Governor Schwarzenegger Appoints Ocean Protection Council Executive Director
Ocean Science Trust Executive Director and Ocean Protection Council Science Advisor, Amber Mace, Ph.D. Named to Top Spot
Sacramento – On Oct. 23, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Amber Mace, Ph.D. as Assistant Secretary for Coastal Matters and Executive Director of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC).
Mace will report to the Secretary for Natural Resources Mike Chrisman and the council. She will begin her new role on Monday, November 30, 2009. Mace will replace Brian Baird, who has served in an acting capacity. Baird will continue in primary role as Natural Resources Agency Assistant Secretary for Ocean and Coastal Policy.
“Amber has dedicated her career to bridging the worlds of science and policy both in California and at the federal level. Her unique expertise in science and policy, her collaborative nature, and her commitment to inform decision-making will help the OPC advance to the next level of achievement,” said Chrisman. “She will hit the ground running and help us move forward even more effectively to protect California’s ocean and coast.”
Mace most recently served as the executive director for the California Ocean Science Trust, a non-profit organization established (pursuant to the California Ocean Resources Stewardship Act of 2000) to encourage coordinated, multi-agency, multi-institution approaches to translating ocean science to management and policy. In this role, Mace expanded the organization from one person to a fulltime staff of six people and increased the annual budget from $80,000 to approximately $2 million. She also acted as the Science Advisor for the OPC and co-chair of the 24-member OPC Science Advisory Team.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the council and work with the agency partners, stakeholders, and excellent OPC staff on the exciting challenges that lie ahead,” Mace said. “The Ocean Protection Council has made significant progress toward implementing its strategic plan and improving how California’s ocean and coastal resources are managed. It is an opportune time to recognize these accomplishments and implement a progressive agenda to maintain California’s position at the forefront of innovative approaches to ocean management and protection.”
Prior to leading the Ocean Science Trust, Mace worked as a National Sea Grant John A. Knauss marine policy fellow for the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation in 2006, and as a California Sea Grant state fellow at the Ocean Resources Management Program in the California Natural Resources Agency in 2005.
Mace was a visitor center and interpretive programs manager at the Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association from 1996 to 2000, where she supported outreach activities for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary Program, and participated as a submersible pilot with the Sustainable Seas Expedition. Prior to that, she was a SCUBA diving instructor with the University of California, Berkeley Scientific Research SCUBA Diving Program.
Mace earned a Bachelor of Arts in geography from University of California, Berkeley in 1994 and a Doctorate in ecology from University of California, Davis and the Bodega Marine Laboratory in 2005.
Ocean Protection Council
Governor Schwarzeegger signed the California Ocean Protection Act in 2004 creating the California Ocean Protection Council. The council consists of the Secretary for Natural Resources, Secretary for Environmental Protection, Chair of the State Lands Commission, two legislative members each from the Senate and the Assembly, and two members of the public. The council oversees and coordinates statewide policy for the protection and management of California’s ocean and coastal resources.