Governance

Working together to leave our children a more sustainable world.

Structure and Governance

Notable ocean experts who have distinguished themselves in their work on ocean conservation; renowned academics; personalities familiar with the United Nations and European Commission’s agendas; and others with ties to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the strategic guidance of the Foundation.

José Soares dos Santos (Chairman)
Princess Laurentien van Oranje-Nassau
Jane Lubchenco
Kristian Parker
Nuno Vieira Matias
Julie Packard (Special Advisor)
Viriato Soromenho-Marques (Special Advisor)

José Soares dos Santos (Chairman)

Graduated in Marine Biology from Lisbon Classic University in 1986. Alumni Member at IMD (1995), Harvard (1997) and Stanford (2000). Board member of Jerónimo Martins from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2015. Board member of Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos, SGPS, S.E., since 2001. CEO of Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos B.V., main shareholder of Jerónimo Martins, SGPS, S.A.. Board member of Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos from 2009 to 2018. He is Chairman of Unilever Fima, Lda., Gallo Worldwide, Lda., and JMDB Representação e Distribuição de Marcas Lda.. Since September 2015, he is Chairman of Oceanário de Lisboa, S.A. and, since December 2016, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Oceano Azul Foundation. He is Chairman of Movendo Capital B.V., since 2017. Member of the Board of Trustees of Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, since 2018.

Princess Laurentien van Oranje-Nassau

President of Fauna and Flora International, has worked on sustainability and climate change issues for over a decade. Was a Special Advisor to WWF and is currently a Special Advisor to “Rewilding Europe” and a Fellow of the European Climate Foundation. Established the Missing Chapter Foundation that promotes youth empowerment and inter-generational dialogue between children and business leaders. An expert in literacy through the Reading & Writing Foundation she set up and as UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development. Has written several (children’s) books, including the Mr Finney series on environmental issues, with translations into 8 languages. Together with her husband, she established and runs an innovation centre in The Hague, called ‘Number 5’, and she also holds a range of honorary positions in culture and language -related organizations, including President of the European Cultural Foundation.

Jane Lubchenco

Former administrator of NOAA; Distinguished University Professor and Adviser in Marine Studies; Former U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean. A world renowned environmental scientist who has vast experience in the worlds of science, academia, and government. Nominated by President Obama in December 2008 as part of his “Science Dream Team,” she is a marine ecologist and environmental scientist by training, with expertise in oceans, climate change, and interactions between the environment and human well-being.

Kristian Parker

Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Oak Foundation and a member of its founding family. Directed the Oak Foundation’s environment program since its inception in 1998 and has worked fulltime for the program since 2003. The Oak Foundation’s environment program dedicates a majority of its resources to two of the world’s biggest challenges: climate change and collapsing fishing stocks. Kristian is also a founding board member of OceansFive and a member of the Board of Oceana and ClimateWorks.

Nuno Vieira Matias

Navy Chief of Staff from 1997 to 2002. Former Naval Deputy-chief of Staff, Superintendent of Material Services, Naval Commander and Commander-in-Chief of the Iberian Atlantic Area. Was a member of the Ocean Strategic Commission and Chairman of the Marine Academy. Vice-President of the Board of the Lisbon Geographical Society; member of the Academy of Sciences of Lisbon; emeritus member of the Portuguese Academy of History; member of the National Council of Education; and member of the European Security Research Advisory Board of the European Union. Invited professor at the Institute of Political Studies from Universidade Católica Portuguesa and author of several papers and articles on maritime strategy, national security and economy of the sea.

Julie Packard (Special Advisor)

Executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and Chair of the Board of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), a world leader in deep-ocean science and technology. Member of the Pew Oceans Commission and member of the Joint Oceans Commission Initiative.

Viriato Soromenho-Marques (Special Advisor)

Teaches Philosophy in the Departments of Philosophy and European Studies of the University of Lisbon, where he is Full Professor. Correspondent member of the Lisbon Academy of Sciences and from the Marine Academy. Was the scientific coordinator of the Gulbenkian Environment Program (2007-2011). Wrote numerous works on Philosophy, Environment and International Relations matters.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is responsible for managing the Foundation and for implementing its strategic guidelines.

