The WIOMSA Board of Trustees: Election of Leadership and Board Appointments

Dr. Jacqueline Uku has been elected by the WIOMSA Board of Trustees to continue serving as WIOMSA President. The board elected Dr. Ranjeet Bhagooli as Vice President and Prof. Yunus Mgaya as Treasurer. The officials were elected during the 38th meeting of the WIOMSA Board of Trustees that was held in Nairobi, Kenya on the 15-17 February 2018.

A group photo of the incoming, returning and outgoing Board members and the WIOMSA Secretariat, Nairobi, Kenya

Dr. Uku, the head of the Kenya Coastal Development Project and Senior Researcher at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, is serving her second term as president and board member of WIOMSA. She has been a member of the board since 2013 when she was first elected to office.  “The Association is very fortunate to have Dr. Uku re-elected as president. She is an extremely experienced and dedicated individual who has steered the WIOMSA ship with a steady hand at a critical juncture of change for the association. Her passion for securing a sustainable future for WIOMSA is unmatched. It gives me great pleasure to continue engaging with her in meeting our shared objectives”. Dr. Julius Francis, Executive Secretary, WIOMSA.

Prof. Ranjeet Bhagooli succeeds Dr. Pascale Chabanet who has stepped down from the board after serving two terms. Prof. Bhagooli is an Associate Professor at the University of Mauritius.  He is committed to strengthening regional networks and links through setting up and furthering support for regional marine laboratories that will facilitate exchange and lead to research outputs that address pertinent marine issues at a local, regional and international level.

The new Treasurer, Prof. Yunus Mgaya takes over from Dr. Margareth Kyewalyanga who has retired from the WIOMSA board after serving two terms in office.  Prof. Mgaya is the Director General of the National Institute for Medical Research in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and a professor of Marine Biology at the University of Dar es Salaam. He brings a wealth of experience in governance to the WIOMSA Board, having served as chair on many boards within and outside the region. His vision for the Association is a strong self-sustaining organization with adequate financial resources for supporting various activities within its mandate.

The Board of Trustees also retained Paul Siegel as a co-opted member for another term and appointed Philippe Sauce, a co-opted member from the previous board, as its advisor on all financial matters, with special focus on the WIOMSA Trust.

Paul Siegel’s knowledge and experience in sustainable development, innovation, networking and communication as well as strategic and system thinking that was gained from several decades of working in the region in various organisations have been enormous assets to the Board.

Philippe Sauce who served the on the WIOMSA board from 2014 to 2017, brings much needed expertise in the management of the WIOMSA Trust and the implementation of the new WIOMSA strategic and business plans. The outgoing board was very fortunate to have Philippe turn around the performance of the WIOMSA Trust and work closely with the management investment firms as well as the WIOMSA Trust Fund Trustees. He has consistently helped the board to think differently on investment and has certainly left his mark on the Association. The WIOMSA board is eager to continue benefitting from his wealth of experience in the years to come in his new advisory role.

Ms. Rebecca Loustau-Lalanne

The board has appointed Ms Rebecca Loustau-Lalanne as the second co-opted board member. Ms. Loustau- Lalanne is the Principal Secretary of the Vice- President’s Office, Seychelles.  She brings a multidimensional perspective to the board’s deliberations through her work as Principal Secretary for the Blue Economy Department in Seychelles, her experience as First Secretary in the Multilateral Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seychelles and her work with United Nations Development Programme. She will be a tremendous help to the Board as it  endeavours to establish  stronger science-policy links in the WIO region.

Ms. Loustau- Lalanne holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Politics, International Relations and Philosophy at the Middlesex University, United Kingdom in 2003 and started work at the Department of Environment as a Project officer in 2004 (until 2007) in establishing an International Conventions Unit (ICU), which coordinated the implementation of various environment-related development projects in the country. Most of the projects were donor funded from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). From 2008-2010, she worked as a Programme Officer for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sub-unit in Seychelles which had the main task of implementing all the national projects under the UNDP country portfolio, which ranged from social welfare, good governance and sustainable development projects. In January 2012, she started work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a First Secretary in the Multilateral Affairs Division.  Her portfolio included a range of dossiers, including the membership to the Commonwealth, United Nations Environmental Conventions and Small Islands Developing States (SIDS). Her main tasks related to ensuring Seychelles effective participation to international conferences, updating national positions papers, and coordinate the implementation of national and regional projects. In February 2015 she was appointed Principal Secretary for the Blue Economy Department in the Ministry of Finance, Trade and the Blue Economy, and subsequently transferred to the Vice President’s office in December 2016 with the same portfolio.

We congratulate all our new board members and the financial advisor! We welcome you into the leadership of WIOMSA. We also thank returning board members for your continued commitment to the Association.

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