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Following a competitive international search, Dr. Carlos Drews has joined Ocean Wise as executive vice president of Conservation. Carlos brings a wealth of global conservation leadership experience to Vancouver-based Ocean Wise Conservation Association.

A Colombian native, Carlos holds a Ph.D. in Zoology from Cambridge University (UK), and most recently held the position of executive director of the Jane Goodall Institute (Washington, DC). Prior to that he worked at the World Wildlife Fund (Switzerland) for 13 years, including as director of the Global Species Programme.

“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Carlos Drews to Ocean Wise”, said Lasse Gustavsson, Ocean Wise’s president and CEO. “Carlos will play a key role on our leadership team as we redouble our efforts to address key issues affecting our oceans, such as climate change and ocean acidification; ocean pollution; habitat destruction and overfishing. His extensive background in conservation and his personal commitment to sustainability align with our mission and we look forward to working alongside him to inspire the global community to become Ocean Wise.”

Among his many achievements, Carlos developed a first-of-its-kind toolkit for marine turtle adaptations to climate change. He co-authored Costa Rica´s annual report on human sustainable development and its climate change strategy. Carlos also orchestrated an advocacy program to successfully influence UNODC and the UN General Assembly to issue a binding resolution to establish wildlife crime as a serious global threat. His awards include the Primate Society of Great Britain’s John Napier Medal and the LiverdPress Award for his lifetime conservation achievement. Carlos is also an accomplished multi-lingual communicator (see his Tedx talk here).

Carlos’ appointment comes at a time of great change at Ocean Wise. The organization’s new president and CEO, Lasse Gustavsson, started in February 2019 coming from leadership positions at Oceana (Spain), WWF International (Switzerland) and Greenpeace International (Netherlands).

About Ocean Wise® Conservation Association
Ocean Wise Conservation Association is a not-for-profit global conservation organization on a mission to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Ocean Wise is focussed on conservation, education and research. Utilizing both scientific and traditional knowledge, Ocean Wise equips and inspires youth, citizens, businesses and governments to take action. Ocean Wise is the parent company of the Vancouver Aquarium and also manages Europe’s largest aquarium, L’Oceanogràfic in Valencia, Spain. Ocean Wise’s direct-action conservation programs include the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and the Ocean Wise Sustainable Seafood Program. Ocean Wise’s vision is a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. Ocean Wise is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Learn more at

Posted January 6, 2020 by Ocean Wise

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