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Introducing the 2023 Edinburgh Ocean Leaders

Press release

Introducing the eight ocean professionals named the 2023 Ocean Leaders. The leaders – from Portugal, South Africa, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Philippines, Kenya, USA, and Indonesia – join a community of globally-distributed leaders, working on vital solutions for the ocean and society.

The 2023 Ocean Leaders come from diverse backgrounds and ocean sectors including innovation, marine protected area management, policy, diplomacy, ocean finance and fisheries research. “The ambition of Edinburgh Ocean Leaders is to accelerate and amplify the visions and capacities of these remarkable individuals and their organisations,” explain Edinburgh Ocean Leaders co-founders and co-directors, Professor Sandy Tudhope and Dr Meriwether Wilson. “The 2023 cohort will join a growing community of Ocean Leaders, providing an enduring positive impact on the ocean for decades to come.”

The 2023 Ocean Leaders are:

  • Alifa Bintha Haque – Marine biologist focused on sustainable fisheries and conserving sharks and rays in the Bay of Bengal. University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and University of Oxford, UK.
  • Timothy Bouley– Biotechnology entrepreneur and specialist in global environmental change and human health; Founder and CEO of life sciences company, BioFeyn Inc, USA.
  • João Canning-Clode – Marine ecologist and founder and coordinator of Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, MARE-Madeira, ARDITI, Portugal.
  • Alexis Grosskopf – Ocean entrepreneur; Founder and CEO of ocean-impact accelerator, OceanHub Africa, Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Tasrif Kartawijaya – Senior Program Manager at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Indonesia, including leading WCS marine programs in Aceh, North Sulawesi, North Maluku, West Nusa Tenggara, Karimunjawa National Park and Taka Bonerate National Park.
  • Barkha Mossaë– Former Diplomat for Republic of Mauritius, currently Blue Economy Advisor to the African Union Commission.
  • Willys Osore – Marine Protected Area Manager at Kenya Wildlife Service, officer in charge of Kiunga Marine Biosphere Reserve.
  • Jhorace Tupas – Senior Ecosystems Management Specialist, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)-Biodiversity Management Bureau, Government of the Philippines.

Launched in 2020, Edinburgh Ocean Leaders is the only executive leadership programme specifically designed for mid-career professionals working on positive solutions for the ocean. Through a global nomination process, the 2023 Ocean Leaders were selected based on their exceptional promise and capacity to become ocean change-makers. Whilst maintaining their existing professional roles, the Ocean Leaders will come together for an initial year-long programme of online leadership training, mentoring and networking support with international in-person meetings and field-based experiences. After this initial year, they continue as Ocean Leader Fellows, contributing to the global network and working together to drive bold actions. The programme is free for the Ocean Leaders, ensuring they are selected on their potential leadership rather than their ability to pay.


Edinburgh Ocean Leaders is hosted by the University of Edinburgh and supported by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, Baillie Gifford and individual donors.