Board of Directors

Twelve people, in addition to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, will serve as Directors on the new Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will represent diverse points of view relating to the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris.

Solicitation of Nominations for the Marine Debris Foundation Board of Directors

The Foundation is seeking expertise in the following categories:

  • the assessment, prevention, reduction, or removal of marine debris, which may include an individual with expertise in post-consumer materials management or a circular economy;
  • the assessment, prevention, reduction, or removal of marine debris outside the United States;
  • ocean and coastal resource conservation science or policy;
  • international perspectives on marine debris including expertise in trade agreements, treaties, or foreign policy; and
  • experience or skills related to fundraising and nonprofit management.

The Foundation’s success will benefit greatly from a diverse membership on its Board of Directors that includes people with different experiences and expertise who can challenge each other’s assumptions. NOAA encourages candidates representing diverse perspectives from different genders, cultures, educational backgrounds, career stages, geographies, sectors, and other factors.

In response to continued interest from potential nominees, NOAA has reopened the solicitation of nominations to serve on the Board of Directors of the new Marine Debris Foundation. Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague to serve on the Board of Directors after reviewing the responsibilities and criteria listed below and submitting a complete nomination package by 11:59 p.m. EDT on August 27, 2021.

For more information or questions, please visit https://marinedebris.noaa.gov/who-we-are/marine-debris-foundation or contact Caitlin Wessel (caitlin.wessel@noaa.gov). Nomination packages should be emailed (preferred) to marinedebris.foundation@noaa.gov with the subject line “Marine Debris Foundation Nomination” or mailed to Caitlin Wessel, Marine Debris Foundation Nomination c/o NOAA Disaster Response Center, 7344 Ziegler Blvd., Mobile, AL 36608.

Major Responsibilities of the Board of Directors

  • Appoint officers and employees; adopt a constitution and bylaws consistent with the purposes of the Foundation and the provisions of the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act; and undertake such other acts as may be necessary to complete the organization of the Foundation.
  • Prepare for, attend, and participate in Board meetings at least once a year.
  • Ensure effective organizational planning, including a business plan and other governing documents, to ensure effective governance of the Foundation.
  • Encourage, accept, and administer private gifts of property to ensure adequate resources to conduct the business of the Foundation.
  • Actively participate in fundraising, identify prospective donors, and support the fundraising program.
  • Manage resources effectively to support the purposes of the Foundation.
  • Maintain the annual budget.
  • Fulfill all responsibilities of the Board as provided in the SOS 2.0 Act.
  • Hire and evaluate annually a chief operating officer who shall be knowledgeable and experienced in matters relating to the assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris..
  • Sign an annual conflict of interest disclosure.
  • Provide a report at the end of each fiscal year to Congress required under the SOS 2.0 Act.

Selection Criteria

Required Criteria:

The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere shall appoint 12 Directors who meet the criteria established by the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act (Pub. L. 116-224), of whom—

  • at least four shall be educated or experienced in the assessment, prevention, reduction, or removal of marine debris, which may include an individual with expertise in post-consumer materials management or a circular economy;
  • at least two shall be educated or experienced in the assessment, prevention, reduction, or removal of marine debris outside the United States;
  • at least two shall be educated or experienced in ocean and coastal resource conservation science or policy; and
  • at least two shall be educated or experienced in international trade or foreign policy.

Nominees must be United States citizens.

Additional Criteria:

NOAA also seeks nominees with one or more of the following areas of expertise:

  • Fundraising
  • Finance
  • Accounting
  • Non-profit or foundation law
  • Human resources
  • Management
  • Research
  • Politics

Nominees should demonstrate one or more of the following competencies:

  • Strategic leadership
  • Vision and mission development
  • Networking
  • Governance
  • Communication
  • Public relations
  • Marketing
  • Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Understanding community needs

NOAA seeks nominees representing diverse experiences, including gender, culture, education, career stage, geography, sector, and other considerations, in alignment with Department of Commerce equal opportunity policies (DAO 215-3). Candidates should be willing to contribute to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive Board of Directors. All nominations will be fully considered, and qualified candidates need to be aware of the specific representation sought as outlined in the required criteria.

Term Length and Additional Restrictions

The initial Board of Directors will be appointed with staggered term lengths. Four Directors will be appointed for a term of six years; four Directors will be appointed for a term of four years; and four Directors will be appointed for a term of two years.

Directors shall serve without pay, but may be reimbursed for the actual and necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred by them in the performance of the duties to the Foundation.

Appointment as a Director of the Foundation shall not constitute employment by, or the holding of an office of, the United States for the purpose of any Federal law.