Our Team

We take the “Alliance” in our name seriously, knowing that we will only be successful with the partnership and hard work of other organizations, businesses, government agencies, and passionate individuals. The talented staff, board, and advisory team who help lead this coalition come from a variety of backgrounds and countries, yet share a common love for the ocean and dedication to saving coral reefs.

Michael WebsterDr. Michael Webster, Executive Director

Based in USA (California)

An expert in the fields of coral reef science and conservation management, Michael earned a Ph.D. in coral reef fish ecology from Oregon State University. After graduate school, Michael joined the Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) at Oregon State University, where he coordinated the scientific activities of a long-term ecosystem research and monitoring project focused on the ecology and oceanography of the California Current Ecosystem. Michael then joined the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, where he developed and managed a portfolio of grants focused on the conservation, management, and scientific understanding of Pacific salmon ecosystems. He has worked with leaders at a wide array of conservation organizations, management agencies, and universities to identify and meet funding needs while developing strategic plans to increase the long-term effectiveness of conservation initiatives. As the Executive Director, Michael has led CORAL to a new era with a greater scale, scope, and effectiveness of CORAL’s conservation programs, unprecedented levels of funding, and a revitalized organizational reputation and brand. Michael is a certified divemaster and has conducted coral reef field research in the Bahamas and Australia.

Christine ReyesChristine Reyes, Finance and Administration Director

Based in USA (California)

Christine has deep experience in the nonprofit and public accounting fields, including several years with international grant-making foundations. She finds joy and wonder in accounting and has chosen to specialize in the unique accounting structures of nonprofit organizations. Christine has trained program staff, board members, and advisory board members to read and interpret financial and organizational data. She has served as treasurer for a variety of community-based nonprofit boards, ranging from those promoting new music and watershed conservation, to those working to eliminate domestic violence and poverty. Christine earned her B.A. in Literature from the University of California Santa Cruz and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant.

jason_vasques_newJason Vasques, Conservation Programs Director

Based in USA (California)

Jason has fifteen years of field experience as a researcher and resource manager in diverse locations, including New Zealand, U.S. Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and California. He joined CORAL after six years on the California Marine Life Protection Act implementing a statewide network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Jason oversaw scientific advisory teams tasked with providing technical guidance and evaluating proposed regional MPA networks, and helped develop monitoring plans for these networks. Previously, Jason worked as a fisheries biologist in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he oversaw fisheries management, developed a seafloor habitat mapping program, and established ongoing collaborations with several U.S. federal and territorial partners. Jason also has experience as a freshwater fisheries biologist in California. Through these broad experiences, Jason has developed an ecosystems approach to resource management and conservation. An avid diver, he has logged more than 3,000 dives during his career. Jason manages CORAL’s field conservation programs.

Alice NgAlice Ng, Development Director

Based in USA (California)

Originally from NYC, Alice comes to CORAL with over 14 years of nonprofit experience and leadership. In 1999, she began at WildAid, working on their International Shark Campaign to combat the global shark crisis. As a founding member and Director of Animal Balance, she organized successful programs to sustainably reduce cat and dog populations through sterilization on the Galapagos Islands, and subsequently grew the organization where it now operates in 7 countries around the world. From there, Alice became the US Director for the Asia-based Animals Asia where she established and managed their North American operations. More recently, Alice served at Daraja Education Fund and oversaw all their fundraising initiatives. Alice is CORAL’s Development Director and in her spare time, you can find her either climbing the face of Yosemite’s El Capitan or out in the mountains on search and rescue missions.

Gwendolyn TornatoreGwendolyn Tornatore, Marketing and Communications Director

Based in USA (California)

Gwendolyn is a senior communications leader with more than 14 years of nonprofit and agency experience. She has developed and driven sophisticated communications and public relations campaigns for well-known brands such as Clif Bar & Company, General Motors, Nestlé, and Major League Baseball. However, the ones that have fed her passionate drive are The Marine Mammal Center, NatureBridge, and The San Francisco Zoo. Her eclectic background covers all aspects of corporate communications and public relations— from internal, external, and executive communications and messaging to content development, social media, crisis communications, and government relations. Her love for conservation and the environment continue to lead her back to the nonprofit world and at CORAL, she leads the organization’s national and international marketing and communication efforts. When Gwendolyn’s not at CORAL she’s exploring the mountain ranges with her family or on an outdoor adventure with her son.

