Meet the SOA Team

Daniela Fernandez

Daniela Fernandez

Founder and CEO, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Daniela Fernandez is a recent Georgetown University graduate and the Founder and CEO of the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. Fernandez is a contributor to The Economist Intelligence Unit, National Geographic and Sustainable Brands. She has been interviewed by Voice of America, New York City TV, Ocean Radio and National Geographic and has been a speaker at: The Economist World Ocean Summit, World Affairs Council Conference, U.S. Capitol Hill Ocean Week, Nexus UN Summit, Blue Vision Summit, World Ocean Festival, WE Day Illinois to 15,000 students, and was invited to the UN to present a petition on behalf of the millennial generation in anticipation of the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Goal vote. She has been recognized for her work by former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, listed as Azula’s Top 5 Ocean Heroes of 2016, named one of Glamour Magazine’s 2016 College Women of the Year, received the Peter Benchley Ocean Youth Award, the 2016 Bustle Upstart Award, and is a Green 2.0 environmental leader.

Contact: daniela@soalliance.org

Craig Dudenhoeffer

Accelerator Co-Founder, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Craig Dudenhoeffer is the co-founder of SOA’s Ocean Solutions Accelerator, where he helps entrepreneurs leverage technology to solve the ocean's biggest problems. Prior to joining SOA, Craig worked at ReadWrite where he helped launch the world's first Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator program. At ReadWrite, Craig worked closely with 115 early-stage technology startups from a variety of industries including healthcare, agriculture, fitness, safety, cleantech, energy, and smart cities. Before entering the technology sector, Craig worked at the National Marine Fisheries Service and studied Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz.

Contact: craig@soalliance.org

Rachael McLellan

Program Manager, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Rachael McLellan is a marine sciences graduate from California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo) dedicated to bridging the communication gap between the general public and the scientific community to augment global understanding and incite actionable change towards marine conservation efforts. Raised with artistic influence, she strives to intersect the worlds of art and science and reintroduce the passion and connection often absent from ocean policy and advocacy. During her time at Cal Poly, she served as both a research assistant studying the effects of plastic pollutants on embryonic development of sea urchins, as well as an educational ocean advocate hosting marine outreach events throughout the county. More recently, she has worked as a marine mammal rehabilitator for the Marine Mammal Center, fostering sick, malnourished and injured pinnipeds for release back into the wild. She also worked as a conservation scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, working to maintain healthy stock populations of tuna, shark and schooling fish off the Pacific coast. Having seen firsthand the detrimental effects of anthropic activity during her studies and job ventures, she has joined SOA as Program Manager to mobilize her generation and the general public towards a more sustainable future.

Contact: rachael@soalliance.org

Hanan Bloomer

Communications Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Hanan Bloomer graduated high school from the American School in Japan in 2014. While in Japan, Hanan was the President of the Teen Advisory Board for Hands On Tokyo (HOT). With HOT, Hanan spearheaded numerous beach cleanup efforts on the coast of Japan, which included education on plastic pollution to the locals. After graduating high school Hanan began his college education at Georgetown University, where he is due to begin his senior year in the fall of 2017. Hanan is majoring in Human Science, while completing the pre-medical curriculum. In 2016 Hanan joined the Shark Bay Dolphin Project as a Research Assistant, providing data analytics for a research project that initiated in 1982 and has led the majority of education regarding bottlenose dolphins. In early 2017, Hanan began his role as Communications Fellow for the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. With SOA, Hanan has participated in two United Nations Conferences as a youth delegate, and brought the first art exhibit to the SOA annual summit. Outside his organizational and education work, Hanan has used art as a way to portray the significance of plastic pollution in the ocean, crafting sculptures with plastic found on the beach. Starting in August 2017, Hanan will begin research on CRISPR-CAS9 genome editing alongside Professor LaRocque at Georgetown University. He has a vision to incorporate genetic manipulation into ocean sustainability, specifically to help restore coral reefs.

Contact: hanan@soalliance.org

Amanda Rude

Partnerships Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Amanda (Mandy) Rude, JD earned her law degree at Lewis & Clark College of Law with a certificate in environmental and natural resources law. She previously worked at the US Department of State as an advisor on environmental crime programs, including illegal fishing programs. She currently works at the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime as an Environmental Crime Advisor. She also works with Legal Atlas as a Senior Legal Analyst. Mandy specializes in wildlife trade and crime policy and hopes to expand her work on ocean conservation with the SOA as a Fellow.

Contact: amanda@soalliance.org

Jaime Sigaran

Government Relations Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Jaime D. Sigarán is an ocean advocate dedicated to turning the tide against overfishing and marine debris. In his current position at The Ocean Foundation, Jaime brings innovative ocean ideas to life. Working on 55+ marine projects with partners around the world, he captures emerging stories, shares new discoveries, and promotes a sustainable vision for a healthy blue planet. Most recently, Jaime led the Maryland delegation during Blue Vision Summit's "Healthy Ocean Hill Day" in an effort to educate Congress on critical NOAA and EPA programs affecting coastal communities. During his time at Marine Conservation Institute in 2015, he also lobbied members of Congress to defend America's blue parks, stop pirate fishing, and increase funding for marine national monuments. Jaime graduated from Vermont Law School with a Master’s in Environmental Law and Policy and earned his B.A. in Government and Public Policy from the University of Baltimore. Jaime is a native Spanish-speaker and originally from Silver Spring, Maryland.

