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David Phillips, Executive Director - USA

Biologist David Phillips serves as executive director of the Earth Island Institute, an international nonprofit conservation organization founded by David R. Brower and headquartered in Berkeley, California. From 1978-1984, David was director of Wildlife Conservation for Friends of the Earth. In 1982, he co-founded Earth Island Institute, serving as co-executive director and specializing in international marine wildlife conservation. He directs Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project.

David has been a non-governmental representative to numerous international marine conventions, including the International Whaling Commission, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on marine mammal protection, endangered species conservation, and the impacts of trade on the environment. His direction of Earth Island Institute was acknowledged by the United Nations Environment Programme, which granted David its Leadership Award in honor of his efforts to protect dolphins from indiscriminate fishing techniques. Earth Island Institute's success in negotiating an agreement with the world’s largest tuna companies to adopt fully dolphin-safe policies was recognized by Time magazine as one of the most significant environmental victories of the decade. 

In 1994, David founded the Free Willy–Keiko Foundation, successfully overseeing a five-nation, $10 million international campaign accomplishing historic rescue, rehabilitation, and release of a captive orca whale to its native habitat in Iceland.

In 1995, David was awarded the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal by the Humane Society of the United States for his efforts on behalf of marine mammals.

David has been involved in the development and implementation of numerous pieces of legislation pertaining to marine conservation. These include the Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act of 1990, the International Dolphin Conservation Act of 1992, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. 


Mark J. Palmer, Associate Director - USA

Mark Palmer focuses on protecting whales and dolphins with an emphasis on strategic planning, legislative advocacy, legal research, grassroots organizing, and media relations. He is also director of Earth Island Institute’s Wildlife Alive subproject, dedicated to protecting wildlife and wild places throughout California and the West.

Mark graduated with a BA in Zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, and spent two years of graduate work at San Francisco State University in the Department of Biology. While at UC Berkeley, Mark founded and led the Endangered Species Committee of California.

Mark has since served as regional vice president for the Sierra Club for Northern California and Nevada; chairman of the Sierra Club’s National Wildlife Committee; and chairman of the Sierra Club’s Arctic Campaign Steering Committee, which successfully blocked oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations. He has also been executive director of the Whale Center (1986-1990) and the Mountain Lion Foundation (1990-1995). His articles have appeared in Sierra magazine, Pacific Discovery (now Wild California), USA Today, and Earth Island Journal. He has edited and contributed to several books, including Friends of the Earth Whale ManualCougar: The American Lion, and Behind the Dolphin Smile.

Mark has more than 40 years of experience lobbying in the California State Capitol in Sacramento and in the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC on wildlife and wilderness issues, as well as international experience with the Japanese-American Environmental Conference, the International Whaling Commission, and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission. He is editor of the daily newsletter ECO, distributed at International Whaling Commission meetings. He was a consultant for the Academy Award–winning documentary The Cove, and appears in the Animal Planet series Blood Dolphins.


Mark Berman, Associate Director - USA

 With sadness, we announce the passing of Mark Berman on May 13th.  We will all miss him and his dedication to protecting whales and dolphins.  For more about Mark and his legacy, see our blogs here and here.   

Mark Berman joined Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project in 1991. He previously led the successful campaign to halt construction of a large dolphinarium in South Carolina, and was instrumental in passage of a law in the state to ban the captivity of cetaceans. South Carolina is currently the only state with such a law in effect.

At Earth Island Institute, Mark directs the International Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, supervising staff in 15 countries. In 1994, he also was a founding staff member, with David Phillips, of the Free Willy–Keiko Foundation. Mark helped lead an unprecedented five-country program to rescue, rehabilitate, and release Keiko, the star orca whale from the hit movie Free Willy

Mark also works with the European Dolphin Safe Monitoring Organization to promote and license the registered dolphin safe logo for the canned tuna processors, retailers, and importers in the EU. In addition, Mark has recently worked on campaigns to end the drive fishery of dolphins in Japan, to halt the expansion of Ocean Adventure in the Philippines, and to stop the mass killing and capture of live wild dolphins in the Solomon Islands for export to marine parks worldwide. 


