The Alliance Board is a group of NGO leaders that, together with the Alliance staff and the Alliance’s fiscal sponsor, are committed to providing guidance, support and strategic oversight to the Alliance on behalf of the broader Global Hub community.
As CEO, Tobias sets the conservation vision and organizational strategy for FishWise. His work with retail industry executives, trade associations, funders, government officials, and NGO leaders, seeks to build a collaborative approach to conservation that results in effective business and improved environmental performance. To that end, Tobias serves on many advisory bodies and committees, including the Moore Foundation’s Oceans and Seafood Markets Initiative, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation’s Environmental Stakeholder Committee, the Food Marketing Institute’s Sustainable Seafood Committee Advisory Council, Fair Trade USA’s Fisheries Advisory Council, and the Seafood Summit’s Advisory Board. Drawing from these diverse multi-stakeholder efforts, Tobias develops innovative solutions for FishWise business partners, while forging new ground in the complex world of seafood sustainability. He is also a frequent speaker at leading industry events, such as FMI’s Sustainability Summit and the Seafood Expo North America. Tobias holds degrees from Stanford University and UCSD’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, where he specialized in nonprofit management and business strategy and was named a Schoepflin Fellow for his work on sustainable fisheries.
Cecilia Blasco is the Executive Director of the Mexican NGO SmartFish. She joined the organization in 2016 and leads a committed, multi-disciplinary team that is unlocking market incentives for sustainably caught seafood in Mexico. SmartFish incubates small-scale fisher co-ops to improve their fishing, handling, processing and business practices to produce premium quality seafood that is independently verifiable as sustainable or improving. Their buyer engagement program follows CASS’ model and supports retailers and foodservice companies to develop sustainable sourcing policies. Cecilia has over 20 years of experience working on solutions to address environmental degradation and enhance community well-being. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a BA in Geography from Dartmouth College. She enjoys spending time in Mexico’s exceptional natural landscapes and paddle boarding in La Paz bay with her dogs.
A scientist and storyteller, Dr. Marah J. Hardt works at the crossroads of science, strategy, and creative communication to build a sustainable future for people and the sea. Since 2008, Marah has worked closely with entrepreneurs and innovators to identify solutions to the global overfishing crisis, including re-designing local seafood supply chains, breakthrough aquaculture, increasing adoption of traceability and electronic data systems, understanding climate impacts to coral reefs, and sustainable blue economy development. As Director of Discovery at Future of Fish, she leads design of research and analysis to identify solutions to small scale fisheries challenges at local and global scales. Prior to this work, Marah spent five years as founder of OceanInk LLC, working as a consultant investigating coral reef health, fishery impacts, and ocean acidification. She was a research fellow at Blue Ocean Institute, where she created and launched their climate change program, including an initiative to engage scientists and religious leaders in constructive conversation about halting climate change. Marah is author of the popular science book, SEX IN THE SEA (St. Martin’s Press, 2016) and has been published in scientific journals, books, and popular magazines and is a frequent public speaker on ocean conservation and sustainable fisheries. She received her PhD in marine science from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 2007, and a B.A. in History of Science from Harvard University in 2000. She is grateful to live on the Big Island, Hawaii where she spends as much time in the sea as possible.
Dr. John N. (“Jack”) Kittinger is the senior director of the Global Fisheries and Aquaculture Program in Conservation International’s Center for Oceans and a Professor of Practice in Arizona State University’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Under his leadership, CI works to protect biodiversity and improve the wellbeing of ocean-dependent communities by implementing sustainable fisheries and aquaculture solutions built on partnerships and investments from ocean to plate. A social scientist and marine ecologist by training, Dr. Kittinger takes a comprehensive interest in finding sustainable solutions to complex problems facing the ocean environment and the people who depend on it. He has extensive experience coordinating multi-stakeholder teams and has worked as a consultant, an academic researcher, educator, and a program director in the nonprofit sector. A lifelong surfer, fisher and waterman, with family ties to the coastal Carolinas, he is committed to ocean-based learning experiences and to being in the water as often as possible. He and his family live in Niu Valley, Oahu.
