Ocean Action members

Diva Amon

Founder and Director, SpeSeas, Trinidad and Tobago

Inger Andersen

Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, Denmark

Thomas Thune Andersen

Chairman of the Board of Directors, 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

Jeremy Darroch

CEO, Sky Plc, UK

Sylvia Earle

President and Chairman, Mission Blue, USA

Patricia Espinosa Cantellano

Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Mexico

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

Vice-Chairman & Executive Board Member, 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, UK

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

Pascal Lamy

President Emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute, France

Kosi Latu

Director-General, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), Samoa

Jim Leape

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

Laura Liswood

Secretary General, Council of Women World Leaders, USA

Jane Lubchenco

Distinguished University Professor and Marine Studies Advisor to the President, Oregon State University, USA

Jørgen J. Lund

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

Elizabeth Maruma Mrema

Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity, Tanzania

Àrni Mathiesen

Assistant Director General Fisheries and Aquaculture, Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN, Italy

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

Barkha Mossae

Second Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Government of Mauritius

Jennifer Morris

CEO, The Nature Conservancy, USA

Razan Al Mubarak

Managing Director, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD), UAE

H.M. Queen Noor

Ocean Elder, Jordan

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

Elsa Palanza

Global Head of Sustainability, Barclays, USA

Rolph Payet

Executive Secretary, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Switzerland

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco


James Quincey

President and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company, USA

Rolly van Rappard

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

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Echandi

CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility, Costa Rica

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

Founder, Schmidt Family Foundation, USA

Afroz Shah

Counsel, Bombay High Court; Champion of the Earth, UN Environment, India

Erna Solberg

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

Andrew Steer

President, World Resources Institute, USA

Achim Steiner

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

Gunhild Stordalen

Founder and Executive Chairman, EAT Foundation, Norway

SU Jilan

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

Atsushi Sunami

President, Ocean Policy Research Institute; Executive Director, Sasakawa Peace Foundation, Japan

John Tanzer

Global Ocean Practice Leader, WWF International, 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