Mary Jo Rice, Associate Director - USA

Mary Jo Rice leads campaigns in the areas of educational outreach, volunteer and internship management, fundraising, event planning, grassroots organizing, and campaign planning and implementation. She has extensive experience in the nonprofit world as a professional teacher and innovative administrator. Mary Jo tailors educational programs to the needs of specific organizations and builds engaged grassroots communities, offering pro bono professionals and volunteers a place to utilize their talents to serve the mission.

Mary Jo is the former executive director of Seaflow, a California organization that publicized the dangers of ocean noise to marine life. She organized the North American Ocean Noise Coalition, bringing together more than a dozen national and regional environmental organizations to collaboratively address pressing ocean noise pollution issues. 

A grassroots organizer for more than 25 years, Mary Jo assumes key roles in local campaigns for successful environmental candidates and green initiatives. She led a major open space acquisition effort in Marin County, California, which won her the designation of “Environmental Hero” in Barry Spitz’s book Open Spaces. For her successful leadership roles in various environmental campaigns, particularly in protecting ocean life, she received the 2006 Resource Conservation Award from the Sierra Club’s Marin Chapter. 


Laura Bridgeman, Campaign and Communications Specialist - USA

Laura Bridgeman has always been passionate about cetaceans and the natural world. Hailing from Ontario, Canada, where she obtained her degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Ottawa, she found her way to Earth Island Institute in order to make significant contributions to the increasingly relevant dialogue about cetacean rights. She brings her many years of experience in environmental and animal rights activism to bear upon her work as campaign and communications specialist. She develops and leads strategic campaigns, employs grassroots activism, and maintains a social media and news network. Laura is also the executive director of a new organization, Sonar, focusing on the human understanding of what cetaceans are and on the development of cetacean rights.




Katherine Hanly - USA

Katherine Hanly works on expanding IMMP’s efforts to stop the exploitation of whales and dolphins by the captive industry, as well as pressing ahead with our thirty-year successful efforts for dolphin safe fishing methods. Katherine has a long history with Earth Island and the Marine Mammal Project and was part of our extensive efforts to bring Keiko to Iceland. Katherine has worked for Bernie Sanders on the Hill, worked for the Environmental Investigation Agency on the marine environment, is the author of several reports on marine issues and has been a delegate to the International Whaling Commission for years. Since 1998, Katherine has lived and worked in Stockholm, Sweden where she was Executive Director of Animal Rights Sweden, Director of the Anna Lindh Memorial Fund and part of many other endeavors.




Timothy Feder, Communications and Marketing - USA

Timothy Feder has more than 30 years of experience as an independent consultant at an ad agency specializing in strategic communications, service and program marketing, PR, fundraising, website development, branding, and advocacy advertising.

During his career, Timothy has worked with hundreds of local, state, and national nonprofits, government agencies, and foundations, directing a diverse and varied portfolio for organizations working in the environmental, social justice, consumer, social service, and public health sectors. Timothy has worked with the Earth Island Institute and the International Marine Mammal Project for more than 20 years on a wide variety of projects and campaigns.




Ed Payne, Interactive Educational Media Project Specialist - USA

Ed Payne is a biologist and mathematician who has worked extensively at the intersection of environmental biology and the mathematical modeling of complex systems. This work has included both advocacy and strategic planning for groups including Bat Conservation International, Environmental Defense, and The Nature Conservancy. He has also led projects for government agencies, including NASA, the EPA, and the Department of the Interior.

He was a co-founder and president of Riskcasting, Inc., a consulting company that worked with a broad range of clients including Peace River Films, the Apple Multimedia Lab, and Johnson & Johnson. Related educational projects include the creation of a series of exhibits for the San Francisco Exploratorium Biology Department and commercial educational software products for companies including Brøderbund, Mattel, and the Getty Trust.