Madhavi ColtonDr. Madhavi Colton, Associate Programs Director and Reefs Tomorrow Initiative Program Director

Based in USA (California)

After completing her M.Sc. in Marine Biology, Dr. Madhavi Colton bought a one-way ticket to Zanzibar. She spent a year travelling through Africa and Asia, eventually returning to her home country of Australia, where she earned a Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne. Through her work and studies, Madhavi has developed extensive experience linking science, resource management, conservation, and policy. She has worked closely with researchers, professionals, communities, and governments to create integrative collaborations that address key conservation needs. She has a diverse background that includes designing, implementing, and managing inter-disciplinary programs monitoring California’s network of marine protected areas (MPAs); building a philanthropy program for a technology company; facilitating team building activities for corporations, schools, and non-profits; and one memorable summer as a forensic ichthyologist. Trained as an ecologist, Madhavi’s research has involved spending lots of time underwater counting fishes, from nearshore fishes along the southeastern Australian coast, to rockfish populations along the California coast. She has the dubious distinction of being the world expert on Treefish, which—before you ask—do not live in trees. At CORAL, Madhavi leads programs aimed at making our conservation work as effective as possible.

Jenny MytonJenny Myton, Associate Programs Director

Based in Honduras

Jenny is an American-Honduran who has lived in Honduras her whole life. She currently resides on the island of Roatan, where she and her husband, Ian Drysdale, serve on the water board and for the local business association. Jenny has more than nine years of experience monitoring coral reef health and working on community-based resource conservation initiatives, including two years with the Bay Islands Environmental Management Program (funded by the Inter-American Development Bank). She has worked with Coral Cay Conservation, UNEP, Conservation International, and The Nature Conservancy, among others. Jenny and Ian founded and run Luna Environmental, an environmental consulting company, and have carried out environmental impact studies throughout Honduras. In addition to her work for CORAL, Jenny is currently completing a master’s degree course in sustainable development.

Sarah EminhizerSarah Eminhizer, Associate Programs Director

Based in USA (California)

Sarah developed a strong love of nature and particularly the ocean and coastal environment while growing up on California’s Central Coast and spending time at the beach. With more than 10 years of field experience as a consultant, researcher, and resource manager she has sought to conserve coastal and ocean resources across numerous locations including American Samoa, Australia, Fiji, St. Lucia, U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. West Coast. As a former consultant, she brings direct experience engaging stakeholders (communities, resource managers, nonprofits, funders, and government representatives) to strengthen conservation and resource management. Her expertise lies in organizational and management effectiveness; strategic planning; sustainable financing; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Sarah has been an Environmental Planner in American Samoa and supported collaborative efforts to reduce human impacts to territorial reefs. She holds a master’s degree in coastal environmental management from Duke University with a special focus on sustainable tourism development and a B.S. in Aquatic Biology from U.C. Santa Barbara. At CORAL, Sarah leads the Fiji program and initiatives designed to improve the efficacy of local management efforts.

Jos HillJos Hill, Associate Programs Director

Based in USA (California)

Originally from the UK, Jos discovered coral reefs in her gap year before university. After graduating, she gained experience in coral reef conservation in the Philippines and Thailand, before moving to Australia. There, she earned a Masters of Applied Science in Natural Resource Management at James Cook University. During her time living next to the Great Barrier Reef, she founded and led Reef Check Australia and worked on a variety of projects in the Asia-Pacific region to build local reef-monitoring capacity. Jos then earned her MBA in Sustainable Business from San Francisco’s Presidio Graduate School in 2011. Since moving to California, Jos has worked on a variety of market-based marine conservation initiatives including a loan program for sustainable seafood businesses and rights-based fishery management design at Environmental Defense Fund, and at Olazul, she led the design of sustainable ocean aquaculture livelihood projects in Indonesia and Mexico. Jos leads CORAL’s Hawai’i and Indonesia programs and brings her experience in developing collaborative projects that integrate science, behavioral economics, markets, and human-centered design.

Juliane Diamond, Conservation Grants Manager

Based in USA (California)

Juliane has worked in the environmental field for nearly 10 years in a wide range of positions. She has extensive field research and project experience. Juli joined CORAL in 2013 after finishing her master’s degree in International Nature Conservation from Lincoln University in New Zealand. She also holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and International Relations from the University of Miami in Florida. Juliane specializes in developing and improving conservation programs through the engagement of local communities and has conducted several social science research studies. She has spent time living in 10 different countries and has travelled to over 50. These varied experiences have provided her with valuable  insight into the social and biological diversity of life and helped garner her appreciation for the different ways nature and culture interact. She enjoys long-distance running, horseback riding, volunteering with conservation and community development initiatives, and providing foster care for rescued animals.

