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.

San Francisco Staff

MichaelWebster_newDr. Michael Webster, Executive Director
(ext. 317)

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 (ext. 301)

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.

Sarah FreiermuthSarah Freiermuth, Development Director
(ext. 305)

Sarah began working in ocean conservation in 1995 as an educator at the National Aquarium in Baltimore. Following that, she became part of the education staff at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in San Diego. She moved north to join the development staff at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where she helped to grow the membership program by nearly 50 percent. Most recently, Sarah worked in development at the San Francisco Zoo. Feeling the pull of the oceans once again, Sarah joined CORAL in March of 2009. She has a degree in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and is a certified scuba diver and active community volunteer.

jason_vasques_newJason Vasques, Conservation Programs Director (ext. 303)

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.

Madhavi ColtonDr. Madhavi Colton, Reefs Tomorrow Initiative Program Director (ext. 319)

Madhavi has extensive experience synthesizing scientific information to support marine management and conservation. She joined CORAL after spending several years developing and managing inter-disciplinary and scientifically rigorous programs monitoring California’s marine protected areas. She has worked closely with resource managers and policy makers, developing an understanding of how science can be incorporated into their decision-making processes. Fascinated by the challenge of making scientific information accessible to non-scientific audiences, Madhavi has developed innovative ways to share scientific results and increase the relevance of science. Trained as an ecologist, Madhavi earned a Ph.D. in marine biology from the University of Melbourne. Her research focused on understanding patterns in the abundance and distribution of fishes living on rocky reefs. Using SCUBA and baited remote underwater video, she completed one of the first comprehensive surveys of fish populations along the southeastern Australian coastline. During research for her Master’s degree at San Francisco State University, she explored recruitment patterns of a species of rockfish.

Kate Trevelyan-HallKate Trevelyan-Hall, Conservation Grants Manager (ext. 315)

Kate joined the Development staff in July 2009, bringing with her more than three years of fundraising experience in the nonprofit sector, along with four years of higher education development from her university days as a student caller. She graduated from Santa Clara University with degrees in Anthropology and Spanish, with a focus on International Relations, and has studied abroad in Spain, France, and Peru. Outside of her responsibilities at CORAL, Kate loves to travel, explore the outdoors, and volunteer in her community.

Juliane Diamond, Program Manager (ext. 316)

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.

Marissa Stein, Communications Manager (ext. 307)

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.

Anne ShelleyAnne Shelley, Accountant (ext. 311)

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.

Simone SheridanSimone Sheridan, Membership Assistant
(ext. 314)

Originally from Vancouver Island, Simone grew up enjoying ocean critters she found in tidal pools. Before joining CORAL in February 2010, she worked for eight years as an assistant in entomology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Simone has a BFA in painting from the Pratt Institute, and is now pursuing a degree in biology. She recently lived on a houseboat, which once again gave her an opportunity to enjoy sea critters close to home.

International Field Team

Adriana Gonzalez HaroAdriana Gonzalez Haro, Mexico Field Representative

Adriana discovered the underwater world in 2008, and has been an avid scuba diver ever since—she now specializes in Nitrox, underwater navigation, and night diving, and has been trained in Atlantic Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment (AGRRA) methodology. She began diving in the Mexican Pacific, where she participated in a liveaboard expedition to identify future diving sites in the Gulf of Cortez, and is now enjoying getting to know the reefs of the Mexican Caribbean. Before joining CORAL, Adriana worked as a technical advisor on several forest projects at an environmental consulting firm in Guadalajara, Jalisco. Through internships, she also collaborated with several private and government institutions in Mexico, including the Interdisciplinary Center for Marine Science (CICIMAR). Adriana is passionate about protecting coral reefs, and has volunteered with several conservation programs in addition to her work with CORAL. She holds a degree in aquaculture biotechnology and intends to earn a master’s degree in tropical marine ecology.

Naneng SetiasihNaneng Setiasih, Coral Triangle Regional Manager (Indonesia)

A conservation science management specialist, Naneng’s work focuses on ways to integrate science into collaborative coral reef management practices. She was one of the original founders of the Indonesian branch of the Reef Check Foundation, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs. Prior to her involvement with Reef Check Indonesia, Naneng was a project leader of the Friends of the Reef program managed by WWF Indonesia. She finished her postgraduate work at Bandung Institute of Technology and the School of Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. Naneng currently lives in Bali, Indonesia.

