Our Team

WildAid Marine is comprised of a team of technical experts who work collaboratively with on-the-ground partners to strengthen enforcement of priority marine areas.

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Emily Owen

Marine Program Director

For over sixteen years, Emily Owen has worked internationally with communities, governments, researchers, and civil society to find collaborative and innovative conservation solutions that support both people and the planet. Prior to joining WildAid in 2022, Emily managed The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Protecting Coastal Wetlands and Coral Reefs project, which helps countries protect coastal ecosystems to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Emily started her career in Chile, where she worked for 10 years on community-based conservation efforts, first in Southern Chile with World Wildlife Fund and then on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) with Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus in Conservation Biology from Middlebury College and is a Wild Gift Fellow. Emily enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and scuba diving and lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two sons.

Meaghan Brosnan

Chief Executive Officer

Meaghan Brosnan is a renowned expert in global marine enforcement, with over 20 years of experience in reducing illegal fishing activity and empowering local communities to manage their marine protected areas (MPAs) and coastal fisheries sustainably. Meaghan’s knowledge of domestic and international fisheries management, compliance, and enforcement is unparalleled, making her a trusted advisor to senior government officials across the globe.

Meaghan served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, four of which were spent at sea enforcing fisheries law. She also acted as the deputy chief of the Coast Guard’s Living Marine Resources Enforcement program and led an emergency response team in San Francisco Bay as part of the Coast Guard Reserve for the last four years; she retired as a Commander.

In 2017, Meaghan joined WildAid as the Marine Program Director and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2023. During her leadership, WildAid developed a powerful ocean enforcement model to combat illegal fishing and protect MPAs, coral reefs, and blue carbon habitats. WildAid’s Marine Program has grown tenfold in the past five years and expanded to more than 16 countries. In November 2023, WildAid won Prince William’s prestigious Earthshot Prize in the “Revive Our Oceans” category.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - November 6 - Roxy Baker and John Baker attend Wild Aid on November 6th 2021 at Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco in San Francisco, CA (Photo - Natalie Schrik for Drew Altizer Photography)

John Baker

President and Chief Program Officer

John is a veteran wildlife conservation executive with over three decades of experience in program strategy, international program management, media and communications, fundraising, and impact evaluation.

John spent more than a decade in Southeast Asia during the 1990s, working in Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. He joined WildAid in 2013 and was promoted to Chief Program Officer, leading WildAid’s efforts to develop, direct, and manage sophisticated communications campaigns in China, Southeast Asia, and many African countries to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products, including elephant ivory, rhino horn, shark fin, and pangolin scales, and build public support for wildlife conservation.

John’s wealth of knowledge and experience in organizational development and conservation strategy, particularly in the context of rapid climate change, is exceptional. He has directed and managed highly impactful behavior change campaigns promoting low carbon consumption in China, creating billions of media impressions and reaching over 300 million Chinese consumers.

Aldo Simone

Marine Program Director

Born in a coastal Mediterranean town in Southern Italy, Aldo Simone has nurtured a lifelong bond with the Ocean. His early years were influenced by his father, an adept craftsman of sailing boats, which fostered Aldo’s early interest in sailing. Graduating from the Italian Naval Academy as an Officer in 2005, Aldo’s naval career was distinguished by roles in maritime operations and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). He also holds master’s degrees in International Studies and Military Leadership and Security.

After many years spent serving on the Ocean, he decided to devote himself to serving the Ocean. Aldo is married and lives with his wife, his stepson, and two big orange cats in Rockville, Maryland. He loves painting, cooking, sailing, dancing Lindy Hop, playing D&D, enjoying time at the beach, and practicing traditional Japanese martial arts.

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Marissa Castro

Marine Program Associate

Growing up along the coast of Southern California, Marissa’s curiosity about nature grew into a deep passion for the protection and sustainable use of our ocean and its life. Marissa holds a B.A. in environmental studies from California State University, Monterey Bay, and is a recent graduate with an M.A. in international environmental policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. It was in her graduate studies that she focused on ocean and coastal management to further her knowledge and experience in fisheries policy and the transition to sustainable practices to support coastal communities being most affected by IUU fishing and overfishing. In her free time, she can be found training for her next swim meet, exploring wild places, or enjoying a movie while cuddling with her cat, Olive.