Wes CrileWes Crile, Program Manager

Based in USA (Hawai’i)

Wes has worked throughout his career to implement creative solutions to environmental and social problems. From helping coastal communities in Northern Nicaragua protect endangered sea turtles, to building sustainable tourism partnerships in Damaraland, Namibia, Wes has worked to find win-win solutions that meet the needs of people as well as the environment. He has worked with small-scale farmers in West Africa and Haiti, fishing communities in Latin America and the Caribbean, and large businesses and landowners in the U.S and South Africa. His work with CORAL focuses on the Ridge to Reef approach and seeks to address coral conservation by engaging with stakeholders throughout the watershed and marine environment. He is also a certified Dive Master and Coast Guard licensed Captain. Wes has a master’s degree in Natural Resources Management, and a B.A in Applied Social Sciences. Wes joined CORAL in January 2014.

Erica PerezErica Perez, Program Manager

Based in USA (Hawai’i)

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Erica has been immersed in nature all her life. She moved to Hawai‘i in 2001, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and minor in Conservation Biology from the University of Hawai’i Hilo. As a certified scientific diver Erica has worked with the Hawai‘i Division of Aquatic Resources and the Research Cooperation of the University of Hawai‘i conducting underwater surveys of West Hawai’i’s coral reef ecosystems. She then worked with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conducting fieldwork on juvenile salmon populations in Southern Oregon tributaries. For the past several years Erica has been involved in marine education and outreach in Hawai’i. Working with the Malama Kai Foundation she supported community based management projects. As the Expeditionary Learning Coordinator for The Kohala Center, Erica facilitated environmental leadership programs with partner universities, and place-based education projects with Hawai’i Department of Education K-12 schools. Erica joined CORAL in January 2014.

Marissa Stein, Communications Manager

Based in USA (California)

Marissa has nearly 10 years of experience in marketing and communications for nonprofits and a Master’s in Coastal Resource Management from the University of the West Indies in Barbados. After completing her undergraduate degree in International Studies and Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego, Marissa quickly realized her true passion was for tropical marine environments and connecting local communities with conservation efforts. An avid diver and traveler, Marissa has lived abroad in Italy, Ecuador, and Barbados. She is excited to have found her dream job, and strives to use her love of writing to make you feel as passionate about protecting coral reefs as she does.

Didi DulunaqioSirilo “Didi” Dulunaqio, Program Coordinator

Based in Fiji

Hailing from the village of Nadivakarua in the Kubulau District of Fiji, Didi worked closely with district chiefs and local communities to facilitate the creation of the Namena Marine Reserve in 1997. In 2001, CORAL funded a trip to the Bonaire Marine Park in the Dutch Caribbean, where Didi learned about marine protected areas and sustainable financing. In addition to being CORAL’s field representative in Fiji, Didi works for the Wildlife Conservation Society. Prior to joining CORAL, he spent several years working in the dive industry at Moody’s Namena and L’Aventure at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort. Didi helps the CORAL program staff implement conservation projects and works tirelessly to increase communication between the Kubulau Resource Management Committee, tour operators, and environmental organizations.

Pamela OrtegaPamela Ortega, Program Coordinator

Based in Honduras

Pamela was born and raised in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where she began hearing the call of the wild as a child during treks up the small mountain near her neighborhood. After studying environmental science (with an engineering specialty) at Catholic University of Honduras, Pamela went to work for Action Against Hunger in southern Honduras. She soon discovered her paradise, Utila, “a beautiful little island that few people on the mainland knew about,” and moved there to manage a resort. Pamela eventually went to work for the Bay Islands Conservation Association, specializing in protected area management and sea turtle conservation. A certified diver since 1998, Pamela recently earned her divemaster certification. She joined CORAL in July 2012.

Veronica NikenVeronica Niken Dewi, Program Coordinator

Based in Indonesia

Veronica joined CORAL in May 2013 after consulting for CORAL in Indonesia on a student drawing and writing competition about sharks. Veronica completed her studies in Environmental Engineering at the Institute of Environmental Engineering in Jogyakarta and is an expert on community mentoring and micro-finance. Prior to her work with CORAL, she worked on community micro-finance projects for CCIF and Reef Check Foundation Indonesia. She lives in Denpasar.

Jaya RathaI Made Jaya Ratha (“Jaya”), Program Coordinator

Based in Indonesia

Jaya comes to CORAL with extensive experience working with various stakeholders and communities to establish marine protected areas. He is a trained veterinarian experienced in marine conservation, specializing in sea turtles. He is also actively involved in data collection and rescue efforts for stranded marine mammals in Indonesia. Jaya completed his masters in environmental sciences at the Udayana University in Denpasar. Previously, through his position as the Karangasem MPA Coordinator for Conservation International, Jaya partnered with CORAL to create a network of locally managed marine protected areas in Bali. He currently lives in Bali, Indonesia.