Indrani (Drin) Lutchman is SFP’s Program Director for FIP Evaluations and External Relations, responsible for FIP progress ratings and maintenance of SFP evaluation tool , as well as SFP’s point person to the Alliance. She is a marine biologist and fisheries scientist with extensive experience of leading successful projects/programs on marine and fisheries issues in Europe, Caribbean, Antarctica and UK Overseas Territories including the Falkland Islands and Gibraltar funding by governmental and non-governmental donors including the European Commission Parliament, the Oak Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, Avina Foundation and the Marine Stewardship Council. With a sound understanding of the elements of fisheries management and strategic and political experience, she led WWF advocacy campaign during the negotiations of the UN Agreement on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks (UNFSA) and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, and contributed to the establishment of the principles for sustainable fishing – used as the basis for the criteria and principles of the MSC standard.
Helen leads the Seafood Stewardship Index at WBA. She joined WBA in July 2020, and is responsible for ensuring the benchmark methodology reflects stakeholder expectations, preparing benchmark reports of key seafood companies and engagement with stakeholders to further enhance the use of the benchmark. Helen believes that companies have a central role to play in the transition towards a sustainable world and that benchmarks can be a powerful tool to incentivise change while at the same time improve society’s understanding of the role of business in achieving sustainability. Prior to joining the WBA, Helen led Anova Food USA’s sustainability programs since 2014, collaborating with fishers, fishing companies and NGOs in the implementation of improvement projects in SE Asia and the South Pacific. Helen holds a BSc in Marine Biology from Swansea University (UK) and a MSc in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management from Wageningen University (NL).
Brian Perkin’s introduction to the seafood industry was in June 1974 working in a salt fish factory in Grimsey, Iceland. That winter of 1974/75 he worked on a small island-based boat tub trawling, and then in the spring gillnetting for lumpfish. Over the ensuing 40+ years he has spent a majority of his work life involved in one manner or another with the commercial fishing and seafood industry, including nearly a decade as a commercial fisherman. In 1992 he began working for Diversified Business Communications, organizers of the Seafood shows in Boston and Brussels. Brian was instrumental in launching The European Seafood Exposition in Brussels in 1993. His 16-year tenure running the largest seafood shows in the world provides him a unique perspective on the industry and also earned him the respect of many stakeholders. In 2015 he joined the Marine Stewardship Council as Regional Director Americas. Based in the MSC Americas regional office in Washington, DC, he is responsible for the overall growth and development of the MSC program in Canada, the United States, and Latin America. In March 2021 Brian joined GAA as COO. His new role includes transitioning Global Aquaculture Alliance to Global Seafood Alliance.
Songlin has 20 years’ experience in China’s marine conservation and sustainable seafood movement. His career path includes working for The Nature Conservancy, Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF China and WWF International), and The Paulson Institute (PI). His role with WWF includeD implementing the Yellow Sea Ecoregion Planning and Support Project, and introducing MSC and ASC to Chinese seafood industry and market stakeholders. He also masterminded and managed PI’s signature Coastal Wetland Conservation Blueprint Project helping identify and preserve China’s most critical coastal wetlands together with Chinese governmental and academic leaders. Songlin led Ocean Outcomes’ China team during 2015-2018. In 2016 he helped establish the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s China program and has been serving as a strategic advisor. In 2017, Songlin founded and since has been chairing Qingdao Marine Conservation Society (QMCS), a young and professional Chinese environmental NGO focusing on coastal & marine ecosystem conservation and seafood sustainability. Songlin majored in marine ecology at the Ocean University of China as an undergraduate, and then obtained a masters’ degree in environmental management at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He is a Pew Marine Conservation Fellow.