José Soares dos Santos (Chairman)
Tiago Pitta e Cunha
Emanuel Gonçalves
R. Andreas Kraemer
João Falcato Pereira
Heather Koldewey (Special Advisor)
Peter Heffernan (Special Advisor)

José Soares dos Santos (Chairman)

Graduated in Marine Biology from Lisbon Classic University in 1986. Alumni Member at IMD (1995), Harvard (1997) and Stanford (2000). Board member of Jerónimo Martins from 1995 to 2001 and from 2004 to 2015. Board member of Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos, SGPS, S.E., since 2001. CEO of Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos B.V., main shareholder of Jerónimo Martins, SGPS, S.A.. Board member of Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos from 2009 to 2018. He is Chairman of Unilever Fima, Lda., Gallo Worldwide, Lda., and JMDB Representação e Distribuição de Marcas Lda.. Since September 2015, he is Chairman of Oceanário de Lisboa, S.A. and, since December 2016, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the Oceano Azul Foundation. He is Chairman of Movendo Capital B.V., since 2017. Member of the Board of Trustees of Fundação Francisco Manuel dos Santos, since 2018.

Tiago Pitta e Cunha

Has been working on ocean policies for two decades, as a policymaker in the United Nations, the Government of Portugal, the European Commission and as an independent consultant. Has been an advocate of the strategic importance of the oceans and seas both for Portugal and for Europe, in Lisbon and in Brussels. Is currently working as Chief Executive Director for the Oceano Azul Foundation. Former counselor for Environment, Science and Maritime Affairs to the President of Portugal.

Emanuel Gonçalves

Associate professor at ISPA – Instituto Universitário and vice-director of MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre. Has been involved in the creation, monitoring and implementation of Marine Protected Areas in several regions, including discussions on the high seas. Was deputy-head of the Portuguese Task Group for Maritime Affairs that built the National Ocean Strategy. Was coordinator of the EU Group that led the negotiations which approved the CBD Scientific Criteria for Identifying Ecologically or Biologically Signifi cant Areas (EBSAs) in the marine realm. Is a member of the National Council of Environment and Sustainable Development.

R. Andreas Kraemer

Founder of Ecologic Institute, is currently Senior Fellow at Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS Potsdam) and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Canada, non-executive Director of the Fundação Oceano Azul, Portugal, and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science and Adjunct Professor of German Studies at Duke University. In 2015, he was Visiting Scholar at the MIT. His research focuses on the theory and practice of think tanks and how they function in different political systems, the interactions among policy domains and international relations, and global governance on environment, resources, climate and energy.

João Falcato Pereira

CEO of Oceanário de Lisboa, S.A. since 2006, has a BSc in Aquatic Sciences from the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar, Porto, Portugal, and a postgraduate degree in Advanced Management from the Portuguese Catholic University. Was Administrator of SIEOCEAN – Siemens & Oceanário, A.C.E. (2006-2019), manager of the Telecabine Lisboa, Lda. (2007-2012), Administrator of Gil Foundation (2012-2015) and member of the Directive Board of Fórum Empresarial da Economia do Mar (2010-2016). Is also member of the Directive Board of the Portuguese Association of Zoos and Aquaria. Since 2013, a member of the Executive Committee of EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) and, since 2014, President of the EUAC (European Union of Aquarium Curators).

Heather Koldewey (Special Advisor)

Head of Marine and Freshwater Conservation Programmes – Zoological Society of London. She finds solutions through interdisciplinary research and conservation action on the interface between communities and environment. Co-founder of Project Seahorse, the world’s leading authority on seahorses; developed Net-Works, that has developed a novel community-based supply chain for discarded fishing nets that are recycled into carpet tiles, and Project Ocean – retail activism in action, an innovative partnership between Selfridges and ZSL to bring ocean conservation to new audiences and change consumer buyer habits. Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Exeter, Cornwall campus.

Peter Heffernan (Special Advisor)

Chief Executive of the Marine Institute, Ireland’s national agency for marine research and development, since 1993, which has grown from a staff of one to over 200 and a budget of €50 million.  The Institute covers a number of areas: Marine Environment and Food Safety Services, Fisheries Ecosystem and Advisory Services, Oceanographic and Information Services, Irish Maritime Development Office, Policy Innovation and Research Services and Corporate Services. Following his PhD in the National University of Ireland, Galway, worked at the University of Georgia, in the U.S. (1985 – 92).  Was elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy (MRIA) in November 2006 and received the NUI Galway Alumni Foundation Award for Natural Sciences in 2008. Was appointed to the European Research and Innovation Area Board and subsequently to the Research, Innovation and Science Policy Experts by Commissioner Maire Geoghegan Quinn.