Focusing on educating the public about cetaceans, Ed's work employs the use of media-rich interactive educational software on projects that target audiences in a broad range of public spaces including museums (e.g., the Exploratorium in San Francisco) and cruise ships (e.g., Royal Caribbean), as well as the Internet.




Tammy Ho Ting, Leung, Intern - USA

 Tammy Ho is a new graduate student with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from the University of California, Berkeley.  Growing up in Hong Kong, where economical development is always the priority over environmental concerns, she witnessed increasingly farmland, rural areas, and even some important ecological sites gradually urbanized by the government and developers.  Saddened by these human activities, she has a strong commitment to our environment, and believes that we are the ones who can change these imbalances.  During her senior year at UC Berkeley, she conducted a yearlong research project on evaluating the ecological benefits of step-pool sequences to the benthic macroinvertebrates in the campus' Strawberry Creek.  The research affirms her strong belief in preserving wildlife and their habitats, restoring impaired ecosystems, and educating the public about the need to protect the environment.

In the future, she will pursue her career in wildlife conservation and environmental management by working in a green organization or government position in order to help launch conservation movements, planning for energy policy and/or monitoring waste management, so as to build a better environment for our next generation. 


Miranda Rankin, Intern - USA

Miranda is currently a third year student in the College of Natural Resources, University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Society and Environment with an emphasis on Environmental Politics.  She has always been passionate about the environment and learning how to better protect the animals and other species that we share this Earth with.  Marine conservation has always been an interest of hers, but the interest grew after snorkeling along coral reefs, seeing dolphins in their natural habitat, and being able to experience how big of an ecosystem the ocean is.  Working for the International Marine Mammal Project is such an honor and being able to be a part of a nonprofit that is protecting some of the most intelligent mammals in the world is an absolutely unreal and rewarding experience.




Emilia Agata Malachowski, Intern - USA 

Emilia is a current intern from UC Berkeley. She is in her second year majoring in Society & Environment while minoring in Public Policy and Conservation Resource Studies.  At IMMP, she assists the staff in a variety of projects while raising awareness on campus about the organization’s mission and goals.
She hopes to go into environmental policy and law after she graduates, and is particularly interested in setting sustainability standards for different companies.  On campus, she is involved in the student council’s sustainability team which sets goals for each club revolving around Zero Waste by 2020.





Paolo Bray, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, European Director - Italy 

Paolo Bray successfully started, developed, and leads some of the most influential and widespread sustainable product certification programs in the world. These include the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program of the International Marine Mammal Project at Earth Island Institute, the Friend of the Sea project ( for the certification and promotion of seafood from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and Friend of the Earth ( for the certification of products from sustainable agriculture. 

Paolo has served as European director of the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program since 1991. 

More than 800 companies from 70 countries (including 450 tuna companies from 20 countries) rely on these certification programs to verify the sustainability of their origins, representing one of the largest joint networks of this kind.



Theresa "Trixie" Concepcion, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Director Asian Pacific - Philippines 

Trixie Concepcion graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and took post-graduate courses in Environmental Science in the Philippines.

She has worked for Earth Island Institute since 1993. She now audits companies in nine countries for the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program in the East Asia and South Pacific regions.

In the Philippines, Trixie is widely recognized as an animal welfare and environmental advocate and has led several organizations that seek to protect the last remaining mangrove forests in the Philippines. 




Lawrence Makili, Dolphin Protection - Solomon Islands

Lawrence Makili, who grew up in the Solomon Islands, has been working with Earth Island Institute since 2003. In conjunction with Mark Berman, he has successfully led efforts to end the capture and sale of live wild dolphins from the Solomon Islands to aquariums around the world and has implemented dolphin-safe fishing efforts by the local tuna canners and fishermen in the islands. He also successfully negotiated, over four years, a moratorium on the slaughter of dolphins for local consumption by several villages. One of the villages continues with this program, and Lawrence is helping them develop eco-tourism for the village with support from the Solomon Islands government. His earlier activist efforts have centered on preventing over-cutting of tropical trees in the islands.




