“I am honored to be appointed as the first president of Ocean Leadership,” said Bob Gagosian. “This new consortium brings exciting new opportunities. I am looking forward to working with the ocean community to fulfill our education and research missions.”
Previously, Gagosian directed the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) from 1993 to 2006 there he created cross-disciplinary Ocean Institutes; oversaw the redevelopment of the Quissett campus and the construction of new laboratories; launched the Tioga research vessel; secured funding to replace the Alvin research submarine; and raised $150 million for the Institution’s capital campaign.
The selection of the President was made by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees, based on the recommendations of a search committee that included nine representatives from Ocean Leadership member institutions. The appointment was ratified by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees.
Eric Barron, Chairperson of Ocean Leadership Board of Trustees and Dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas said, “Bob Gagosian is the right man at a critical time for this influential organization. The public and our elected officials are clamoring for solutions to a variety of environmental problems including climate change, failing fisheries, and red tides. Bob will help our community face these challenges in terms of funding, facilities, and developing our next generation of scientists.”
Gagosian holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Columbia University. His scientific interests are in the area of marine geochemistry, with emphasis on the fate and transport of organic material to the ocean via the atmosphere and through the water column to the sea floor. Gagosian joined WHOI in 1972 as an assistant scientist and eventually chaired the chemistry department, became director of research, and then senior associate director. He has written or co-written 85 scientific papers and several technical reports.
“Bob brings a wealth of experience as a scientist, administrator and a strategic thinker. He has the knowledge, vision and passion needed to lead our community and convey to Congress, the Administration and the public the importance of the oceans to our planet’s survival,” said Shirley Pomponi, Ocean Leadership Board Vice-Chair and President of Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution.
Ocean Leadership is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that represents 95 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. The organization also manages ocean research and education programs in areas of scientific ocean drilling, ocean observing, ocean exploration, and ocean partnerships.
Gagosian will officially assume the office December 1, 2007.