Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors comprises senior industry leaders from around the world and across the sectors, such as commercial fisheries, shipowners, seabed mining, ocean data collection, media and law and provides guidance and support to our Secretariat.

Henk van Muijen (Chair), Managing Director, IHC Mining

Henk van Muijen is the managing director at MTI Holland (The Knowledge Centre of IHC Merwede). He started his career at MTI Holland in 1984 as junior project manager and joined IHC's mining department as product manager in 1986. He worked as the manager of the technical department of IHC Mining from 1990 to 1993, at which point he was promoted to senior project manager at MTI Holland. His work involved an array of dredging and mineral processing projects including conducting environmental impact assessments and cleanups, selecting proper dredging and mining equipment, controlling dredging related to constituent processing steps and business development of mineral processing projects.


Philipp Hermes (Secretary), Partner, BHM Penlaw

Philipp Hermes is a lawyer qualified in German law in 2008. He was working with a leading boutique law firm specialised in ship finance and was advising banks, shipowners and shipyards. In 2013 he joined as General Counsel and member to the board a family-owned shipping company. In November that year, Mr. Hermes set up Bureau Hermes Maritime (BHM) which became the international law firm BHM Penlaw in April 2014. Mr. Hermes is advising the public and private sector in the maritime domain with an emphasis on international law enforcement and maritime security matters. Philipp Hermes contributes to the EU – Central Asia Rule of Law Platform, serves as commander (jun) with the German navy and acts as legal advisor with NATO Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters in Kiel.


Bill Staby (Treasurer), CEO, Resolute Marine Energy

Bill Staby is Founder and CEO of Boston-based Resolute Marine Energy, Inc. (RME). Bill is Head of the U.S. delegation to IEC TC-114 in Geneva, Switzerland where he has a leadership role in the development of technical standards and certification processes for the marine renewable energy industry. Bill also serves on the Technical Advisory Committee of the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute and is a member of the board of the Marine Renewable Energy Coalition which is developing the first tidal energy test site in the United States. Earlier in his career, Bill was an investment banker at First Boston Corporation and later he was co-head of the North American mergers & acquisitions department at Rabobank where he focused on strategic transactions in the food and agribusiness sector.


Jonathan Webb, Partner, HFW

Jonathan Webb has been a member of the board since 2013. Mr. Webb is a dual-qualified lawyer admitted as an attorney in South Africa in 1991 and a solicitor in England in 1997. Born in Natal, South Africa, he completed a BA in History and Economics at the University of Cape Town. He received an LLB (Bachelor of Laws) and a post-graduate diploma in maritime law from the University of Natal. He began his professional career in 1989 at Sheptsone & Wylie, a leading Durban maritime law practice. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1993 where he acquired an LLM (Master of Laws) at the University of London.


Lori Kennedy, Co-owner, LouisbourgSeafoods

Lori Kennedy has been the co-owner of Louisbourg Seafoods since the company was founded in 1984. She is a former fisheries plant worker with a deep appreciation for the industry and a skillset derived from working in all facets of business operations. Mrs. Kennedy believes the knowledge and experience passed down from her ancestors, who have lived for hundreds of years in Newfoundland and St. Pierre & Miquelon, France, have informed her success. Valuing and respecting the ocean is an important lesson she has learned from them – a lesson all seafood companies should incorporate into their mission.


Renee Grogan, Director, Gro Sustainability Pty Ltd

Renee Grogan is an environmental consultant with over ten years of experience in the resources industry. She has significant expertise in the implementation of international and domestic legislation in extractive industries, particularly regarding the implementation of IFC Standards for Environmental Impact Assessments. Ms. Grogan has experience in both policy development and implementation, having worked as the program officer for the Australian Federal Government Department of Research and Development, and managing a state government funded terrestrial biodiversity program. She also has over 8 years of experience in terrestrial and marine mining, including most recently as Sustainability Manager for Nautilus Minerals.


Liv Monica Stubholt, Partner, Selmer

Liv Monica Stubholt has more than 20 years of experience as a corporate lawyer, with particular expertise in negotiations, contract drafting, business development, restructuring and reorganization processes. Liv Monica has held several top executive positions in business and government.


Jacques Demers, Chairman & Managing Partner, AGAWA Partners

Jacques Demers is Chairman & Managing Partner of AGAWA Partners Inc. and its asset management subsidiary, AGAWA Fund Management Inc. Jacques co-founded AGAWA in 2015, bringing over forty years of experience in investment, law and pensions, both in Canada and globally. AGAWA is derived from the Ojibwe word meaning “sheltered place”.


Paul Holthus, Founding President & CEO

Paul is founding President and Chief Executive Officer 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...