Biography

Whitley Saumweber is a visiting fellow with Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions within the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. His work focuses on understanding and applying practical approaches for integrating marine science with pressing policy needs. Prior to Stanford, he served as associate director for ocean and coastal policy in the White House Council on Environmental Quality. In this capacity he led the development and implementation of President Obama’s agenda for marine conservation and stewardship. This agenda culminated in the establishment of multiple large marine conservation areas; the first U.S. seafood traceability program to combat Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing; significant advances in domestic sustainable fisheries policy; new partnerships with Canada and Arctic Indigenous peoples on marine stewardship in the face of climate change, including protections from oil and gas exploration; and the nation’s first regional ocean action plans under the National Ocean Policy. Previously, Saumweber served as a senior advisor to the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), worked in the U.S. Senate as an advisor to the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), oversaw a national coastal research and monitoring program at NOAA, and worked in environmental education and advocacy. Throughout his two decades of work in marine science and policy, Saumweber has remained a fierce advocate for the use of science, data, and innovation to guide the stewardship of our oceans and coasts. Saumweber holds a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island.