The Sustainable Ocean Alliance Team

  • DVF Headshot new

    Daniela Fernandez

    SOA FOUNDER & CEO

    Daniela is an award-winning social entrepreneur, thought leader, and internationally sought-after speaker on the entrepreneurial mindset, ocean innovation, technology, youth empowerment, and sustainability. 

    At the age of 19, Daniela founded Sustainable Ocean Alliance as a college-room idea at Georgetown University. Five years later, SOA has created the world's largest network of young Ocean Leaders in over 150 countries and launched the world's first Ocean Solutions Accelerator to support developing technological solutions to address the greatest threats facing our planet.


    Daniela has been recognized for her work by former U.S. Secretary John Kerry, U.S. President Bill Clinton, and E.U. Commissioner Karmenu Vella. She is a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and a member of Friends of Ocean Action—a select group of leaders working to fast-track solutions to ocean challenges.

    She was awarded the 2020 Rising Star Visionary Award by the Silicon Valley Forum and named a 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur. Other awards and recognitions include Glamour Magazine's College Women of the Year, Zula's Top 5 Ocean Heroes of 2016, the Peter Benchley Ocean Award, and the Bustle Upstart Award. Daniela is a contributor to National Geographic and Sustainable Brands, and has been interviewed by Voice of America, New York City TV, and Ocean Radio.

    She has served as a keynote speaker at The Economist World Ocean Summit, the Global Climate Summit, The Global Convening of Mayors, The United Nations, U.S. Capitol Hill Ocean Week, Collision Conference, Sustainable Brands Conference, WE Day, and Davos 2019 - The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting.

    Read MoreLess
  • Craig-1

    Craig Dudenhoeffer

    CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER & OCEAN SOLUTIONS ACCELERATOR CO-FOUNDER

    Craig Dudenhoeffer is the Co-Founder of SOA’s Ocean Solutions Accelerator, where he helps entrepreneurs leverage technology to solve the ocean’s biggest problems. Prior to joining SOA, Craig worked at ReadWrite where he helped launch the world’s first Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator program. 

    At ReadWrite, Craig worked closely with 115 early-stage technology startups from a variety of industries including healthcare, agriculture, fitness, safety, cleantech, energy, and smart cities. Before entering the technology sector, Craig worked at the National Marine Fisheries Service and studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz.

    Read MoreLess
  • ezgif.com-webp-to-jpg

    Brandon Levy

    OCEAN LEADERSHIP PROGRAM DIRECTOR

    Brandon is a community builder, systems thinker, and mission-driven professional with experience working with leading sustainable enterprises.

    He is passionate about equipping youth leaders with frameworks for strategic thinking and conscious leadership, which he believes are the necessary skill sets to achieve maximum social impact and personal fulfillment. Outside of SOA, Brandon is a board member for the Young Professionals in Energy and is a mentor for StartingBloc, a fellowship program that convenes, supports, and shapes the leaders our future needs.

     

    During his tenure at the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), Brandon helped manage CalSEED, a funding and professional development program for innovators and entrepreneurs working to develop early-stage clean energy concepts. Brandon recently completed an MBA at the Presidio Graduate School where he focused on market-based solutions to climate change. In addition to the MBA, Brandon holds a B.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University where he graduated with special honors . Brandon enjoys spending his free time listening to and creating music, philosophizing with friends, traveling to beautiful locales, playing basketball, and engaging in contemplative practices.

    Read MoreLess
  • ezgif.com-webp-to-jpg-1

    Taylor Garrett

    PROGRAM MANAGER

    Taylor brings an expertise in nonprofit development and an abiding dedication to environmental sustainability to his work at SOA. 

    He believes that saving the planet in the next 12 years will require bringing forth a world where young people feel the possibility—and moral responsibility—to create a life aligned with both their values and a thriving ocean. Taylor graduated summa cum laude from the University of Colorado with a concentration in environmental and indigenous policy. He has held positions at National Geographic, Americorps, and land and ethnic conservation NGOs in New York City and San Francisco.

    Read MoreLess
  • Brittany DeGirolamo

    Brittany DeGirolamo

    SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER

    Brittany has 10 years of experience leading creative social media and marketing projects while working with highly visible, cutting edge brands, bringing them to new heights of excellence, profitability and success.

