Board of Trustees

Jim Hnat

Chair

Julian Myers-Benton

Vice Chair

Holt Thrasher

Treasurer

Don Baur

Secretary

Barbara Birdsey

Anna Chavez

Dr. Steve Gaines

Heather Ludemann

Mark McDade

Hon. Toby Moffett

Robert Nabors

Dawn Rodney

John Rudolf

Lynn Scarlett

Close X

Jim Hnat

Chair

Jim Hnat is a certified diver, surfer and frequent traveler to ‎oceanic destinations. He former served as JetBlue’s executive vice president and general counsel, responsible for legal, government affairs, compliance and sustainability at the New York-based airline. Prior to JetBlue he served as an attorney at the New York office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy, LLC. Jim received a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Boston University and his law degree from Notre Dame Law School.

Close X

Julian Myers-Benton

Vice Chair

Close X

Holt Thrasher

Treasurer

Holt has more than 35 years’ experience in investment banking, operating management and consulting. He also brings to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation two decades’ work in leadership roles for not-for-profit environmental and conservation groups.

Holt is currently Founder and CEO of Synovia Capital, focused on investing in the ecosystem management and data analytics sector. In 2002, he founded and served as Managing Partner of Mooreland Partners, an information technology sector focused investment bank. Holt previously was a partner at Broadview Holdings, a global merger and acquisition advisory and investment firm. He was also a vice president at Smith Barney, Harris, Upham & Co. and associate with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.

In addition to his National Marine Sanctuary Foundation role, Holt is a member of the President’s Council of CERES, a sustainability focused non-profit. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the National Audubon Society and has been an active conservationist and nature enthusiast for more than 20 years. In 2001, he was a founding member and Chair of the Board of Audubon Connecticut. He joined the National Board five years later and was named Chair in 2008. His leadership played a critical role in advancing Audubon’s legislative, educational and conservation operations; guiding it to re-establish its science based mission to conserve birds and their habitats; and strengthening Audubon’s place as one of the nation’s foremost environmental organizations.

Holt has a B.A. from Colby College and an M.B.A. from the International Institute of Management Development, Switzerland.

Close X

Don Baur

Secretary

Don Baur is currently a partner at Perkins Coie in the Environment, Energy and Resources practice. In that role, he provides federal policy-level and project-specific counseling as well as legislative and litigation assistance in a wide range of environmental and natural resources areas. He has been involved in marine protected area, ocean species conservation and offshore energy development issues in both U.S. and international waters. Mr. Baur previously was an attorney in the Office of the Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior and General Counsel of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission before joining Perkins Coie in 1987.

A frequent speaker, instructor and author on environmental and natural resources legal topics, he is lead editor and author of the American Bar Association’s books The Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspectives and Ocean and Coastal Law and Policy. Mr. Baur serves on the Environmental Law Institute Leadership Council and has been on the faculty of the Environmental Law Center, Vermont Law School since 1998.

He received a B.A. from Trinity College and J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Close X

Barbara Birdsey

Close X

Anna Chavez

Close X

Dr. Steve Gaines

Dr. Steve Gaines serves as Dean of the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). There, he teaches Marine Science and Sustainable Fisheries and conducts research focused on marine ecology and conservation, sustainable fisheries, the design of marine reserves and the impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems.

He previously served as Acting Dean of Science, Acting Vice Chancellor for Research and Director of the UCSB Marine Science Institute. Dr. Gaines also currently serves as a principal investigator for the Sustainable Fisheries Group, which seeks scalable solutions for the world’s fisheries through partnerships among UCSB researchers, industry leaders, NGOs and governments.

From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Gaines held a prestigious Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship. He is the recipient of the inaugural “Marc J. Hershman Excellence in Mentoring Award” from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative and the 2014 “Peter Benchley Ocean Award” for contributions in ocean science. In 2008, a paper he co-authored on the innovative “catch shares” management strategy, which can reverse fisheries’ collapse, was designated “top research highlight for the year” by the scholarly journal Nature.

Dr. Gaines received a B.S. from the University of California Irvine and Ph.D. in Ecology from Oregon State University.