Angel Herrera-Ulloa, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Latin American Director - Costa Rica

Angel Herrara-Ulloa has a Masters degree in Natural Resource Management, an MBA (INCAE, Costa Rica), and a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology (UNA, Costa Rica).

Since 1993, Angel has served as Latin American representative of the International Marine Mammal Project. He has authored more than 15 scientific articles and co-authored two books. He covers dolphin safe tuna monitoring in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panamá, Peru, and Uruguay.





Michael Reppy, Dolphin Spirit Project - USA

Michael Reppy’s years sailing the oceans deepened his natural love of dolphins, which led him to join Earth Island’s “Save the Dolphins Project” during the 1990s campaign for dolphin-safe tuna. He has used his ocean racing yachts as a platform to support Earth Island Institute's Save Japan Dolphins effort to end the slaughter and capture of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, and the Free Corky campaign, to return the orca from SeaWorld to her native waters in British Columbia. While sailing in support of Save Japan Dolphins, he made three attempts to break the solo sailing record from San Francisco to Tokyo, just missing the record by a day on his third attempt in 2001. 

Michael has been an integral part of many demonstrations involving Redwood Summer, the WTO “Battle in Seattle,” protests against SeaWorld’s captivity of orcas, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom’s animal captivity, Japan Dolphin Day protests outside the Japanese Consulate in San Francisco, and protests at the Russian Consulate to stop their orca captures. He often brings to events and demostrations Earth Island Istitute’s big 20-foot inflatable dolphin, and a pod of foam dolphin hats, for maximal visual impact. He recently attended the California Coastal Commission hearing, and spoke against SeaWorld’s plan to build larger tanks for their orcas, favoring an end to orca captivity and breeding, and retirement of the orcas to seaside sanctuaries.  


Ulrike Kirsch, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Director - Germany

Ulrike Kirsch holds BA degrees in translation/modern languages and political studies from the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in Germany and Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK, and has worked as a freelance translator, journalist, and project manager in nature conservation and animal welfare for many years.

Since 1998, Ulrike has been working for the German nonprofit NGO Gesellschaft zur Rettung der Delphine (Society for Dolphin Conservation) where she is in charge of the International Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program in Germany. Her activities include quarterly inspections of the tuna purchase reports provided by the German member companies; audits for new companies; serving as a contact person for any inquiries from companies, consumers, and the media; monitoring the tuna in German supermarkets; consumer education; and maintenance and regular update of GRD’s website on dolphin-safe tuna.

Ulrike also directed GRD’s core project, Save the Last Adriatic Dolphins, in Croatia. Additional areas of her work at GRD include public relations, awareness-raising campaigns, social media, and translations.

She is a co-founder and member of the Board of Directors of the German Foundation for Marine Conservation (Deutsche Stiftung Meeresschutz).


Jacqueline Sauzier, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, Director - Indian Ocean/Africa, Mauritius

Jacqueline Sauzier has worked for the International Marine Mammal Project Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program for more than 25 years and heads the office in Mauritius.

She is responsible for the area covering the Indian Ocean and Africa from India to Ivory Coast, monitoring around 50 companies based in Mauritius, Reunion Island, Seychelles, India, Oman, Madagascar, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.

Jacqueline is involved with many local NGOs including the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society, playing a key role in the protection of the local marine environment, with a special attention to the protection of marine mammals around the island heavily impacted by the growing dolphin and whale watching industry.



Walter Anzer, Advisor, Dolphin Safe Logo/Licensing - United Kingdom

Walter Anzer has decades of experience working in managerial positions in leading food companies and as the administrative director of many trade associations covering many sectors of the food industry. In recognition of his services to the food industry, he was conferred a member of the Order of the British Empire in 1991.

Since 1993, he has been an advisor to Earth Island Institute on matters concerning the International Marine Mammal Project and the European Dolphin Safe Monitoring Organization, which has responsibility for the registration and licensing of its dolphin-safe logo, a trademark, and European Union fisheries policy relevant to tuna fishing and the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program.




