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

Read Peter's blog articles here

Isabella Lövin

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

Read Isabella's blog articles here

Friends of Ocean Action members

Diva Amon

Scientific Advisor, Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory; Founder and Director, SpeSeas

Read Diva's Agenda blog articles here

Inger Andersen

Executive Director, UN Environment Programme

Read Inger's Agenda blog articles here

Thomas Thune Andersen

Chairman, Lloyd’s Register, United Kingdom

Read Thomas' Agenda blog articles here

Marc R. Benioff

Chairman and CEO, Salesforce

Read Marc's Agenda blog articles here

Claes Berglund

Director, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Stena

Dona Bertarelli

Co-Chair, Bertarelli Foundation

Richard Brisius

Race Chairman, The Ocean Race

Julio Cordano

Director of Environment, Climate Change and Ocean, Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Co-Facilitator, UNFCCC Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue

Elizabeth Cousens

President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation

Read Elizabeth's Agenda blog articles here

Maria Damanaki

Co-Founder of Leading Women for the Ocean; senior advisor on ocean, climate change and blue economy

Read Maria's Agenda blog articles here

Aniruddha Dasgupta

President and CEO, World Resources Institute

Read Aniruddha's Agenda blog articles here

Arsenio Dominguez

Director, Marine Environment Division, International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Carlos Duarte

Director, Coral Research and Development Accelerator Platform, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Sylvia Earle

President and Chairman, Mission Blue

Read Silvia's Agenda blog articles here

Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Echandi

CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility (GEF)

Read Carlos' Agenda blog articles here

Minna Epps

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

Danny Faure

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

Daniela V. Fernandez

Founder and CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA)

Read Daniela's Agenda blog articles here

Andrew Forrest

Chairman, Minderoo Foundation

Read Andrew's Agenda blog articles here

Kerstin S. Forsberg

Co-Founder and Director, Planeta Océano

Read Kerstin's Agenda blog articles here

Charles Fox

Executive Director, Oceans 5

Katherine Garrett-Cox

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

Read Katherine's Agenda blog articles here

Charles Goddard

Editorial Director and Executive Director of World Ocean Initiative, The Economist Group

Zac Goldsmith

Former Minister of State for Overseas Territories, Commonwealth, Energy, Climate and Environment, House of Lords, UK

Aimee Gonzales

Executive Director, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)

GUO Jingjing

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

Read Jingjing's Agenda blog articles here

Lasse Gustavsson

CEO, Ocean Wise

Wakao Hanaoka

Founder and CEO, Seafood Legacy

Henrik Harboe

Special Envoy, Ocean, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway and Co-Chair, High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

Bill Hilf

CEO and Chairman, Vulcan Inc.

Rupert Howes

CEO, Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

Read Rupert's Agenda blog articles here

Naoko Ishii

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

Read Naoko's Agenda blog articles here

Nina Jensen

CEO, REV Ocean

Read Nina's blog articles here

Marco Lambertini

Convener, Nature Positive Initiative

Read Marco's Agenda blog articles here

Pascal Lamy

President Emeritus, Jacques Delors Institute

Jim Leape

Co-Director, Center for Ocean Solutions, Stanford University

Read Jim's blog articles here

LI Jianping

Dean, Academy of Future Ocean and Innovation, Ocean University of China

Tony Long

CEO, Global Fishing Watch

Read Tony's blog articles here

Jørgen J. Lund

Founder and Director, North Atlantic Seafood Forum (NASF)

Anna Marsden

Managing Director, Great Barrier Reef Foundation

Àrni Mathiesen

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

Kimberly Mathisen

CEO, HUB Ocean

Read Kimberly's blog articles here

Douglas McCauley

Professor, University of California Santa Barbara; Director, Benioff Ocean Science Laboratory

Read Douglas' Agenda blog articles here

Peter de Menocal

President and Director, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Read Peter's Agenda blog articles here

Stuart Minchin

Director-General, Pacific Community (SPC)

H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco

Prince of Monaco

Jennifer Morris

CEO, The Nature Conservancy

Read Jennifer's Agenda blog articles here

Barkha Mossae

Regenerative Blue Economy, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Read Barkha's Agenda blog articles here

Razan Al Mubarak

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

Read Razan's Agenda blog articles here

Cherie Nursalim

Vice-Chairman, GITI Group

Read Cherie's blog articles here

David Obura

Founding Director, Coastal Oceans Research and Development in the Indian Ocean (CORDIO)

Read David's Agenda blog articles here

Sanda Ojiambo

CEO and Executive Director, UN Global Compact

Read Sanda's Agenda blog articles here

Julie Packard

Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Loreley Picourt

Executive Director, Ocean & Climate Platform

Tiago Pitta e Cunha

CEO, Oceano Azul Foundation

Angélique Pouponneau

Chief of Staff, United Nations Climate Action Team

QIAO Fangli

Deputy Director, First Institute of Oceanography

Rolly van Rappard

Co-Founder and Co-Chair, CVC

Leticia Reis de Carvalho

Head, Marine and Fresh Water Unit, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

Patricia Ricard

President, Institut Océanique Paul Ricard

Vladimir Ryabinin

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

Karen Sack

Executive Director, Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA)

Read Karen's Agenda blog articles here

M. Sanjayan

CEO, Conservation International

Read Sanjayan's Agenda blog articles here

Kirsten Schuijt

Director-General, WWF International

Read Kirsten's Agenda blog articles here

SHEN Guojun

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

Andrew Steer

President, Bezos Earth Fund

Read Andrew's Agenda blog articles here

Achim Steiner

Administrator, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Read Achim's Agenda blog articles here

SU Jilan

Professor of Oceanography, Academician, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Read Jilan's Agenda blog articles here

Rashid Sumaila

Director, Fisheries Economics Research Unit, University of British Columbia

Read Rashid's Agenda blog articles here

Atsushi Sunami

President, Sasakawa Peace Foundation and Ocean Policy Research Institute

Kristian Teleki

CEO, Fauna & Flora

Read Kristian's Agenda blog articles here

Jyotika Virmani

Executive Director, Schmidt Ocean Institute

Asha de Vos

Founder and Executive Director, Oceanswell

WANG Songlin

Founder and President, Qingdao Marine Conservation Society

Read Songlin's Agenda blog articles here

Tatsuro Watanabe

Chief Sustainability Officer, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Wendy Watson-Wright

Vice-Chair, UN Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP)

Stephen Widdicombe

Director of Science and Deputy Chief Executive, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

Santiago Wills

Director, Council and Trade Negotiations Committee Division, World Trade Organization

Jan-Gunnar Winther

Pro-Rector, Research and Development at UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Read Jan Gunnar's Agenda blog articles here