Featuring Sylvia Earle, marine biologist, explorer, and author; Julie Packard, founding executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium; and Kristina M. Gjerde J.D., Senior High Seas Advisor to IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme in conversation with Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs at the Aspen Institute.
Sylvia Earle is explorer in residence at the National Geographic Society, founder of Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance, founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, advisory council chair for Harte Research Institute, and former chief scientist of NOAA. Author of more than 200 publications and leader of more than 100 expeditions with 7,000 hours underwater, Earle has more than 100 national and international honors. She is TIME magazine’s first Hero for the Planet, a Library of Congress Living Legend, and recipient of the Netherlands’ Order of the Golden Ark, UNEP Champion of the Earth, Glamour Magazine’s 2014 Woman of the Year, and Royal Geographic Society 2011 Patrons Medal, among others.
Kristina M. Gjerde J.D. is the Senior High Seas Advisor to IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme and adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. Kristina received her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law with a focus on comparative and international law. For almost 30 years, Kristina has worked on the progressive development of public international law relating to the marine environment, with a growing focus since 2003 on the high seas and international seabed Area. In addition to leading IUCN’s delegation at numerous international ocean meetings, Kristina sits on the board of several scientific initiatives and has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications.
Julie Packard is founding executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Based on a lifelong passion for science and nature, she has led the Aquarium to become a global force for ocean conservation. She chairs the board of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, a global leader in deep ocean science and technology and she is deeply engaged in ocean conservation strategies through her work as a trustee of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. Julie served as a member of the Pew Oceans Commission which published a blueprint for improving governance of America’s ocean waters, and more recently served on the California Parks Forward Commission to develop a sustainable path for California’s state parks. Julie holds a master’s degree in biology with a focus in marine algal ecology.
Elliot Gerson is an executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, responsible for its Policy Programs, its Public Programs and its relations with its international partners. The Institute’s more than 30 Policy Programs focus on both domestic and international issues. They provide neutral venues, do nonpartisan analysis, foster candid dialogue among leaders, advocate new policy and promote best practices. The Institute’s public programs – including the Aspen Ideas Festival and many smaller programs across the country and world – open the Institute’s doors to a broader audience and further both its educational goals and its hopes that thought will lead to action. The Institute has international partners in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Spain, and Ukraine. Gerson also administers the US Rhodes Scholarships. He was a Rhodes Scholar, a US Supreme Court clerk, practiced law in government and privately, held executive positions in state and federal government and on a presidential campaign, and was president of start-ups in health care and education, and of two leading national insurance and health-care companies. He has served on many non-profit boards, especially in the arts.
The Morris Series is made possible by a generous donation from Aspen Institute Trustee Diane L. Morris. This Series brings the mission and work of the Institute to an invited group of supporters, friends, and new audiences in the San Francisco area. The Series addresses innovation and technology with an underlying theme of leadership based on enduring values and nonpartisan exchange.