Charlotte Hudson directs the Lenfest Ocean Program, a grant-making program that identifies, supports, and communicates marine science that concerns threats to the world’s oceans. She is responsible for identifying thematic areas of research and overseeing the design and implementation of research projects that meet the criteria of the Lenfest Ocean Program. She also oversees the communication and dissemination of research results in ways that inform policy decisions and promote the sustainable management of the oceans. Before joining the Lenfest Ocean Program, Hudson served as the senior marine scientist at Oceana, where she was responsible for coordinating protected-species policies and integrating scientific research and policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Davidson College and a master’s degree in environmental management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment.
Emily Knight manages outreach for the Lenfest Ocean Program, working with staff, scientists, and other partners to link the science being supported by the program to decision makers. Prior to joining the Lenfest Ocean Program, Knight was program director with the California Ocean Science Trust, a nonprofit organization that links science with decision-making in California. There, she developed a series of programs to help managers confront the threat of climate change to coastal and marine ecosystems and human communities, from sea-level rise to harmful algal blooms, and ocean acidification and hypoxia. Knight also led the Ocean Protection Council Science Advisory Team and the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel. She also worked as the California science/policy coordinator for COMPASS and in legislative policy with the U.S. House of Representatives. She first served as a Sea Grant John A. Knauss Fellow in Marine Policy for Congressman Tom Allen of Maine, and then as professional staff and science advisor for the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee. Emily holds a master’s in oceanography from the University of Maine.
Sarah Close, Ph.D.
Sarah Close, Ph.D., is responsible for identifying new project ideas and managing grant-making within the Lenfest Ocean Program’s Climate Impacts on Oceans portfolio. This role enables her to combine her expertise in marine systems and usable science approaches with prior experience working on innovative climate applications and grantmaking programs at NOAA. Prior to coming to Lenfest, Sarah worked in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office, first as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and then as a Special Projects Manager. At NOAA, Sarah developed expertise in climate adaptation, usable science, and program management, working primarily on the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments and Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications programs, as well as at the interagency level with other federal partners. Sarah received a bachelor’s in biology and environmental studies from Bowdoin College and a Ph.D. in Zoology with a focus on marine ecology from Oregon State University.
Jason Landrum, Ph.D.
Jason Landrum, Ph.D., is responsible for identifying new project ideas and managing grant-making within the Lenfest Ocean Program’s wildlife and ecosystems portfolio. Before joining Pew, Jason served as the Science and Technology Advisor for the USAID/El Salvador Mission, where he provided technical and strategic direction on environmental and economic development issues. He also spearheaded Mission-wide efforts to integrate science, technology, innovation, and research into USAID development activities across Central America. Landrum previously served as an AAAS fellow and senior scientist for the Marine Debris Program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Landrum holds a bachelor’s in earth systems science from Cornell University, a master’s in international affairs from Georgia Tech’s Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, and a Ph.D. in biological oceanography from the School of Biology at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Victoria Bell is a Senior Associate with the Lenfest Ocean Program working primarily on digital outreach and communications. In this position she works with grantees to support outreach tactics online and on social media to increase stakeholder awareness of projects relevant to decision-making. As part of this, she develops and implements program-wide digital communications goals, strategies, and materials that broaden audiences and increase transparency and engagement for Lenfest funded projects. Before joining the Lenfest Ocean Program, she served as the Associate Director of Blue Frontier, an organization focused on building solution-oriented citizen engagement to manage and strengthen ocean and coastal protections. Prior to that, she led a project for The Nature Conservancy to produce a report exploring various nations’ progress in reaching goals set by the Convention on Biological Diversity to preserve coastal and marine ecosystems. She also worked with the Marine Conservation Institute on a variety of marine protected area and illegal fishing issues. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College and a master’s degree in International Environment Policy specializing in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
Kayla Ripple is a Senior Associate with the Lenfest Ocean Program where she works with Lenfest staff, grantees, and partners to connect scientific results from Lenfest funded projects to relevant stakeholders. She combines her experience in marine science, conservation planning, and stakeholder engagement to facilitate outreach and communications for grantee projects focused on pertinent ocean conservation issues. Before joining the Lenfest team, Kayla coordinated the SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction program at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), where she focused on enhancing collaborative and strategic conservation among AZA members, partners, and visitors for greater conservation impact. Prior to that she managed the Science Program at Coral Restoration Foundation in the Florida Keys conducting field work and working with universities, marine conservation nonprofits, and state and federal government agencies to improve effectiveness of coral restoration projects in the Florida Keys and Caribbean. Kayla holds a bachelor’s degree in marine science and biology from the University of Tampa, and a Masters in fisheries and aquatic science from the University of Florida.