Gazebo Gazette

Dr. Monty Graham, Associate Vice President for Research, Coastal Operations at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), was recently selected to chair the national Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) Board of Trustees based in Washington, D.C.  Graham will serve as chair of the board through 2021.

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is a national nonprofit organization representing 95 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry. The organization aims to advance ocean research, education, and sound ocean policy through its research and education programs in scientific ocean drilling, ocean observing, ocean exploration, and ocean partnerships.

The consortium also provides expertise in managing, coordinating, and facilitating scientific programs and partnerships; influencing sound ocean policy; and educating the next generation of ocean leaders as a way to promote a society that views its well-being as intimately connected to the well-being of our oceans.

Dr. Graham will be one of 14 consortium trustees representing universities, institutes, foundations and companies working to advance the future of ocean science and technology. Eight of the appointed trustees come from Carnegie-classified doctoral universities with very high research activity located all over the country, including Stanford University, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and University of New Hampshire.

“I am honored to serve as chair of the Board of Trustees of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. This organization is advancing ocean leadership from the depths of our seas to the halls of Congress,” said Graham.

Dr. Graham also serves as Chair of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant’s Ocean Task Force and Co-Chair of the Gulf – Caribbean Oceanographic Consortium. He is also a board member for Ocean Exploration Trust, Inc.

“Oceans are extremely integral parts of our lives, and understanding the ocean’s influence and importance is essential for our future. The work of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership is helping to advance scientific understanding of our oceans, as well as ocean education and ocean advocacy,” added Graham.

Board members include:

Dr. Christopher D’Elia, Louisiana State University, Dean, College of the Coast & Environment

Dr. Christopher A. Scholin, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, President and CEO

Dr. Debbie Thomas, Texas A&M University, Dean, College of Geosciences

Dr. Deborah Bronk, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Science, President & CEO

Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds, University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping, Research Professor

Dr. Jon Kaye, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Program Director, Science

Dr. Mark Abbott, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, President & Director

Dr. Michael Roman, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Director and Professor, Horn Point Laboratory

Rear Admiral Richard “Dick” D. West (U.S. Navy, Ret)

Dr. Robert Dunbar, Stanford University, Professor, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

Dr. Roberta Marinelli, Oregon State University, Dean, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (Vice Chair)

Dr. Ruth Perry, Shell Exploration and Production Company, Marine Scientist and Regulatory Policy Specialist

Dr. S. Bradley Moran, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Dean, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (Treasurer)

Dr. William “Monty” Graham, The University of Southern Mississippi, Associate Vice President for Research, Coastal Operations (Chair)

Board staff include:

Jonathan W. White, President & CEO

Ms. Yan Xing, Chief Financial Officer (non-voting)

Ms. Amy L. Castner, M.A. Secretary (non-voting)

For more information about ocean science and engineering programs at USM, visit For further information about the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, visit