Jennifer is a passionate advocate for environmental conservation and is a life-long ocean lover with degrees in oceanography and biology from the University of Michigan. She has focused on coastal and marine conservation and restoration my entire career. After graduating from the University of Delaware with a Masters in Marine Policy, she worked on Chesapeake Bay habitat conservation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. From there, she honed her skills in coastal and marine habitat restoration at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Restoration Center. She became director of NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program in 2015, creating an ambitious vision and strategic plan for coral conservation and management efforts at NOAA. She also holds key national and international positions as the Steering Committee Co-Chair of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, Co-Chair of the International Coral Reef Initiative and Vice-Chair of the Coral R&D Accelerator Program, which is an outcome of the G-20. She is a graduate of NOAA’s Leadership Competencies Development Program and have legislative experience serving two years in Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s (D-HI) Office.
The Coral Reef Conservation Program funds and equips conservation activities in American Samoa, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Florida, Guam, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Pacific Remote Islands Area, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and internationally, including the Coral Triangle, Micronesia, South Pacific, and wider Caribbean. Fostering greater partnerships across regional, national, and international levels is critical for the success of the program. Their mission is to support effective management and sound science to preserve, sustain, and restore valuable coral reef ecosystems for future generations.