Veronica NikenVeronica Niken Dewi, Indonesia Field Representative

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.

Liz FooteLiz Foote, Hawai’i Field Manager

As CORAL’s Hawai’i field manager based in Maui, Liz contributes invaluable local knowledge and understanding to our conservation programs, ensuring that each project fully incorporates the needs and realities of the local communities. In addition to her work with CORAL, Liz founded the Maui-based nonprofit organization Project S.E.A.-Link in 1999 and currently serves as its executive director. Project S.E.A.-Link seeks to encourage and inspire marine science education and promotes local stewardship through community-based reef monitoring, marine naturalist volunteer trainings, and other education and outreach projects. Before settling on Maui, Liz worked as a whale watch naturalist in Massachusetts, volunteered at aquariums in Connecticut and California, taught coral reef ecology aboard a schooner in the Virgin Islands, studied orcas in British Columbia, and assisted reef researchers in the Florida Keys. Among her favorite ocean-related memories are diving in the Johnson Sea-Link submersible while in high school and meeting renowned ocean scientist Sylvia Earle in the Aquarius Undersea Habitat sixty feet underwater. Liz earned a bachelor’s of science degree in ecology, behavior, and evolution from the University of California, San Diego, and worked in research laboratories at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. After shifting her focus from marine research to marine education, she obtained a master’s of science degree in science education from Oregon State University.

wes_crileWes Crile, Hawai’i Field Manager

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_perez-closecropErica Perez, Hawai’i Field Representative

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 as the West Hawai’i Field Representative.

Jenny MytonJenny Myton, Honduras Field Manager

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.

Pamela Ortega

Pamela Ortega, Honduras Field Representative

Pamela was born and raised in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, where she began hearing the call of the wild as 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.

Sirilo “DiDidi Dulunaqiodi” Dulunaqio, Fiji Field Representative

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.

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.

H. William Jesse, Jr. (Treasurer)

Since 1986, Bill has been an investor in and advisor to a host of growth-oriented consumer product and service companies. He has worked with such firms as WIRED Ventures, Design Within Reach, Specialized Bicycle Components, and Peet’s Coffee & Tea. Overall, Bill has served on over twenty boards in the last thirty-five years. He presently is Chairman and CEO of Pure Sculpture, an early-stage art business, Executive Chairman of BuDhaGirl (a fashion and personal development company), Chairman at The Wine Group (the second largest U.S. wine business), Chairman of The Hive Group (a data visualization company), and Chairman of Serena & Lily (a fast growing home furnishings company).  Prior to 1986, Bill worked extensively in operating management, as CEO of two cruise lines and with responsibility for an extensive collection of marketing and distribution businesses operating in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Bill is a graduate of Lehigh University (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and the Harvard Business School (MBA). He joined CORAL’s board in 2007, and served as Chair from 2010 to 2012. In addition, he serves as an Advisory Board member of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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 has been President of the East Meets West Foundation since February 2003.  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 EMW, 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.

Ian Boisvert

Ian is owner and founder of BlueSky Mediation & Law, a San Francisco-based firm helping companies, people, and governments resolve their environmental and energy disputes through collaboration and mediation. In 2011, Fulbright New Zealand sponsored Ian as an Axford Fellow to improve the nation’s legal regime for allocating coastal space for ocean renewable energy. Prior to New Zealand, Ian practiced environmental law in California where he helped Fortune 100 companies, coastal developers, and international sailing teams comply with domestic and international environmental laws. He clerked for the Costa Rican Ministry of Energy and Environment, as well as for Oceana, during law school. Ian was a peripatetic laborer in his youth, toiling two seasons in Alaska’s Bristol Bay, teaching English in Nepal, cleaning yoga studios in Vermont, and learning how to live by his wits. He now happily lives by the ocean with his wife.

Linda Cain

Linda was elected to CORAL’s board in 2007. She is the principle of Cain Travel, the fifth largest travel management company in Colorado and one of the fifty fastest growing businesses in the state, a company she co-founded with her late husband, David. Former owner of Scuba Joes Dive Shop, Linda is an expert in both travel and the dive industry. She has served on the board of Hertz, the United Airlines Travel Agency, and other industry-related organizations, and is currently a member of the Sutherland Foundation’s board of directors. Linda began her career in the travel industry in 1967, after attending the University of Colorado. She currently resides in Boulder, Colorado.

Dan Dunn

Biography coming soon

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.