About Us

Board of Directors

Mark J. Spalding - Chair and President

Mark J. Spalding is a member of the Steering Committee of the Western Hemisphere Migratory Species Initiative. Mark is an active participant in the marine working group, Ocean Acidification collaborative, Baja California group, and coral reef group of the funders' organization, the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity. He serves as an advisor Eco-Allianza and Surfrider international and on the International Bering Sea Forum.  He is the former chair of the Council of the National Whale Conservation Fund. He has consulted for the Alaska Conservation Foundation, San Diego Foundation, the International Community Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Fundación La Puerta, and a number of family foundations. He designed and managed the Orca Fund. He has served as a member of the Environmental Grants Advisory Committee of FINCOMUN (Tijuana, Mexico’s Community Foundation).

Mark, who has been practicing law and acting as a policy consultant for 25 years, was the chair of the environmental law section of the California State Bar Association from 1998-1999.  From 1994 to 2003 Mark was the Director of the Environmental Law and Civil Society Program, and Editor of the Journal of Environment and Development, at the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS), University of California at San Diego.  In addition to lecturing at IR/PS, Mark has taught at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD's Muir College, UC Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, and University of San Diego's School of Law. Mark helped design some of the most significant ocean conservation campaigns in recent years. He is an experienced and successful facilitator at the international level.  He brings his extensive experience with the legal and policy aspects of ocean conservation to the Foundation's grantmaking strategy and evaluation process.  He holds a B.A. in history with Honors from Claremont McKenna College, a J.D. from Loyola Law School, and a Master in Pacific International Affairs (MPIA) from IR/PS.

Angel Braestrup - Acting Secretary

Angel Braestrup (Executive Director, The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation) has been involved in ocean conservation funding for more than 20 years. She also serves as program director for The Henry Foundation.  From 2005-2008, Angel was the co-chair of the Marine Funders Working Group of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, on whose board she now serves. She serves as Chair of the Board of the Norcross Wildlife Foundation and the Board of the Center for Agricultural Partnerships.  She is a former board member of the Association of Small Foundations, and a member of the steering committee of the Chesapeake Bay Funders Network. Angel worked for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1982-1989, specializing in transportation, energy, agriculture, water resources, and other environment issues. Prior to becoming executive director, Angel served as editor of the Munson Foundation's bimonthly newsletter, Conservation Digest.

Joshua Ginsberg - Acting Treasurer

Joshua Ginsberg was born and raised in New York and will become the President of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in September of 2014.  Dr. Ginsberg was the Senior Vice President, Global Conservation at the Wildlife Conservation Society from 2009 to 2014 where he oversees a $90 million portfolio of conservation initiatives in 60 countries around the world.  He spent 15 years working as a field biologist in Thailand and across East and Southern Africa leading a variety of mammal ecology and conservation projects. As Director of the Asia and Pacific Program at the Wildlife Conservation Society from 1996 until September 2004, Josh oversaw 100 projects in 16 countries.  Dr. Ginsberg was also Acting Director of the WCS Africa Program for 10 months in 2002 and Vice President for Conservation Operations from 2003-2009. He received a B. Sc. from Yale, and holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton in Ecology and Evolution. He served as the Chairman of the NOAA/NMFS Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Team from 2001-2007. Dr. Ginsberg sits on the Board of the Open Space Institute, the Catskill Mountain Keeper, the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, and was a founding board member of Video Volunteers, and of the Blacksmith Institute/Pure Earth on whose board he still sits.  He has held faculty positions at Oxford University and University College London, and is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where he teaches conservation biology and international relations of the environment. He has supervised 18 Masters and nine Ph. D. students. He is an author on over 50 reviewed papers, and has edited three books on wildlife conservation, ecology and evolution. 

Carlos de Paco

Carlos de Paco (Director at Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC.) Carlos de Paco has over 20 years experience in resources mobilization, strategic partnerships, environmental policy and natural resources management. Prior to joining the IADB, he had been based in San Jose, Costa Rica and Mallorca, Spain working for the AVINA Foundation-VIVA Group on leadership initiatives for sustainable development and was the Regional Representative for Latin America and the Mediterranean on coastal, marine and freshwater initiatives. Earlier in his career, Mr. de Paco worked for the Spanish Institute of Oceanography in fisheries management and aquaculture.  In 1992, he left the National Parks Foundation in Costa Rica to become the Regional Director for the IUCN’s Mesoamerican Marine Program. He later joined The Nature Conservancy as Country Director for Costa Rica and Panama and as advisor to the international marine and coastal program.

Wolcott Henry - (Emeritus)

Wolcott Henry (Chairman and President, The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation and The Henry Foundation) has been a leader in marine philanthropy for more than twenty-five years, co-founding the original Marine Funders Working Group, and promoting the creation of NGO programs to address previously under-served ocean issues. Wolcott currently serves on the boards of EarthEcho International and WWF Philippines. Past chairman of the National Philanthropic Trust, he has also been a director of The World Wildlife Fund-US, The Ocean Conservancy, the International League of Conservation Photographers and Divers Alert Network, and served on a number of advisory boards. As a photographer, he has produced three books with Dr. Sylvia Earle for National Geographic and contributed photographs for use by an array of non-profit organizations, such as the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian Institution. He continues to promote the use of quality photography to further marine conservation issues through projects such as Marine Photobank. He is a graduate of Denison University with an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. 

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