Chana AneChana Ane, Program Coordinator

Based in USA (Hawai’i)

Chana received her degree in Zoology from Oregon State University before launching her career in environmental research and preservation. She has a diverse background, working for the US EPA, National Forest Service, as well as various private and non-profit organizations. Chana also started her own Hawaiian cultural Eco-Tour company creating a network of businesses that promote environmental restoration, cultural revitalization, and sustainable tourism. She also helped to found the Living Pono Project, a non-profit that provides educational resources to K-12 students with an emphasis on perpetuating Hawaiian culture through environmental restoration, as well as post-secondary education, employment opportunities, and everyday living assistance to adults with disabilities. Her passion for the environment and interest in conservation management is innate. She is Hawaiian and was born and raised on the island of Oahu. Growing up she surfed with her dad, paddled canoe with her sister, and worked in the Lo’i (taro patch) with her Aunty. Her drive to preserve Hawai’i’s coral reefs and precious ecosystems is a deep part of her and is rooted in being from Hawai’i.

Anne ShelleyAnne Shelley, Accountant

Based in USA (California)

Anne has many years of financial management experience at nonprofits, including with legal services and land use conservation organizations. She balances out the linear logic of numbers as a volunteer cat adoption counselor at the San Francisco SPCA. She also enjoys hiking and exploring the natural world, and has never forgotten seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time as a teen. Anne has a degree in Psychology from Grinnell College.

Monique WillmsMonique Willms, Development Assistant

Based in USA (California)

Monique Willms comes to CORAL with over five years of experience in the non-profit and development field. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from University of California, Santa Cruz including a year abroad in England; and earned her master’s degree in Irish modern and contemporary art at Trinity College, Dublin. Monique is excited to work with her local community, contributing to a cause that has a global impact.


CORAL Board of Directors

Our board of directors comprises a passionate and supportive group of professionals from many industries who are dedicated to achieving CORAL’s mission in our project sites throughout the world and expanding CORAL’s work significantly in years to come.

James R. Tolonen (Board Chair)

Jim was elected to CORAL’s Board in 2009. Since 1972, he has been involved in the Silicon Valley High tech industry, and has held CFO, COO, President and other executive and Board of Directors positions in both public and private companies. His accomplishments include taking two companies from start-up through becoming public, and growing two other global public companies from several hundred million dollars to several billion dollars in revenue. Jim retired in 2008, but is currently a member of the Imperva, Inc. board of directors, the chairman of the Conservation Committee of the Santa Cruz Fly Fishermen, and a volunteer with the Coastal Watershed Council. He was previously a member of the Blue Coat Systems, Inc. Board of Directors. He also spends time traveling with his wife Ginger, scuba diving, motorcycling, and fishing. Jim has been an avid scuba and skin diver since 1962, and was NITROX certified; he is also an amateur photographer, both above and under water. He is passionate about habitat preservation in general, and the marine environment and sustainable practices in particular. Jim received both BSME and MBA degrees from the University of Michigan, and then earned his CPA in 1974.

Dan Dunn (Treasurer)

Dan was elected to the CORAL Board in 2014. Dan has spent his career primarily in the investment business, first in investment banking and then more recently as an analyst and portfolio manager in the hedge fund industry. He has also taught economics at the high school level. Dan has been snorkeling and diving the reefs of Hawaii for nearly 40 years, during which time the degradation of the reefs has been slow but ongoing, inspiring him to find ways to protect these fragile ecosystems. In CORAL, he has found an organization that is truly making a difference. He is a graduate of Stanford University, with an A.B. in Economics, and also earned an M.B.A from Stanford. He lives in Northern California with his wife and children.

C. Elizabeth Wagner, Esq. (Secretary)

Elizabeth was elected to CORAL’s board in 2007. She is the senior advisor to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Large and Mid-Size Business Division in Washington D.C. Prior to joining the IRS, Elizabeth served as director of governmental affairs for the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL), where she managed the interaction of NABL with the federal government. Elizabeth has also worked in the national tax offices of KPMG, LLP, and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP, and for the Department of the Treasury and law firm Latham & Watkins. She earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas, a master’s degree in accountancy/taxation from the University of Houston, and a law degree from The University of Texas. A certified scuba diver for more than a decade, Elizabeth volunteers as a diver and underwater presenter at the National Aquarium in Baltimore (NAIB), has participated in NAIB fish exploration and collection trips, and has conducted REEF field surveys. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.

