Who's who

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PHILIPPE COUSTEAU

Philippe is a multi Emmy-nominated TV host, author, speaker, and social entrepreneur. He has hosted numerous TV programs for Discovery, BBC, CNN, Travel Channel and more. Currently he is the host of the syndicated television show Xploration Awesome Planet, now in its sixth season.

He and his wife Ashlan are producers and narrators of a new Virtual Reality ocean exploration experience Drop in the Ocean that premiered at Tribeca Immersive in 2019.

Recently, Philippe was the co-star of Travel Channel’s award-winning series, Caribbean Pirate Treasure for three seasons. His documentary, Nuclear Sharks, for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week 2016, premiered as the #1 rated show across all cable programming.

He is an award-winning author of several books; Follow the Moon Home, Going Blue, and Make a Splash. His new book series The Endangereds launches on HarperCollins in the fall of 2020. Philippe is a sought-after speaker having keynoted events for the United Nations, Harvard University, USC, the Society of Environmental Journalists and many more. In 2004 he founded EarthEcho International; a leading environmental education organization dedicated to inspiring youth to take action for a sustainable planet.

With programs in North America, the Galapagos, Caribbean, Australia and Europe – in 2019 EarthEcho directly engaged over 200,000 youth in their communities to become environmental champions.

Philippe and his wife, fellow explorer and TV host Ashlan Gorse-Cousteau reside in Los Angeles, California with their daughter Vivienne and rescue dog Kenai.


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Sylvia Earle

Society Explorer in Residence, and is called Her Deepness by the New Yorker and the New York Times, Living Legend by the Library ofCongress, and first Hero for the Planet by Time Magazine. She is an oceanographer, explorer, author and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for several corporate and non-profit organizations.

Earle has led more than 50 expeditions and clocked more than 7,000 hours underwater. As captain of the first all-female team to live underwater in 1970, she and her fellow scientists received a ticker-tape parade and White House reception upon their return to the surface. In 1979, she walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other woman before or since. In the 1980s, she started the companies Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies with engineer Graham Hawkes to design undersea vehicles that allow scientists to work at previously inaccessible depths. In the early 1990s, she served as Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.


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Slava Fetisov

Viacheslav Alexandrovich “Slava” Fetisov is a retired professional ice hockey defenseman and coach who earned two Stanley Cups during his time as a player and one as coach with the NHL. He also earned two Olympic gold medals, one silver and one bronze during his hockey career as both a player for the Soviet national team and as manager for the Russian national team. Slava is a currently an acting member of the State Duma of Russia—one of the two bodies that make up the Russian Federal Assembly. After the 2002 Winter Olympics, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered him the position as Minister of Sport, a post he held until 2008. Fetisov has become passionate about polar conservation and was a formidable advocate on behalf of the Ross Sea within Russia with a commitment to work for long-term protections through a network of marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean.


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José María Figueres

José María Figueres is the co-Founder of Ocean Unite. Mr Figueres was the President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998, under a one-term constitutional mandate. Since leaving government, Mr Figueres has served as the Co-Chair of the Global Ocean Commission. And on numerous other boards. He was chairman of LEAD (Leadership for Environment and Development) as well as the small business agency FUNDES Internacional. In 2000, he was appointed Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, and served as the organisation’s first Chief Executive between 2003 and 2004. He has also been a Director of the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Stockholm Environment Institute, WWF, and served as the President of the Carbon War Room.


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Amaro Gomez

Amaro is a Chilean-Spanish journalist, known as a presenter and reporter for the national television news program of Chile, 24 Horas Central, from 2003 to 2015. In 2014, he was selected as one of the 100 most outstanding Spaniards in theworld and distinguished in the Palace of Viana of the Chancellery, in Madrid.

Amaro worked for CNN, which he joined in 1997 as a correspondent in Miami, after having worked as a freelancecollaborator in Santiago de Chile since 1995. He covered the wars in the Balkans, Afghanistan and the conflict in Iraq, among other journalistic milestones, such as the coverage of the long legal process that began with the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998. His interviews include British Prime Minister Tony Blair, United States President Bill Clinton, President of the Spanish Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the President of France Jacques Chirac, the Dalai Lama, the President of Chile Ricardo Lagos and his successor Michelle Bachelet. His last position at CNN was as chief correspondent for Europe, based in London.


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ASHLAN Gorse Cousteau

Journalist and Explorer Ashlan Gorse Cousteau travels the world in search of stories that captivate and inspire. As a host, speaker and filmmaker, Cousteau uses the power of entertainment to save the world.

Ashlan and her husband Philippe are producers and narrators of a new Virtual Reality ocean exploration experience Drop in the Ocean that premiered at Tribeca Immersive in 2019.

