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Paul Holthus


Paul is founding Executive Director of the World Ocean Council. He works with the private sector and market forces to develop practical solutions for achieving sustainable development and addressing environmental concerns, especially for marine areas and resources.
His experience ranges from working with the global industry associations or directors of UN agencies to working with fishers in small island villages. He has been involved in coastal and marine resource sustainable development and conservation work in over 30 countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, Central America and Africa. As a consultant on sustainable development and environmental management, he has worked with companies, industry associations, UN agencies, international NGOs and foundations on sustainability, especially in the areas of oil/gas, fisheries, aquaculture, standards and certification.
Past positions include: Deputy Director for the Global Marine and Coastal Program of IUCN - The World Conservation Union; founding Executive Director of the Marine Aquarium Council (an international standards-setting, certification and capacity-building organization bringing together industry/fishers, conservation and international agencies for sustainability in this global marine fishery, aquaculture and trade); Senior Officer in the Asia-Pacific Program of The Nature Conservancy; and Senior Program Officer of the UNEP South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Paul is a graduate of the University of California and the University of Hawaii, with advanced degrees in coastal/marine resources and international business.

Leslie-Ann McGee


Leslie-Ann is the Programs Director at WOC and was WOC liaison for a WOC Founding Member Organization. She supports the development and implementation of the WOC Work Program. Her major focus is to work with the CEO and WOC Members to coordinate collaborative efforts to develop science-based solutions to the priority shared marine environmental issues that have been identified and included in the WOC Work Program.

Her 18 years of professional experience includes marine science and policy, coastal zone management, sensitive marine area identification and management, ecosystem services evaluation, social and economic analyses, GIS analyses and mapping, coastal and marine indicator and proxy attribute modeling, climate change adaptation planning, ecosystem-based marine spatial planning and management, fisheries science and policy, environmental impact statements, biological assessments, endangered species threats and stressors determination and conservation, industry and stakeholder engagements.

Past positions include: Director of Ocean and Coastal Solutions, Battelle Memorial Institute; Director, Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; Interim Manager, Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Program Manager for Habitat, Marine Protected Areas and Ecosystems, New England Fishery Management Council; and Director of Policy and Legislation, Massachusetts Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement.

Leslie-Ann holds a Master of Environmental Management, Duke University (Marine Science and Policy) and a B.A in Geography, University of Colorado at Boulder.