Professor Ed Hill OBE, Executive Director, National Oceanography Centre
Professor Ed Hill is Executive Director of the National Oceanography Centre (NOC). The NOC is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and UK Research and Innovation, and has a remit to provide UK national capability to undertake and enable large-scale oceanographic sciences from coast to deep ocean. His research background is in physical oceanography where he specialised in the circulation of continental shelf seas, during which time he participated in over 20 research ship expeditions and led half as Chief Scientist.
Professor Hill has served on numerous national and international advisory bodies including the International Steering Group of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the European Marine Board (EMB), the cross-Government UK Marine Science Coordination Committee (MSCC), the Governing Board of the National Centre for Ocean Forecasting (NCOF) and NERC’s Executive Board and Science and Innovation Strategy Board (SISB).
He was appointed Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) by HM Queen Elizabeth II in 2010 for services to environmental sciences.

Jan Mees, Chair of the European Marine Board & Director of Flanders Marine Institute
Jan Mees is trained as a marine biologist and ecologist, and holds an MSc in Zoology, an MSc in Environmental Sanitation, and a PhD in Marine Biology, all from Ghent University in Belgium, where he is part-time professor and has been teaching courses on data management and analysis, statistics, coastal ecosystems and fisheries. His research interests include marine biodiversity, ecology and taxonomy. Jan Mees is the Director of the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Oostende, Belgium since its establishment in 1999. VLIZ is an institute that performs and supports marine scientific research in Flanders. It provides central services to the multidisciplinary and distributed research community in the country, serves as a coordination and information platform and integrates in international networks. Services include research infrastructures, information- and data-management and communication of science to different target groups.
Jan Mees represents the Research Foundation - Flanders in the European Marine Board (EMB), and serves as elected chair of the Board since 2014. The European Marine Board is a network of 33 member organizations in 18 countries that provides a platform to develop common priorities, to advance marine research and to bridge the gap between science and policy, in order to meet future marine science challenges and opportunities. The EMB operates as the foremost platform for seas and oceans strategy and foresight in Europe. The Board has built a strong reputation through development of rigorous processes for delivering science policy advice and will continually adapt to the changing landscape for marine science policy.

Samantha Mackiewicz, World Oceans Day Director

Samantha Mackiewicz has always been drawn to the ocean having grown up on the Connecticut shoreline and traveling to many coastal locations throughout the world. Sam joined The Ocean Project in 2016 and has worked with their global partner network to expand the reach and impact of World Oceans Day through thousands of events in over 100 countries around the world. Through coordinating World Oceans Day, Sam hopes to inspire people across the globe to protect our oceans and celebrate their connection to the sea. Sam graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Affairs and a minor in Environmental Economics.

World Oceans Day rallies the global community for ocean literacy and action
World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future that takes place every 8 June. Under The Ocean Project's leadership, it has grown from a handful of events in a few countries into the largest celebration of our ocean with more than 1,500 events in 140 countries and millions participating from all sectors in 2018. With an ever-increasing focus on youth engagement, each year World Oceans Day unites the global community around a common conservation action.