[Skip to Content]

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Founder and CEO, Ocean Collectiv

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, and conservation strategist. Her mission is to build bridges among science, policy, and people, so we can use the ocean without using it up. Her consulting practice provides integrated ocean conservation strategy and communications support for non-profits, philanthropies, and startups, from Greenpeace, to the NY Aquarium, to XPRIZE. Previously, as Executive Director of the Waitt Institute, she co-founded the Blue Halo Initiative and led the Caribbean’s first successful island-wide ocean zoning project, resulting in one third of Barbuda’s coastal waters being protected. She then led the scaling of this initiative, launching it on Curaçao and Montserrat in partnership with the governments and stakeholders. Johnson earned a BA from Harvard University in Environmental Science and Public Policy, and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in marine biology, with a dissertation on the ecology and socio-economics of sustainably managing coral reefs. She has worked on ocean policy at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and Nature magazine. Her op-eds have been published in The Guardian and The New York Times. She blogs on National Geographic and tweets as @ayanaeliza.

Summit Sessions

Success in Conservation