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

Danielle Haulsee, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer

Development & Community Relations

David Neuman, Senior Development Manager

Administrative Staff

Julie Carpenter, Human Resources Coordinator
Dena Leon, Front Office Coordinator
Laura Vega, Accounting Manager

Les Winchester, Facility and Safety Manager

Senior Research Scientists

Research Scientists

Research Assistants & Support Staff

Victor Bach Munoz

Andrew Dixon

Matt Elliott

Agatha Fabry

Andrew Fowler

Seth Hendershot

Hayley Heiner

Jack Howell

Andrew Jarrett

Joseph Johnson

Mariana Kawakami

Robert Ledesma

Kaycie Lindland

Mac Lofquist

Jax Mikkelsen

Karen Miller McClune

Gonzalo Navarro

Jordan Pritzl

Megan Quinn

Sam Rangel

Kayla Roy

Ricardo Suarez

Walker Watson

Other Affiliated Scientists

Liz Gagneron (Research Associate)

Michael Rust, Ph.D. (Research Fellow)

Todd Schmitt, D.V.M. (Research Associate)

Board of Trustees

Chairman Emeritus

Milt Shedd (deceased)

Chair Emeritus, Science Committee

Dr. Clark Hubbs (deceased)

Executive Committee

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


Dr. Chris Dold, Chief Zoological Officer, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment; Chair, Science Committee


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


Jerry Sansom,   Governmental Affairs Consultant, JHS Legislative Consultants; Chair, Corporate and Government Relations Committee


Ian K. Stewart, Former Director of Corporate Sustainability,  Sempra Energy; Chair, Nominating Commitee


Laurilee Thompson, Owner, Dixie Crossroads; Chair, Development Committee


Robert Weiner, Owner, Star-Box, Inc.; Chair, Audit Committee

 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.

Board of Trustees

Robert C. Fletcher, Past President, Sportfishing Association of California


Paul Fruchbom, Co-Founder, KDF Communities


Reese Jarrett, President, E. Smith & Company, Inc. 


Michael King, Director of Real Estate & Development, King’s Seafood


Jim Lake, Park President, SeaWorld San Diego and Sesame Place San Diego


Laura MacKinnon, Senior Social Impact & Sustainability Specialist, Wells Fargo Bank


Ermelinda Ruiz Moretti, Chief Advocate, Chevron Corporation


Nick Sanzone, Environmental Programs Coordinator, City of Satellite Beach, FL

Robert J. Weiner, Owner, Star-Box, Inc

Louis Zimm, Captain (Retired), UCSD/SIO

Trustees Emeritus

Senator Dede Alpert
Art DeFever (deceased)
Char DeMotte
George L. Gildred (deceased)
Wally Schirra (deceased)


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


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

Get involved

Help Human And Marine Life Thrive Together