Senior Director, Pacific Islands Program
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As Senior Director for the Pacific Islands Program, Sue Taei manages various CI projects in and across the region related to marine conservation and management.
Sue is involved in several major conservation initiatives at national, regional and international levels, including the Pacific Oceanscape, the Phoenix Islands Protected Areas (PIPA) and the Cook Islands Marine Park. She works with key Pacific decision makers and influencers including Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme member states, their respective governments, and the majority of donors and civil society engaged in the Pacific region and am involved in strategic planning, policy development and initiatives.
Sue has a particular focus on the design, management and implementation of coastal and ocean marine protected areas (MPAs) in tropical and temperate environments and their associated linkages to terrestrial habitats. As part of this, she has worked on the development of community-based, multi-use Marine Protected Areas. She also focuses on the strategic development of marine species conservation programmes (cetaceans, turtles, dugongs, sharks, and tuna) and has designed supported and fostered implementation, research and partnerships to support these.
Sue was the lead for CI on design and operation of PIPA, the largest MPA established in the region, including facilitating and being lead author on PIPA’s management plan, and co-author on the dossier that lead to PIPA’s recognition as the world’s largest and deepest World Heritage site. In addition, she was CI’s lead on the facilitation and design of the Pacific Island Leaders’ Pacific Oceanscape initiative adopted in 2010, endorsed by 22 island nations, covering some 38 million km sq.
Prior to CI, Sue has held many key positions related to marine conservation and management. Her three most recent included Pacific Whale Conservation Node Coordinator for the Pew Foundation, Executive Member of the South Pacific Whale Research Consortium and Pacific Strategic Adviser for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). She earned her Marine, Freshwater, Terrestrial undergraduate degree from the University of Auckland and her First Class Honours Masters degree in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Waikato.