Homer T. Tuquib, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines

Homer Tuquib graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce. He has been a fulltime observer for Earth Island Institute's International Vessel Monitoring Program in the Philippines since 2009. 

He is also an outdoor enthusiast, biker, and mountaineer, and a member of the Earth Island Institute Philippines Outdoor Club, which initiates outdoor activities to raise awareness about environmental protection. 





Edwin C. "Weng" Castillo, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines

Weng Castillo has worked for Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project in the Philippines office for nearly 15 years. 

Upon getting his Sociology degree, Weng began work at a non-governmental organization supporting the indigenous people of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines.

Weng is highly experienced in company audits and on-board dolphin-safe monitoring, and works to promote environmental awareness in the fishing industry and advocating for the full protection of marine mammals.




Carlito Flores, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines

Carlito graduated with a degree in Fisheries Technology, majoring in Capture Fisheries.

He worked with the Earth Island Institute's Vessel Monitoring Program from 1994-1996 and has since served as fulltime port and cannery monitor/auditor from 1996 to the present, covering fisheries operations in Zamboanga and General Santos City for the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program in the Philippines. 





Donald "Bongbong" Sanz, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines

Bongbong Sanz graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. He is one of the founding members of the Earth Island Institute Philippines Outdoor Club that initiates fun outdoor activities to raise awareness of the environment.

Bongbong has been a full-time observer for Earth Island Institute's Vessel Monitoring Program since 2009. He is a biker, mountaineer, and overall outdoor enthusiast.





Miguel Machete, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Azores

Miguel is the executive council coordinator of POPA, which is the observer program for the tuna fisheries of the Azores.

This pioneering fisheries observer program came from an agreement between Earth Island Institute, the Azores Regional Administration, the Tuna Canning Industry Association, the Fishing Boat Owners Association, and IMAR (Instituto do Mar) through the University of the Azores Center. Until 2003, the program was supported by regional funds. Between 2003 and 2005, it became co-financed by the European Commission. Since then it has been supported entirely by the regional government through the Regional Secretary of Fisheries.

The Azores Fisheries Observer Programme continues to ensure that there is no dolphin mortality or injury in the Azores tuna fishery. Fishery and fishing products are also certified by Friend of the Sea for sustainability. It became the first tuna fishery in the world achieving that certification.


Indra Poernomo, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Indonesia

Indra Poernomo has covered Indonesia for the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program since 2014.

Before joining Earth Island Institute, Indra helped and worked with Tasikoki Wildlife Rescue Center and also volunteered for investigation activities and animal rescue. Indra received a Bachelor of Marine Science from Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

In 2005, Indra received a Fellowship on Narrative Journalism from the Eka Tjipta Foundation, producing the report, "From Tigers to Coucangs, the story about the arrest of a wildlife trader in Jakarta."




Jose Carlos Castro Neila, Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Spain 

Carlos Castro Neila serves as assistant to the General Director of Anfaco, the oldest industry association in Spain offering technical support to the canning and seafood industry.

For more than 10 years, Carlos has advised and provided assistance to the Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program, distributing alerts to companies, coordinating new applications for certification, and providing assistance in auditing and other activities carried out by Earth Island Institute, mainly in the Galician and Northern Spain, where most of the tuna companies in Spain are located.




Alfonso "Dong" Pading, Jr., Dolphin Safe Monitoring Program - Philippines

Dong Pading serves as regional coordinator of the Dolphin Save Monitoring Program in the Philippines. His coverage area includes General Santos City, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, Korea, China, and Vietnam. He has been regional coordinator since 1999, and prior to that worked with Earth Island Institute as a field research and vessel monitoring coordinator. 

Dong got his BS degree in Marine Biology from Silliman University in the Philippines, and is currently in a post-graduate program at Davao Del Norte State College. He is also involved in diving, mountaineering, and skydiving.