January 22, 2015

Virdin Appointed Nicholas Institute Ocean and Coastal Policy Program Director

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions
Virdin Appointed Nicholas Institute Ocean and Coastal Policy Program Director

DURHAM, N.C.—John Virdin has been appointed director of the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions.

“We are thrilled to have John join us,” said Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute. “John’s contributions to the development of the World Bank’s oceans portfolio and Global Partnership for Oceans speaks to his ability to engage the heart of ocean and coastal policy with a savvy understanding of the stakeholders and the factors driving their decisions. John’s leadership promises to take the Ocean and Coastal Policy Program to new heights.”

The Nicholas Institute’s Ocean and Coastal Policy Program historically has focused on ocean acidification, coastal management, marine ecosystem services, deep sea minerals and conservation planning, carbon sequestration in coastal habitats, and strategies and policies for monitoring coral reefs. Virdin will increase the program’s collaboration with other Nicholas Institute programs and Duke faculty by expanding it to help decision makers around the world develop a range of policies to simultaneously promote ocean health and shared prosperity.

“Global opportunities for the oceans to provide food, support economic growth, and store carbon are growing,” said Virdin. “But seizing these opportunities in the face of a changing climate and ocean acidification will require countries to reform policies for the way they use ocean resources and maintain supporting ecosystems. The Ocean and Coastal Policy Program will focus on expanding policy expertise and creating on-demand solutions for better management of ocean and coastal resources.” 

Virdin’s expertise in oceans and fisheries governance helped the World Bank increase its lending for sustainable oceans to more than $1 billion. His work led to development of programs that have provided over $125 million in funding for improved fisheries management in six West African nations and some $40 million for fisheries and ocean conservation in a number of Pacific Island nations. 

Prior to his tenure at the World Bank, Virdin worked with the World Resources Institute, the Munson Foundation, the World Conservation Network, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

Virdin holds a master’s degree in environmental studies from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wake Forest University. He will receive his doctorate in marine policy from the University of Delaware in 2015.


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