    She has consulted and worked for companies like, IMG Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather, production glue, Merchants Hospitality and HAVAS Worldwide as well as with Fortune 500 brands like IBM, Visa, United Airlines, Evian, HBO, Nike, Accor Hotels and more. She is inspired by supporting entrepreneurs working to make a positive impact on their community.

    Read MoreLess
  • Jon Letts

    Jon Letts

    PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANAGER

    While working on his Masters degree at Northeastern University, Jon was a coach for 'Idea: Northeastern's Venture Accelerator', one of the premier university entrepreneurial ecosystems in the US.

    He joined one of the Big Four Accounting firms as an auditor to develop a stronger understanding of operational processes and system design. Jon was then responsible for the US expansion of a multimillion dollar product line at a major international retailer. After the launch he transitioned to leading an IOT solution decreasing waste in thousands of office buildings. Through that process Jon discovered an opportunity and passion and launched an operational and events consulting firm. Jon has and continues to support organizations that focus on improving the wellbeing of life on earth.

     

    Jon cares about connecting personal wellbeing, environmental wellbeing, and technology. In every aspect of his life these three pillars are reminders of what he finds most important. For Jon it started with technology. He built his first computer at 10 and that led to the development of many physical and digital tools to simplify his life. He was initially very focused on productivity and time management, though over the years Jon has developed that question into something more holistic.

    Read MoreLess
  • Haley Steinhauser

    Haley Steinhauser

    PUBLIC RELATIONS DIRECTOR

    Haley's love for storytelling landed her in the field of Marketing and Public Relations where she has worked in startups for nearly a decade managing teams, leading strategic (internal and external) communications, developing brand strategy and elevating executive team members into thought leaders.

    Prior to joining SOA as director of public relations, Haley led communications for multiple political campaigns and directed corporate communication for various startups in a wide variety of industries including telecommunications and consumer packaged goods. After graduating from Regis University with a BA in English she moved from Colorado back home to Long Beach, California where she currently resides with her husband and dog.

    Read MoreLess
  • ezgif.com-webp-to-jpg-5

    Ron Tardiff

    PROGRAM ASSOCIATE

    Over the past 7 years, Ron has conducted research, developed strategy, managed projects, and supported outreach for 11 organizations on issues ranging from fisheries governance to marine education.

    Ron is committed to translating science to policy and working collaboratively to improve governance and management of fisheries and aquaculture. Ron holds a BSc in Marine Science, a BA in Maritime studies, and an MSc in Aquaculture. Ron has lived, worked, and studied in 9 countries.

    Read MoreLess
  • Emily Tewes

    Emily Tewes

    COMMUNITY MANAGER

    Emily is a Marine Ecologist and Ocean Conservationist with six years of federal government experience focusing on fisheries biology, climate change, science education, and international program management. During her time at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), she helped build new research partnerships and foster existing ones with colleagues in Japan, Indonesia, Korea, and the Caribbean. 

    As a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, she worked with NOAA leadership to respond to the agency's tasks under President Obama's Climate Action Plan. She highly values interdisciplinary collaboration and working across cultures, and geeks out over innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

     

    She holds a M.S. in Marine Estuarine Environmental Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and a B.S. in Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Science from the University of Missouri. She is also an avid scuba diver, bird watcher, swimmer, and yoga practitioner. She is currently based in Barcelona, Spain.

    Read MoreLess
  • ezgif.com-webp-to-png

    Ben Lesage

    GLOBAL COORDINATOR

    Benjamin Lesage is passionate about the ocean and is an expert in technology and innovation. He has been an active startups’ mentor at SOA since 2018.

    Prior to joining SOA full-time, Ben worked for the innovation studio of BNP Paribas in San Francisco. In this tenure, he would provide advisory services to the Bank and large European corporations on their open innovation and startups engagement strategies.

     

    He is the author of the first study dedicated to Ocean Technology startups, and was invited to share his work in various media and events such as Hello Tomorrow and La Mer XXL. Benjamin lived for more than 10 years in Canada and in the US and is knowledgeable about both North American and European business ecosystems. Benjamin enjoys spending his free time sailing and surfing.

    Read MoreLess
  • Jennifer Lee

    Jennifer Lee

    CHIEF OF STAFF

    Jennifer’s passion for sustainable practices and environmental impact have led her to pivot her career from the world of fashion media to non-profit. While in New York, Jennifer worked with affluent publications leading campaign initiatives and covering news about corporate social responsibility practices for luxury brands.