Manuel Bravo

Ecuador Director

Manuel has worked in biological conservation and coastal resources management for the last 25 years. As WildAid Marine’s Latin America Regional Director, he oversees the implementation of WildAid Marine’s program work throughout Latin America, including existing programs in the Galapagos Marine Reserve and network of coastal Ecuador MPAs, as well as launching new projects in Chile and Cuba. Prior to WildAid Marine, Manuel worked in various Ecuadorian governmental agencies: as the facilitator for the Participatory Management Council for the Galapagos Marine Reserve, General Director of Fisheries, General Director of Aquaculture, and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Environment, and he has spent the past 18 years focused on enforcement of MPAs and mangrove concessions. He holds a Master’s degree in Management of Bioaquatic Resources and the Environment, and is certified in sustainable development and coastal management.

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Marcel Bigue

Senior Program Advisor

Marcel is an independent consultant advising WildAid Marine on its program expansion efforts, conducting due-diligence, assessment and implementation activities for the program. Previously Marcel was the WildAid Marine Program Director. Having worked in varying capacities both domestically and internationally for the past 15 years, he is seasoned in the design and management of complex humanitarian, development and marine conservation programs. Marcel joined WildAid in 2004 when he directed WildAid’s awareness campaigns in Ecuador, carried out investigative research on the shark fin trade and collaborated on small business initiatives with Galapagueños. He later served as the Deputy Executive Director where he provided financial and administrative oversight of SF Headquarters as WildAid grew from a $2m to $5m annual organization. Prior to joining WildAid, he worked in Nicaragua for five years in reconstruction projects following Hurricane Mitch. He has a BA in International Studies and a MPA in International Management and Environmental Policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Gregg Casad

Senior Enforcement Advisor

Gregg currently serves as Exulans Managing Director to promote sustainability and conservation of fishery resources by providing pragmatic advice and strategic solutions to organizations concerned with ocean sustainability. Marine conservation strategy development and execution is their core skill, with an expertise in the field of fisheries compliance and enforcement. He previously served in the U.S. Coast Guard for 20 years, specializing in fisheries enforcement.

Gregg Casad

Diana Vinueza

Galápagos Project Manager

Diana has worked as WildAid Marine’s Galapagos Program Manager since 2013, managing projects and partner relationships in the Galapagos National Park. Trained as a biologist, her relationships with the park and extensive knowledge of marine species has helped WildAid Marine successfully implement and fundraise for enforcement work, such as the installation of the new AIS monitoring system, systematic training, community outreach initiatives, fisheries monitoring, and biosecurity program launch.

Roddy Macias

Coastal Ecuador Project Manager

Roddy has worked as WildAid Marine’s Coastal Ecuador Project Manager since January 2019 and is an expert in the management of coastal and marine protected areas. Trained as a civil engineer and with a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of Pinar del Rio in Cuba, he has over 20 years of experience in MPA management and enforcement. He has previously worked with various international NGOs and was the Environmental Authority for the Province of Manabí in Ecuador, managing protected areas and enforcing environmental laws, as well as most recently worked with Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment in the creation of Ecuador’s network of 19 coastal MPAs and their management.

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Karima Cherif

Marine Project Manager, Technical Advisor, and Purchasing Agent

As the WildAid Marine Project Manager, Technical Advisor, and Purchasing Agent, Karima Cherif provides the tools and equipment to partners and handles shipping logistics for all surveillance and enforcement gear and vessels. Karima’s background in aerospace, underwater photography and yacht restoration has provided a unique skill set that has become indispensable in her role at WildAid. Karima has worked for WildAid since 2018, focusing initially on Gabon, Coastal Ecuador, and the Galapagos. Now, Karima provides technical support to all of WildAid Marine’s 16 countries by purchasing equipment and developing capacity for surveillance and enforcement using technology such as UAVs, drones, and satellites through the MPAbots Project. Karima has been instrumental in securing contracts and grants and engaging with government agencies. She has been working on the development team of WildAid’s O-FISH (Officer of Fisheries Information Sharing Hub) app since 2019, assisting marine enforcement officers with digitizing vessel boarding operations. She has been an avid open-water swimmer with over 350 miles in San Francisco Bay for the last three years. Karima has enjoyed sailing for 25 years, notable Pacific crossing from Hawaii to Port Angeles and many local races.