Mark J. Spalding has devoted his career to promoting true sustainability: the economic, social, and environmental well-being of communities that enables them to thrive. To fulfill his role as the first President of The Ocean Foundation, Mark brings diverse legal, international, and consulting skills honed over a two-decade career. Using his formal undergraduate training to pursue both a law degree and a masters in Pacific international affairs, he has worked extensively in tri-national efforts in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, as well as many other countries in central and south America, and around the world.
Mark J. Spalding is an authority on international environmental policy and law. His research interests relate to marine conservation as well as trade and the environment. Mark's current research projects include the protection of marine mammals and conservation of their habitat; reduction of ocean noise pollution; establishment of new marine protected areas in the Sea of Cortez and in the Caribbean; and interactions between climate change and oceans. From 1995 to 2000, he coordinated a multinational effort to save Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California Sur, the last pristine birthplace of the Pacific Gray Whale. From 2003 to 2006, he headed up the Alaska Oceans Program, which supported ecosystem-based advocacy efforts to reform fisheries management, increased ocean literacy in Alaska, fostered the creation of a Shipping Safety Partnership, and supported national and international work to promote sustainable seafood choices.