The Coral Reef Alliance Announces Appointment of Executive Director

Dr. Madhavi Colton as New Executive Director
For Immediate Release

Thursday, January 16, 2020

CORAL Announces Appointment of Dr. Madhavi Colton as New Executive Director

Oakland – The Board of Directors of the Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL), a non-profit leader in coral reef conservation, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Madhavi Colton to Executive Director. She is succeeding Dr. Michael Webster, who is leaving to pursue critical research at New York University on how life can adapt to climate change. Dr. Colton will assume her duties beginning February 1, 2020.  At that time, Dr. Webster will become a senior advisor and assist the organization through May.

“The Board is very excited about Dr. Colton’s promotion,” stated John Anner, Chair of the CORAL Board of Directors. “We know Madhavi is going to take CORAL to a new level of success with her deep understanding of coral adaptation and conservation. Her expertise in local and global conservation empowers her to translate CORAL’s scientific work into leading actionable management practices that will be used to save coral reefs across the globe.”

Dr. Colton, an accomplished marine biologist, has over 20 years of experience in marine conservation and research. Over the seven years that Dr. Colton has been with CORAL, she has assumed increasing levels of responsibility, stepping into the role of Program Director over three years ago. As Program Director, she led the development and implementation of new science-based conservation strategies that are improving coral reef health around the world. This pioneering work has launched a new era in reef conservation that is giving hope that coral reefs can be saved. Additionally, Dr. Colton has worked in partnership with local communities and other conservation organizations, enhancing CORAL’s reputation as a trusted partner and leading to strong alliances that are having a positive impact on global coral conservation efforts.

“CORAL is in a strong place, thanks to Dr. Webster’s leadership. I am looking forward to building on that momentum to grow CORAL’s existing programs while also scaling our work to have a greater global impact,” stated Dr. Colton. “By combining our latest scientific findings with effective community-based conservation, we can save coral reefs and preserve their benefits for people and wildlife. The coral reefs of the world are counting on us to get this right!”


About Dr. Colton
Dr. Madhavi Colton is an accomplished conservation scientist who is focused on helping the world’s ecosystems cope with the effects of climate change. She believes that coral reefs—one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems—can be saved for generations to come. Through her scientific research, she has developed a new approach to conservation that will help reefs around the world adapt to the effects of climate change. Madhavi is turning this science into action by building strong alliances across environmental, scientific and political sectors. As a conservation scientist, she has worked with decision-makers and stakeholders in California, Hawai‘i, the Mesoamerican region, Indonesia, Fiji and Australia. Madhavi has a Ph.D. in Marine Ecology from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

 About the Coral Reef Alliance
The Coral Reef Alliance (CORAL) is a non-profit, environmental NGO that is on a mission to save the world’s coral reefs. Founded in 1994, CORAL has a history of working collaboratively with communities to reduce direct threats to reefs. In parallel, CORAL is actively expanding the scientific understanding of how corals adapt to climate change and is applying this information to give reefs around the world the best chance to thrive for generations to come. To discover more about CORAL’s work to save the world’s coral reefs, visit us at



Close flyout widget area

Help save the world’s coral reefs