At its 44th meeting on 2 February 2023, the 8th WIOMSA Board of Trustees elected Ms. Marie-May Jeremie as its next Board President. Dr. Blandina Lugendo was elected treasurer, while Dr. Nina Wambiji was elected vice president.
Ms Marie-May currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust. She is a highly skilled senior executive with a strong interest and experience in biodiversity conservation, ocean governance and science-to-policy advocacy. In her comments at the board meeting, the newly elected president said, “I am honoured by trust bestowed upon me by the WIOMSA Board. I will serve the Association diligently and strive to ensure that WIOMSA remains steadfast in the path forged by the remarkable leaders who have transformed the Association over the past 30 years and left a legacy that will ripple through the western Indian Ocean region for years to come”.
Dr Wambiji, an Assistant Director of Marine Fisheries at Kenya Fisheries and Marine Research Institute, has a rich history in WIOMSA, having served as WIOMSA Country Coordinator for Kenya for the past nine years and leading several WIOMSA research projects. Nina is a strong, team-focused leader with research interests in fisheries biology and stock assessment; ecology of nearshore fish species and large pelagic fish and marine mammals; and the management of marine biodiversity data.
Dr Blandina Lugendo currently serves as the Dean of the School of Aquatic Sciences and Fisheries Technology (SoAF) at the University of Dar es Salaam. She is also the Chairperson of the Advisory Board of Fisheries Education and Training Agency (FETA) and has served as WIOMSA Country Coordinator for Tanzania mainland for five years. Dr Blandina is a UNESCO-LOREAL for Women in Science Fellow (2004) and holds an MSc in seagrass ecology from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and a PhD in fish ecology from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Dr. Jacqueline Uku, the outgoing Board President, congratulated and welcomed new board officials to their first meeting. “Under the leadership of Ms. Jeremie, the new WIOMSA Board has the vision, energy and strategic leadership experience necessary to move WIOMSA toward our highest aspirations and goals for the future”. Said Dr. Uku. “We are thrilled with the depth of experience and range of expertise in the new board.”
“On behalf of the WIOMSA Secretariat, I extend my congratulations and welcome to the new officials and to the 8th WIOMSA Board of Trustees” Dr. Tuda stated. “In this new Board, we have a strong team whose values and priorities are consistent with WIOMSA’s. With all the global and regional priorities for the marine environment, this Board joins WIOMSA at a time of great momentum for the region, and we are confident that they will make difficult decisions while continuing to build value for our members and partners. WIOMSA is grateful to Dr. Jacqueline Uku and the outgoing board members for their enthusiasm and vision, which have helped WIOMSA grow into the vibrant organisation that it is today. Dr. Uku has been a key advocate for WIOMSA on a global and regional scale. “She will always be a valued member of WIOMSA,” Dr. Tuda concluded.
The Board will soon announce co-opted members to join its ranks. Read the profiles of the new board.