    She brings her global experience in Marketing, Media Relations, and Organizational Processes to SOA.

     

    Jennifer’s relocation to San Francisco has allowed her to enjoy the proximity of the Pacific Ocean and the SF Bay, where she participates in beach clean ups with Surfrider Foundation.

    Read MoreLess
  • Martha Cavazos Headshot-1

    Martha Cavazos

    Accelerator Program Manager

    She manages SOA's Oceans Solutions Accelerator, accelerating solutions of global entrepreneurs and organizers to heal the oceans and create a more sustainable future for our planet. In a collaborative team, she leads on designing the virtual four-week program, network development, mentorship program and ongoing, global community engagement.

    She creates community by designing and facilitating virtual+in-person experiences, online learning and digital connection for leaders across a range of ages, backgrounds and sectors with a focus on leadership development and reflective practice. She harnesses her passions for relationship development and community engagement to foster global networks of change-makers. She believes in the power of stories and ideas to transform both individuals and communities to greater impact and is eager to step into roles and projects that ignite this power so that we can create a more just world together. 

    Read MoreLess
  • Andi Cross Explorers Club Photo

    Andi Cross

    Director of Strategy

    Originally from Philadelphia, spending most of her career split between New York and Washington DC, and now residing in Australia, Andi Cross has a background in venture, design, growth, digital, strategy, marketing, brand and communications.

    She's held roles at both large-scale and startup organizations—helping enterprise businesses differentiate and evolve, in addition to building companies from the ground up. In her role at SOA, she has a hand in shaping the overall business, brand, amplification and growth strategies alongside the team.

     

    Today, Andi continues to collaborate with established venture capitalists and startup studios in both America and Australia, developing and executing holistic digital, marketing and brand strategies for early-stage startups. As a passionate ocean lover and advocate, she uses her strategic expertise from her time in corporate and startup to bring ocean conservation to the forefront. 

    Read MoreLess
  • Shannon Cosentino-Rousch

    Shannon Cosentino-Rousch

    HEAD OF GLOBAL POLICY AND CAMPAIGNS

    Shannon has a wealth of international ocean policy expertise; from DC to Italy, Africa, and Singapore, Shannon specializes in working at the intersection of high level policy, programs, and field level implementation.

    She has worked with governments, communities, non-profits, academia, and the private sector. She is passionate about catalyzing innovation and collaboration to drive sustainability and impact, building a bridge between people and the environment.

    Read MoreLess

Regional Representatives

Regional Leaders of the SOA Global Community

  • Daniel Cáceres Bartra

    Daniel Cáceres Bartra

    Regional Representative for Hispanoamérica

    Daniel currently attends the Scientific University of the South, where he studies Marine Biology. 

    He has worked with Nature and Culture International as a researcher looking into the locations and zoning of natural and artificial reefs of Punta Sal, Tumbes, Peru.

    Read MoreLess
  • Komal Kumar

    Komal Kumar

    Regional Representative for Oceania

    Komal is a recognized Youth Climate Activist focusing in the area of Climate Change since 2016. She has actively participated in many successful events, few of these include COP23, COY13, Global Landscapes Forum 2019, UN Youth Climate Action Summit as a Green Ticket Recipient, COP25 and COY15. 

    She has recently joined the Sustainable Oceans Alliance as the Pacific Island Representative. The main objective of her role is to increase the presence of SOA in the Pacific and provide an engaging platform for youths from the Pacific to engage more effectively in the Oceans space both regionally and internationally. As a Green Ticket recipient to the Youth Climate Action Summit in New York on 21 September 2019, she was part of the opening plenary, sharing the stage with United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Antonio Guterres and leading youth activist, Greta Thunberg, where she represented Fiji and the Pacific and YOUNGO.

    Read MoreLess
  • eugenia-1

    Eugenia Barroca

    Regional Representative for Portuguese-Speaking Countries

    Eugenia has a degree in Marine Biology from the University of Algarve, Portugal, which was completed with a final project based on marine debris’ abundances in three Portuguese beaches. 

    Over the past 10 years, Eugenia had an active role in several environmental volunteering projects, from national to international organizations. With a core focus on science communication, she had organized community events such as beach cleanups, informative talks, screenings, debates and art exhibitions in order to involve different elements of our society in the ocean revolution that our planet is asking for. Eugenia was the Portuguese Delegate at Youth Advisory Council from World Oceans Day (2016-2018). Now she also works as an All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador with the support of Ciência Viva.

