Our trustees govern the charity. They are unpaid volunteers with a wide range of skills and experience who share our passion for the ocean.
Each year, our Board reviews its effectiveness and carries out a skills analysis. When there is a vacancy for a trustee, we advertise for people with the skills and experience needed. We then hold interviews before selecting a candidate. Each candidate is then proposed to our members for election at the Annual General Meeting.
Our trustees serve three-year terms. While they can offer themselves for re-election at the Annual General Meeting, each trustee’s total term is limited to make opportunities for new people to join the Board.
Our Chair – Amanda Nobbs
As a geographer with a masters in conservation, Amanda has been concerned for the environment throughout her career in the charity, public and private sectors. As Chief Executive of the Council for National Parks, she successfully campaigned for better legislation and for the South Downs and New Forest to become National Parks.
She has been appointed by ministers and the Environment Agency as a conservation member on various committees relating to tourism, waterways, water and environmental protection. Chairing the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Committee for eight years, she transformed the way partners worked together and now champions a joined-up approach including politicians, businesses, communities and partners.
Our Vice-Chair – Mark Haviland
Credit: Billy Barraclough
Mark’s areas of expertise include corporate sustainability, fundraising, and brand and business management. In addition, he focuses on youth engagement projects in the UK and Africa. Having worked with global brands including Walt Disney, CNN and Rakuten, he has a clear view of the critical role the private sector must play in addressing the environmental and social issues we all face today. He is currently the founder of Shift17.
Mark has lived in Tokyo and Paris, and travelled extensively, witnessing how different people and cultures depend on and relate to our natural environment. Mark believes we still have a chance to protect and recover our ocean by influencing policy as well as consumer and commercial behaviour.
Our Treasurer – Susan Ronaldson
Susan is a chartered accountant and currently Director of Engagement & Change at the National Audit Office. Her areas of expertise include financial management and audit, risk and change management, and governance. She has previously audited a range of public bodies, including the Cabinet Office and Home Office.
Her interest in and passion for the environment led to Susan taking on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000-mile rowing race from the Canaries to Antigua. This experience has made her acutely aware of plastic pollution and how we must change our behaviour to protect our marine environment and wildlife.
Passionate about promoting Welsh culture and communities after growing up on the coast of North Wales, Deb highly values the opportunity to play a role in protecting marine, coastal and inland waters. Bringing a passion for community development and social impact into her everyday work, Deb enjoys bringing people together to work through complex problems and hopes to play a positive part in protecting the environment for future generations.
Deb spent 17 years working within and alongside local and national charities in fundraising, supporter care and volunteer management roles. Alongside this she started a consultancy role supporting small charities facing funding challenges during and after the pandemic, and in 2022 she moved to a role in the Welsh sport sector. After working with organisations closely linked to UK waters for over a decade, she’s seen time and again why there is a collective responsibility to protect our seas on which we depend so heavily for economic and environmental stability.
Jess’s background is in parliamentary affairs, policy development, and strategy. Her early interests in marine science led to a career at the interface of science and policy, working with parliamentarians, leading researchers and civil society organisations to bring scientific evidence to bear on major policy issues.
Her recent work has focused on the use of data and artificial intelligence for social benefit. She currently works at the University of Cambridge, leading a university-wide initiative to deliver artificial intelligence technologies that serve science, citizens and society.
With experience as a solicitor at Rabobank and in the probation service Helena now works as Head of Legal for NatWest Bank’s Asset and Invoice Finance activities. She is a passionate advocate of diversity and inclusion, driving numerous initiatives and networks in this area, including the NatWest Gender Network. She is especially proud of having created a development programme aimed at supporting female talent, now delivered globally and engaging thousands of colleagues.
Helena is a keen anthropology student and scuba diver. She believes everyone should have equal access to what our ocean has to offer and a role in protecting it.
Credit: Billy Barraclough
Jonathan’s background is in environmental policy, NGO capacity building and strategic development, with a speciality in marine protected areas. He is currently Head of Global Strategy & Operations at the RSPB, overseeing conservation programmes in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Jonathan also served for eight years as Chair of the Great British Oceans coalition of six organisations working to support large scale marine protection. He believes an approach that considers both the environment and people is vital to restoring the richness of the UK’s seas.
Joyce has spent her career in communications roles, working for global brands like Walt Disney and Intercontinental Hotels Group. She currently heads global corporate affairs for Springer Nature, one of the world’s leading research and education publishers, and leads the company’s sustainable business strategy.
For three years, Joyce chaired the Board of Urban Partners, a business partnership established to improve the environment of Kings Cross in London and connect local businesses and people. She joined us in 2020 because she feels that now, more than ever, we need to give the seas and marine life around our shores a stronger voice.
Credit: Billy Barraclough
Will studied zoology at university, which led to an interest in how biodiversity and natural capital can be identified and valued by investors and civil society. He is currently Head of Responsible Investment for global asset manager, First Sentier Investors, Chair of the European Sustainable Investment Forum and an Honorary Professor at Nottingham University.
Will’s focus is on business sustainability, and he has been leading some of our work in this area. He believes protecting the biodiversity of our coastal environment is essential.
Seth is an experienced executive and technologist with a track record of founding, building and scaling successful businesses in the AdTech and digital space. In the last few years Seth has been applying his technology and product expertise in the education space and is currently CPO at leading student marketing specialists Natives.
His board activities include global marketing leader Rakuten Marketing and sustainable executive search agency Silman Thomas. He is also a board advisor at Plantpot, the owner and operator of Greenman Festival. Having spent much of his life on or in the water, Seth understands what our seas have to offer in terms of our happiness and wellbeing.
While at university, Stef became a qualified diving instructor and travelled to the Egyptian coast on an expedition to map the Red Sea coral reefs. He has since spent his career in the advertising industry and is currently Chief Executive of a WPP company, managing clients across the globe.
Stef believes there has never been a more important time to use our communications skills and experience to ensure the welfare of our ocean.
Credit: Polly Burns
Growing up in Scotland, Polly’s love of the marine environment developed through frequent trips to Scottish beaches (freezing swims included). Polly has had a diverse and exciting career to date, focusing on the interactions between humans and the sea. She specialises in sustainable seafood supply chains, having worked to ensure wild salmon stocks are protected as aquaculture continues to grow in Scotland, and managing audits of global fisheries and aquaculture operations as they undertake assessment against sustainability standards.
Polly is currently Head of Fisheries Standard Policy at the Marine Stewardship Council, where she oversees policy development associated with maintaining the requirements, contributing to driving change through the seafood supply chain and enabling consumers to make better choices of seafood products.
Credit: Rebecca Rodney
Rebecca is an economist with an MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of Sussex – jointly led by the globally renowned Institute of Development Studies and Sussex’s Science, Policy & Research Unit. She is currently a Vice President in Silicon Valley Bank’s UK Venture & Growth team, where Rebecca specialises in supporting the scale-up of high-growth technology companies around the world, and currently sits as the lead for all sustainability-focused lending opportunities in the Enterprise Software space.
Rebecca is a keen scuba diver, vegetarian and politics enthusiast who believes that environmental justice and community involvement is always necessary to achieve the changes we need for a healthy, happy ocean and population.