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Board & Staff


Our team of scientists provides innovative scientific solutions to challenges threatening ocean health and marine life in our rapidly changing world. In addition to our researchers is a team that plays a critical role in helping accomplish our mission:

Corporate Officers

Donald B. Kent, M.S.
President & CEO

Pamela K. Yochem, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Executive Vice President

Bethany Smith, M.B.A.
Chief Financial Officer


Development & Community Relations

Chris Larkin
Development Director

Frances Meda
Development Manager

Susan Phillips
Florida Development Manager




Administrative & Technical Staff

Julie Carpenter
Human Resources Coordinator

Liz Gagneron
Project Permit Coordinator

Robert Ledesma
Maintenance Tech

Dena Leon
Front Office Coordinator

Mark Rudin
Maintenance Tech

Zachary Shrove
Aquaculture Maintenance Manager

Christine Truman
IT Manager

Laura Vega
Accounting Manager

Chris Walters
Facilities and Safety Manager

Board of Trustees

The HSWRI Board of Trustees represents a collection of visionary leaders who have distinguished careers in a variety of scientific, corporate, and cultural endeavors. Each Board member brings to the Institute a vision for ocean conservation, a dedication to advance the Institute and its mission, and a dedication to community service.

Chairman Emeritus

Milt Shedd (deceased)

Chair Emeritus, Science Committee

Dr. Clark Hubbs (deceased)

Executive Committee

William Shedd
President, AFTCO Manufacturing Company, Inc.; Chairman of the Board

J. David Gardner
Principal, Highland Partnership, Inc.; Immediate Past Chair

Murray Hutchison  
Chairman, TEPPCO Partners; Chair, Finance Committee

Jill Kermes
Senior Vice President, Lumina Analytics; Chair, Development Committee

John T. Reilly 
Interim CEO, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; Chair, Nominating Committee


Board of Trustees

Dr. Chris Dold
Chief Zoological Officer, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Jan Driscoll
Partner, Allen Matkins LLP (Retired)

Robert C. Fletcher
Past President, Sportfishing Association of California

Marilyn Hannes
Park President, SeaWorld & Aquatica, San Diego, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Ermelinda Ruiz Moretti
Chief Advocate, Chevron Corporation

John Morrell
Chairman Emeritus, Higgs, Fletcher, Mack

Kevin Sagara
Chairman & CEO, San Diego Gas & Electric

Jerry Sansom  
Governmental Affairs Consultant, JHS Legislative Consultants

Laurilee Thompson
Owner, Dixie Crossroads

Louis Zimm
Captain (Retired), UCSD/SIO



Trustees Emeritus

Senator Dede Alpert

Art DeFever (deceased)

Char DeMotte

George L. Gildred

Wally Schirra (deceased)


Donald B. Kent, M.S.
President & Chief Executive Officer

Pamela K. Yochem, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Chief Science Officer / Executive Vice President

Bethany Smith, M.B.A.
Chief Financial Officer/Secretary