CSIS Names Whitley Saumweber as Director of Stephenson Ocean Security Project
October 1, 2018
WASHINGTON, October 1, 2018: The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that Whitley J. Saumweber, Ph.D., has been named director of the Stephenson Ocean Security (SOS) project.
“We are delighted to have Whit join us as part of this important new project,” said John J. Hamre, president and CEO of CSIS. “Geopolitics does not stop at the water’s edge, and we are looking forward to Whit’s leadership and experience bringing increased focus to issues at the nexus of ocean health and global security.”
Dr. Saumweber has extensive experience across two decades of work in ocean science and public policy. He was most recently a consultant and visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Ocean Solutions.
Dr. Saumweber served in a number of influential posts in the Obama administration, including as the Associate Director for Oceans and Coasts at the White House Council on Environment Quality. There he led the development and implementation of landmark achievements in marine stewardship including the designation of three marine national monuments and the Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area and establishing the first ever U.S. seafood traceability program to combat illegal fishing. He also oversaw U.S. National Ocean and Arctic policies on behalf of the White House and helped secure a partnership with Canada to conserve the Arctic continental shelf and support maritime security in the face of a thawing Arctic. He has previously served as an advisor to the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI) and two Administrators of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In addition to his policy work, Dr. Saumweber also has extensive research cruise experience in both the Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. He received his Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and his B.A. in biology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
About the project
The SOS project is a new CSIS program that aims to examine the links between ocean health and global security while proposing policy solutions that support sustainable development and reduce conflict. The project will highlight the ways in which a changing environment interacts with changes in geopolitics with an initial focus on illegal fishing in the Pacific and the impact of a thawing Arctic on the competition for marine resources. The SOS project is made possible by a generous donation from the Philip Stephenson Foundation.