John Anner

John Anner is Chief Executive Director of Thrive Networks, an organization committed to helping the world’s most disadvantaged people move from survival to potential. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, he has worked in many sectors of international development. Responsible for overall project design, strategy, relationships, and implementation, John has successfully developed and launched several large-scale international projects in clean water, education, disabilities, and pediatric health. John is known as an innovative social entrepreneur; he has launched several successful businesses and non-profits over the past 20 years, and has worked on a number of large-scale public/private partnerships. Prior to Thrive Networks (formerly East Meets West), John founded and directed the Independent Press Association, was Publications Director at the Center for Third World Organizing, and worked in Central America on grassroots and civil society projects. He was also Editor in Chief of Nicaraguan Perspectives magazine. He holds a BA from Tufts University, an MS from UC Davis, and is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Public Policy and Administration.

Mike Bennett

Throughout a career in software development, Mike felt a calling to focus his efforts on the environment. After spending a year in Australia doubling the entries in his 15 year old scuba dive log, he came to believe that coral reefs, in particular, critically need increased conservation attention. Since discovering CORAL in 2007, Mike has volunteered database and other technical expertise to the organization. Joining the board in 2013, where he serves on the Audit and Program Committees, has reinvigorated Mike’s commitment to winning the struggle to preserve the world’s reefs. Mike holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley. He keeps his tropical diving skills current in San Francisco, as a volunteer diver for the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences.

Paula Hayes

Paula was elected to CORAL’s board in 2000. She has led Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)’s fund-raising efforts for more than twenty years. When she joined the organization in 1986, the budget was around $3 million; today EDF is raising more than $100 million annually. Prior to joining EDF, she served as a consultant and chief fundraising counsel for UNICEF and Women’s World Banking, and helped raise money globally for UNDP. A founding member of Earth Share, a consortium of environmental organizations, Paula has served on the boards of Oxfam and many other organizations. She currently resides in New Rochelle, New York.

Matt Humphreys

Matt was elected to the CORAL Board in 2013. He is a Principal with Deloitte Consulting in the Life Sciences Strategy & Operations practice. Matt has worked in the Life Sciences industry for more than 15 years, serving clients from high-growth startups to Fortune 500 companies. His consulting experience focuses on operational transformation, helping clients translate their strategy into effective operations and platforms for growth. Prior to Deloitte, Matt worked as an entrepreneur starting a sustainable fish farming operation. Passionate about the ocean and conservation, he has been a certified diver for over 20 years, serving as an instructor while in college. Matt spends time traveling with his wife Katy, scuba diving and surfing in different countries across the globe. He has served on several nonprofit boards and is currently a board of trustee member for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Southern California. Matt holds Bachelor degrees in Biology and Economics from the University of California—Irvine, a Masters degree in Engineering from Rutgers University, and an MBA from University of Southern California.

Dr. Nancy Knowlton

Nancy was elected to CORAL’s board in 2010. Her research centers on the ecology, evolution, and conservation of coral reef organisms, and she currently serves as the Sant Chair for Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and adjunct professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. She was the Founding Director of the Scripps Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, and is also a Staff Scientist Emeritus with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. She chairs the editorial board of the Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal web project and the synthesis panel of the World Bank’s Coral Reef Targeted Research project. She also co-leads the Census of Marine Life’s coral reef initiative, which focuses on documenting the amazing biodiversity that coral reefs shelter. Nancy holds a B.A. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and is the author of over fifty peer-reviewed scientific journal research articles.

Vic Sher

Vic Sher has spent his career developing and prosecuting extraordinary legal strategies to protect people and the planet. Over the past 30 years as a litigator, consultant, and leader of the world’s largest public interest environmental law firm, Earthjustice, Vic has achieved exceptional success on behalf of communities and non-governmental organizations against the world’s most powerful polluters and largest law firms. Currently, he serves as principal and founder of Vic Sher Law in San Francisco, consulting on effective litigation strategies with government agencies, national and local non-profit organizations, and attorneys around the country. He is a graduate of Oberlin College, and received his law degree from Stanford Law School. Vic lives in San Francisco with his family.

Elizabeth Ulmer, Esq.

A former board chair and vice chair, Elizabeth was originally elected to CORAL’s board in 1996 and currently serves as chair of the development committee. Elizabeth is a nonprofit development consultant and has provided her expert advice for organizations including Island Press, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, and Greenpeace USA; she also serves on several nonprofit boards. Elizabeth earned a law degree from the University of Texas–School of Law and currently resides in Washington, D.C.