Close X

Heather Ludemann

Close X

Mark McDade

Mark McDade is Managing Partner of the Qiming US Healthcare Fund, a venture capital firm based in Seattle and formed in January 2017. Prior to Qiming, from April 2008, Mr. McDade was EVP and Chief Operating Officer at UCB S.A., a Belgian biopharmaceutical company, until his retirement from UCB in October 2016. From 2002 to 2007, Mr. McDade served as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of PDL BioPharma, Inc., a biotechnology company. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. McDade was Chief Executive Officer of Signature BioScience, Inc., a drug discovery company. From 1994 to 2000, Mr. McDade served as Chief Operating Officer and a director of Corixa Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company he co-founded. Prior to Corixa, Mr. McDade held various roles at Boehringer Mannheim and previously Sandoz (now part of Novartis). Mr. McDade serves on the board of directors of Dermira, Inc. (DERM-nasdaq), a biopharmaceutical company, and chairs the board of Aimmune Therapeutics (AIMT-nasdaq). Mr. McDade received a B.A. in History from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. He lives in Seattle with his wife Kristina and enjoys kayaking and skiing in the Pacific northwest, and has two daughters residing in the Seattle area.

Close X

Hon. Toby Moffett

Since 2014, Toby Moffett has been senior advisor in the Washington, D.C. office of law firm Mayer Brown and co-leads its interaction with governments, both in the U.S. and globally.

He previously served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives (D-CT). His work in Congress included chairing the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee. During his chairmanship tenure, he led national investigations into nuclear power plant safety, groundwater contamination and drafted and enacted the conservation title to an omnibus energy bill.

Mr. Moffett’s previous firm, The Moffett Group, represented the governments of Angola, Morocco, Kenya, Malawi and the Republic of the Congo; Virgin Nigeria Airways; the South African Wine Industry Trust; and TP Mazembe, the soccer club of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the U.S., his company represented Caithness Energy, the developers of the country’s largest wind project, and a number of other developers of wind, solar and hydropower assets. He also was a vice president at The Monsanto Company where he helped create private non-profit partnerships in microfinance.

For five years, Mr. Moffett was one of the leaders of the coalition that helped win passage of the James L. Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, bringing health benefits to workers from the Ground Zero site and indemnity to the contractors who did heroic work immediately following the tragedy. He was also a member of the Board of Friends of the Earth and the Chairman’s Council at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Mr. Moffett has a B.A. from Syracuse University and M.A. from Boston College.

Close X

Robert Nabors

Close X

Dawn Rodney

Dawn Rodney joined the National Wildlife Federation in 2018 as the Vice President for Innovation and Chief Marketing Officer. Dawn has a wealth of experience and proven track record in building businesses and engaging people around the world for iconic brands. Rodney is responsible for developing additional revenue streams fueling the conservation and educational programs, as well as advocacy work of the National Wildlife Federation.

She previously served as senior vice president of marketing and brand at the National Geographic Society. During her tenure, Rodney led the global brand and unified the vision, messaging,
and expression of it across the world. She orchestrated campaigns reaching more than three billion people across social and digital platforms, and transformed the marketing strategies
for enterprise-wide content initiatives driving significant revenue and growth. Rodney also launched the National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo WILD.

Dawn also worked at the Discovery Networks, including Animal Planet, leading branding initiatives and on-air strategy as well as producing campaigns for its highest priority programming.
Rodney has received many awards for her work including an Emmy for the “Next Generation of Explorers” campaign and a 2018 Webby for Best Homepage.

Close X

John Rudolf

Close X

Lynn Scarlett

Former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Lynn Scarlett is Co-Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy and Global Climate Strategy Lead. In these roles, Scarlett directs all policy in the United States and the 70 countries in which TNC operates. Scarlett also served at Interior as the Acting Secretary of the Interior in 2006. While Interior’s Deputy Secretary, Scarlett initiated and chaired the Department’s Cooperative Conservation Working Group and its first-ever Climate Change Task Force. She is author or co-author of publications on climate change adaptation; ecosystem services; large landscape conservation; and science and decision making. She chairs the Science Advisory Board of NOAA, recently co-chaired the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives Council established in 2014 by the U.S. Department of the Interior and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences Sustainability Roundtable. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she also completed her Ph.D. coursework and exams in political science and political economy.