CI Marine Leader, Conservationist Recognized among Washington's "Top 40 Under 40"


Prestigious new award honors leaders in international development

Arlington, VA - Dr. Sebastian Troeng, Vice President for Marine Conservation in Conservation International's (CI) Global Marine Division has been recognized as one of the "Devex 40 under 40" International Development Leaders in Washington DC, in a competitive nomination process for the year 2010.

The list was made public on September 29th at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's annual Business Civic Leadership Center conference in Washington DC. Devex, which describes itself as "the world's largest community of aid & development professionals" published this first-of-its-kind list of the top 40 international development leaders in Washington DC who are 40 years of age or younger, calling them a "new generation of social entrepreneurs, astute advocates, private sector innovators, and donor agency reformers who are at the forefront [of reshaping how aid & development are done]".  According to Devex, these young leaders, which include a diverse array of leaders from development agencies and government to corporations and NGOs, were "selected based on their influence on the development agenda and impact on development results."

Troeng, who joined CI in early 2006, has worked closely on the organization's implementation and expansion of globally significant Seascapes programs in Bird's Head Indonesia, Sulu Sulawesi between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, Abrolhos Brazil, and the Eastern Tropical Pacific, near Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. Seascapes create integrated, multi-use marine areas to holistically manage the competing uses of the ocean at the local and regional level, and support local populations of people with marine ecosystem services which include critical access to fish protein, diverse livelihoods like ecotourism, climate change mitigation, and storm protection. Among his many other responsibilities are oversight of the Coral Triangle Initiative, the Marine Climate Change Program and the marine communications team.

Troeng, who is originally from Sweden, joined CI in 2006. He holds a Bachelors degree in biology, a Masters degree in marine environmental protection from the UK and a Doctoral degree in animal zoology from University of Lund, Sweden. He has worked with marine research and conservation for the past 15 years in places like Greece, Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Panama. Before joining CI, Troeng worked for other environmental NGOs including Wetlands International and Caribbean Conservation Corporation, where he served as Scientific Director, coordinating the longest ongoing sea turtle research and conservation program in the world in Tortuguero, Costa Rica. He has published extensively on sea turtle migrations, conservation and the economic benefits of non-extractive use of sea turtles.

Said Troeng about the recognition, "It is very humbling both because the other honorees on the list are extremely impressive in their own right, but also because throughout my career I have met many people who are dedicating their lives to conservation and international development. And I feel that my being named on this list is simply a result of my having been able to learn from the many insights, successes, and failures that those people have lived through and shared with me."

Dr. Greg Stone, CI's Chief Ocean Scientist and Senior Vice President praised Troeng, saying, "This is an impressive and diverse group Sebastian in now part of. It is great for Sebastian, but also wonderful for CI and our expanding mission to empower societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, the ocean, and all of our global biodiversity for the well-being of people."

Among the forty honorees in the Devex 40 Under 40 list for 2010, Troeng stands as the only environmental conservationist recognized, which is significant on its own, and also in relation to the acknowledgement of CI's new vision and mission and movement toward protecting nature not only for its inherent value, but for the well-being of people. Other honorees include young Washingtonians who work for the World Bank, Women for Women Int'l, and USAID and a variety of other human development organizations and agencies.

IN DEPTH: Read more about Troeng's reaction to the award and examples of his successes in human development in his recent interview with Conservation International .