ARLINGTON, Virginia, Dec. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced today that Maria Damanaki, former European Union Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, will join the organization as Global Managing Director for Oceans.
"Maria will bring great leadership to our global marine team, TNC, and the conservation field overall," said Mark Tercek, President and Chief Executive Officer at The Nature Conservancy. "Our work will greatly benefit from Maria's extensive experience in marine affairs, fisheries and international policy, as well as her strong diplomatic skills and global network."
With over 30 years of public service in Europe, Damanaki most recently served as EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. Under her leadership, the Commission was able to bring fish populations back to healthier levels – from as few as five sustainable stocks in 2010 to up to 27 today – which could lead to 30 percent more jobs and EUR 1.8 billion in additional revenue by 2020. She also introduced and implemented the Blue Growth agenda for Seas and Oceans in Europe, which aimed to create 1.6 million new jobs and EUR 600 billion in revenue by 2020.
Founded in 1951, The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect the lands and waters on which all life depends. To date, TNC has been responsible for the protection of more than 480,000 square kilometers worldwide—an area larger than Sweden. The organization employs over 4,500 people and works in more than 35 countries around the world. Damanaki will be based out of the London office.
''Joining TNC is a challenge and opportunity for me. Oceans and seas have always been the background of my life, from my birth on a Mediterranean island to my mandate as a European commissioner," said Damanaki. "We can and have to do more for the conservation of what formulates 71% of the planet surface and the deepest memory of earth and human existence. I am looking forward to contribute to the results that a science based approach can deliver.''
Damanaki previously served as a member of Greek Parliament for more than 25 years. She became the first woman to lead a political party in Greece in 1990, and was the first woman elected as Vice President of Parliament in 1986.
SOURCE The Nature Conservancy