    Read MoreLess
  • Perise Photo

    Forbi Perise

    Regional Representative for Africa

    Forbi Perise is an environmental science student at the University of Buea, Cameroon. He is a passionate youth leader and currently the President of the Environmental Science Student Association at his School. His work is centered around connecting, motivating and influencing other youths to care about the ocean and the planet just as he does.

    His  passion for the environment started out with a love of the natural world and evolved in an elaborate network of beliefs about the importance of environmental protection and of reversing some of the harm that we humans had done to the Earth. Perise has led several community projects, and is plastic pollution Activist   He is popularly known as the “plastic man" due to his efforts to raise awareness on the issue of plastic pollution.  He acknowledges that youth can bring remarkable change to their community if they are given opportunity and can  work together. It is his  aim to share his passion with others in his community and in the continent of Africa. 

    Read MoreLess
  • Rafid Shidqi

    Rafid Shidqi

    Regional Representative for Southeast Asia

    Rafid is an M.S. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in the Coastal Science and Policy Graduate Program. He is also currently leading Thresher Shark Project Indonesia, an Indonesian-led conservation initiative to protect endangered thresher shark populations through ecological studies, socio-economic research and community outreach.

    His current research will use acoustic research to inform conservation of pelagic thresher shark in Alor Island, Indonesia. 

    Read MoreLess
  • Mark Haver

    Mark Haver

    CHAIR, YOUTH POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

    Mark has interned at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Office of Protected Resources as a Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Communications Specialist, and was selected as a NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholar. 

    Last year, Mark interned with NOAA at the the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument where he composed a science review on translocation as a conservation tool for species threatened by climate change. He is an active Ocean Leader with Sustainable Ocean Alliance, which has taken him to Malta, Alaska, and Norway. He holds executive leadership positions with College Democrats of America and Florida College Democrats.

    Read MoreLess

Advisors

  • Cristina Mittermeier

    Cristina Mittermeier

    Co-Founder, SeaLegacy

    Cristina Mittermeier is the marine biologist and activist who pioneered the concept and field of conservation photography. Mittermeier founded the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) in 2005 to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues.

    In 2014, Mittermeier co-founded SeaLegacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean. SeaLegacy harnesses the power of communications technology to educate and inform the world about the incredible beauty of the ocean, and all of the challenges that it faces in the wake of the climate crisis.

     

    In 2020, on the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, Mittermeier announced the most ambitious project of her career: Only One, a new collective of organizations that uses digital technology and visual storytelling to catalyze lasting cultural change, with the ultimate goal of conserving the world's oceans from now into perpetuity.

     

    Mittermeier is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and was named one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year in 2018. She is also the recipient of many awards, including the Mission Award from the North American Nature Photography Association, the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award, and the Imaging Award for Photographers Who Give Back. (Photo: Anna Heupel)

    Read MoreLess
  • IMG_8387

    Ryan Lindolm

    STRATEGY

    Ryan Lindholm (RL) is the founder and managing director at FARM LEAGUE driving strategic initiatives and business design. Always solution oriented and willing to jump in there is no problem too large or small for brands and agencies. As a trusted business partner he brings to the equation a wide range of experiences that challenge marketing and creative initiatives to best maximize impact. 

    RL has helped brands like Nike, Google, Coors, Clif Bar, Nature’s Path, Intel, Brita and Dr. Scholl’s pushing organizations to new heights in an effort to maximize their potential. He cut his teeth in the ad world as a strategist working with agencies including TBWA Chiat Day, JWT, BBD, HAVAS, Razorfish, AKQA and Mcgarrybowen to his client experience at Nike, Clif Bar and Nature’s Path. 

    Prior to Farm League, RL was the President of McgarryBowen to pioneering creative and innovation at Nike through leading the Explore Team, Digital and Sustainable design practices. These efforts ranged from the launch of Nike training club and the implementation of the NYC store to advising Nike’s sustainable practice. Today’s RL expands on his passion for sustainability through all facets of his life personally and professionally. 

    A New York native who fell in love with California and mountain life, RL now lives with his partner in Marin, CA.

    Read MoreLess
  • JDI-Logo-Slate-1

    Jones Dilworth

    MARKETING

    JDI is a boutique marketing consultancy that brings emerging technology and science-driven companies to market.