Recently, Ashlan was the co-star of Travel Channel’s award-winning series, Caribbean Pirate Treasure for three seasons. Her documentary, Nuclear Sharks, for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week 2016 premiered as the #1 rated show across all cable programming.

For over a decade, Ashlan worked as an on-camera correspondent and co-host for Emmy award winning entertainment shows E! News and Entertainment Tonight.

Cousteau’s endeavors go beyond the small screen. Ashlan traveled to Antarctica to be a headlining speaker at TedxScottBase. She has served as host for the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity and was selected by former Vice-President Al Gore to be the opening anchor for 24Hours of Reality. She is a voice for environmental issues on Capitol Hill through events, and briefings and serves on the National Council of WWF, and the advisory boards of Ocean Unite and the Environmental Media Association.

Ashlan graduated from the prestigious School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She, her husband, daughter and rescue dog Kenai, live in Los Angeles.


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Robert Hill

Robert Hill was a member of the Australian Senate from 1981 to 2006, representing South Australia.

Between 1996 and 2001 he served as Minister for the Environment and then Minister for Environment and Heritage, before being appointed Minister for Defence, a post that he held until his resignation in 2006. From 1996 to 2006 he was also the government’s Leader in the Senate.

After leaving parliament, Professor Hill became Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, a post that he held for threeyears. In 2010, he was appointed as Chancellor of Adelaide University. He is also Adjunct Professor in Sustainability with the United States Centre at the University of Sydney, and a board member of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. He chaired Low Carbon Australia for two years.

Professor Hill studied and practised law before entering politics. He was recently made a Companion of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his leadership in the fields of defence, environment and international relations.


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Pascal Lamy

Pascal Lamy holds an MBA from HEC (Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales), and also studied at Sciences Po, and Ecole Nationale d’Admistration. He began his career as a civil servant in the French Inspection générale des finances and in the Treasury. He subsequently became an advisor to the Finance Minister Jacques Delors, and then to Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy. In Brussels from 1984 to 1994, he was Head of Cabinet to the President of the European Commission, Jacques Delors, including the role of G7 Sherpa. In November 1994,he joined the team responsible for the rescue of Credit Lyonnais, and later became CEO of the bank, led at the time by Jean Peyrelevade. From 1999 to 2004 Pascal Lamy was EU Trade Commissioner in under Commission President Romano Prodi. Between 2005 and 2013 he was Director General of the WTO.


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Gesine Meißner

Since 2019 Gesine Meißner is an elected member of the Mission Board Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters. As member of the German section of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission she is engaged in preparing the UNESCO decade for Ocean Science 2021-2030. From 2009-2019 she worked as Member of European Parliament in different committees (transport, environment, fishery, research). In 2015 she founded the Intergroup SEARICA (seas, rivers, islands and coastal areas) with 90 MEPs from different political groups, countries and committees. As Chair of SEARICA she was responsible until 2019 for more than 50 events with over 5000 participants  from industry, science, NGOs and politics. She brought the G7 exhibition OceansPlasticLab to Brussels, accompanied by conferences about ocean pollution. In 2019 she initiated the first Ocean-Conference in Hemicycle in Brussels about “The future of the blue planet”, together with the Commissioners Karmenu Vella and Carlos Moedas. She was also appointed as Special Envoy of the President of the European Parliament on maritime policy.


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Geneviève Pons

Geneviève Pons was appointed Director of the European Office of Jacques Delors Institute on the 1st November 2017. She is an honorary Director of the European Commission (EC). She was in charge of environment and climate matters in Jacques Delors’ Cabinet during his last two mandates as President of the EC (1991-1995). She then held several management positions in the EC Industry department. She took part in the EC Impact Assessment board (2008-2010) before joining the Better Regulation Directorate (2010). She was appointed Director of the Legal Service of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in 2013 and Director of the European Office of WWF in June 2015. She holds a law degree from the Sorbonne, a diploma from Sciences-Po Paris and is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d’Administration (ENA).


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Lewis Pugh

Lewis Pugh is an endurance swimmer and the UN Patron of the Oceans. He pioneers swims in the most vulnerable ecosystems on Earth to campaign for their protection.

He was the first person to undertake a long-distance swim in every ocean of the world, and the first to swim across the North Pole. His unique method of advocacy, dubbed “Speedo diplomacy”, reaches millions worldwide, and gives a first-hand account of the beauty and the fragility of these precious ecosystems.

In 2015 Pugh swam in the Ross Sea off Antarctica to draw attention to the need to establish a network of MPAs in the region, and undertook considerable outreach efforts with key decision makers in Russia.

Pugh has been awarded South Africa’s highest honour, the Order of Ikhamanga (Gold Class).