Where are you from?
I work and live in the Washington DC area.
What sparked your interest in public policy?
I am a public servant in the United States. My Agency, NOAA Fisheries, is the lead for science, management and regulation of marine fishes and the marine ecosystems in the United States. As part of that Agency, and working under Congressional legislation, I am the Lead for Fisheries Capacity Building in Asia-Pacific. My responsibility is to focus on ecosystem and fisheries sustainability in Asia-Pacific through the development of joint projects and research between the US and partner nations. The goal is to build up the capacity of our partners and regional organizations to ensure the long-term sustainable use of their marine resources. I also am the United States Representative to the FAO’s Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission with an appointment to the Executive Committee for 2011-2012.
My work is focused on helping our partners develop and then apply ‘good’ science to management and policy. It is this work that has both supplied immense satisfaction but also frustration as there are significant barriers to ensuring that science and policy are synergistically applied for the public good, both in the US and internationally. The responsibility given to the practitioners of public policy is to find that ‘sweet spot’ that provides the balanced approach between long-term preservation and current extraction of natural resources.
Why did you choose to pursue a PhD at LKYSPP?
As I began to reach professional limitations in my ability to develop and manage international capacity building projects, I searched out experts in the field of environmental negotiation, environmental services and public policy, with a special emphasis on Asia. Many of the names that came up in were faculty at or linked with the LKY School. As I began to explore and ask questions about the Programme and faculty, it became readily apparent that the intellectual rigor, the exposure to cutting edge topics and research and the dynamic nature of Singapore itself provided the tools I needed to be able to do my job better.
What do you enjoy the most about your studies or research work at LKYSPP?
The intellectual curiosity shared by both students and faculty who tackle the hard questions in addressing important issues that link Asia and the world. I cannot think of a better ‘collection’ of passionate people who bring their personal and professional experience from around the world to one small corner of the world.
What are your career goals?
My principal focus is to improve the effectiveness of the set of skills I use in my work in order to do that job better. I would also like to be allied with research institutions that focus on improving the sustainability of the marine ecosystem as well as promoting regional collaboration for better management and coordination of shared marine resources among ecosystem linked nations.