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee is responsible for implementing the Board of Directors’ decisions and will be supported by Program Managers.

Tiago Pitta e Cunha
Emanuel Gonçalves
João Falcato Pereira

Team

Cristina Carranca
Rita Borges
Vanda Lobo
Miguel Herédia
Maria João Cruz
Flávia Zurga Silva

Cristina Carranca

Executive Manager at the Oceano Azul Foundation since January 2018. Graduated in Law, from the University of Lisbon, with a postgraduate degree in Advanced Management from the Portuguese Catholic University. Program Coordinator of TVI´s news channel TVI24, at the leading Portuguese television network TVI, part of Media Capital Group, which belongs to the Spanish group PRISA. At TVI was also Head of Communication for the Newsroom and Management Adviser, among other functions from 1998 to 2017. Co-Founded an insurance Brokerage company, EGS – Corretores de Seguros from 1988 to 1998, and worked at a consulting company, Epersel – Estudos, Peritagens e Serviços from 1998 to 2000. Between 2002 and 2005 worked as advisor for the Minister of the Presidency of the XV-XVI Government of Portugal.

Rita Borges

Literary Project Manager at the Oceano Azul Foundation, responsible for projects that aim to prepare an ocean literate Blue Generation and to increase public awareness on the challenges of ocean sustainability. Graduated with a PhD in Marine Ecology, with an academic background of research and teaching in this field. Was the executive director of a science centre for the promotion of scientific culture to the general public and children.

Vanda Lobo

Conservation Project Manager at the Oceano Azul Foundation since 2018. Graduated in Biology at the University of Lisbon and joined Oceanário de Lisboa team in 1998, working as senior aquarist and providing support to the Curator for Conservation Projects. Manages the Foundation’s conservation projects such as the Ria Formosa Sea Horses, MPA’s and Sustainable Fisheries. As a marine biologist, participated in the project “Ilhas do Rio” of the NGO “Mar Adentro”. Joined the Brazilian Government Environmental Agency, ICMBio, working at the Conservation Unit of “Monumento Natural das Ilhas Cagarras”. Worked two years as a consultant to AquaRio’s (Rio de Janeiro public aquarium) top management, assisting with the final phase of construction, concept definition and operational kick off.



Miguel Herédia

Blue Economy Project Manager at the Oceano Azul Foundation, responsible primarily for the Oceano Azul Foundation’s capacity building initiatives. Has collaborated with the Oceano Azul Foundation since its inception, having been a member of the executive team responsible for the creation and implementation of the Foundation. Graduated with a degree in management and business administration from the Catholic University – Católica Lisbon School of Business & Economics. Works primarily on the Foundation’s capacity building initiatives heading the Blue Bio Value Program, a business accelerator for startups and SMEs operating in the blue bioresources value chain, with its first edition successfully launched in September 2018. Founding partner of Ocean Vision – Business and Investment Advisory, a Portuguese consulting firm specialized in maritime affairs and blue economy. Specialist in the maritime economy, having participated as a speaker in several conferences, seminars and televised debates.

Maria João Cruz

Conservation Project Manager at the Oceano Azul Foundation responsible for the “Blue Azores” Program, focused on protecting, promoting and valuing the Blue Natural Capital of the Azores archipelago. With a Masters in Marine Biology, she has been living in the Azores since 2006 and has worked at the University of the Azores doing scientific research related to the study of fisheries interactions with cetaceans. She is based on São Miguel island.

Flávia Zurga Silva

Project Manager at the Oceano Azul Foundation responsible for tackling the issue of marine litter. Graduated in Environmental Engineering at ISA/ULisboa and FCT NOVA worked as researcher and project manager at FCT NOVA for the past 10 years focusing her research on environmental literacy and on collaborative decision-making processes, coordinating and collaborating on several National and European projects.

Ocean Conservation

View our initiatives on supporting science-based processes in establishing efficient MPAs and recovering degraded ecosystems.