Contact: jaime@soalliance.org

Sarah Poulin

Research Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Sarah Poulin is a current graduate student at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, pursuing a Masters in Environmental Management in the Coastal Environmental Management concentration. Growing up in Massachusetts and spending her summers along the Cape Cod shoreline, her love for the ocean has transformed into both a passion and a career in marine conservation and management. Since graduating from Wake Forest University with a bachelor's degree in biology in 2015, Sarah has worked along the east coast performing sea turtle research and conservation at Mote Marine Lab, sea turtle and marine mammal rehabilitation at the New England Aquarium, and coastal conservation and environmental education work at the Bald Head Island Conservancy. Her current graduate work focuses on the use of marine animal migration and connectivity research to aid in policy and management plans for the high seas through a collaborative project with the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab at Duke and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. Sarah has joined the Sustainable Ocean Alliance to help drive youth involvement in the marine conservation realm and effectively communicate current research to spark public interest in maintaining a sustainable and healthy ocean for the future.

Contact: sarah@soalliance.org

Lianna McFarlane-Connelly

Technology Research Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Lianna McFarlane-Connelly is a Junior at Georgetown University majoring in Physics with minors in Science, Technology & International Affairs, and Economics. She is interested in the intersection between these disciplines, and exploring ways to solve large-scale socio-economic problems with principles derived from physics. Lianna sees ocean sustainability as a sector where scientists, the private sector and policy makers can come together to affect a world-wide issue. Growing up in Australia and Silicon Valley, Lianna has been surrounded by entrepreneurship and technological advancement. In 2015, Lianna interned with Astia, a non-profit in San Francisco working to mentor and finance women-led entrepreneur teams. Starting to concentrate in policy work, Lianna then interned for the Silicon Valley Leadership Group which advocates to local legislatures and congress on behalf of Silicon Valley's leading technology and health care business. Prior to joining Sustainable Ocean Alliance, she interned at PRRI, a Washington D.C. based public issues opinion research group and completed physics research with Georgetown University. At SOA, Lianna is working to develop the entrepreneurship arm and keep our chapters up to date about developing ocean science and technology.

Contact: lianna@soalliance.org

Rachel Mucha

Partnerships Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Rachel Mucha is a senior at Georgetown University, majoring in Culture and Politics and minoring in Spanish in the School of Foreign Service. She is passionate about the intersection between gender equity and sustainable development work, and has chosen to focus her studies largely on the implementation of culturally nuanced international development work. Rachel became extremely interested in the intersection between social development and water conservation during the time that she spent at a research station in the Ecuadorian Amazon, where she was moved by the negative impacts of deforestation and water pollution on indigenous women and children in the area. She is currently the Director of Corp Catering at Georgetown, where she has worked with the Office of Sustainability to implement composting programs and "zero-waste" events. Before joining SOA, Rachel worked at Marsh & McLennan in the Political Risk & Structured Credit department where she worked to secure and guarantee development related loans for small banks in Latin American markets.

Contact: rachel@soalliance.org

Madeleine Lambert

Research Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Madeleine Lambert is a junior at Georgetown University, majoring in Science, Technology and International Affairs in the School of Foreign Service. She is pre-med and has a concentration on Global Health. Madeleine is particularly interested in the impact of sea level rise on at-risk communities and maintaining biodiversity in our oceans. She currently works as a student analyst for the Beeck Center for social impact and innovation. She has joined SOA to create a database of resources for young people who want to know more about our oceans.

Contact: madeleine@soalliance.org

Liliana Sierra

Chapter Development Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

I knew I wanted to be a marine biologist and work with marine resources at the age of eight. Having this interest and passion for the ocean has driven me to work hard for the protection of it. I got a bachelors degree in Biology with an emphasis in aquatic resources from the Honduras National University where I graduated with honors. I have worked for almost three years with fisheries and fisheries communities, uniting communities, governmental organizations and non-govermental organizations in elaborating management fisheries tools to obtain their sustainability. Currently I got a Fulbright Scholarship and I will be starting my masters degree this fall in Fisheries Sciences in Texas A&M University; I always feel and tell other people that working together is the only way we can save our oceans.

Contact: liliana@soalliance.org

Nikhil Patel

Chapter Development Fellow, Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Nikhil Patel is a sophomore at the University of Chicago Laboratory School. He is enthusiastic about environmental policy and penguins. Along with his peers at the Laboratory School, he established the first SOA high school chapter and looks forward to empowering other young adults to get involved with sustainability and conservation. In addition, he is involved with the theater club, science, & math team. He has researched at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole Massachusetts and looks forward to pursuing his passions in marine biology.

Contact: nikhil@soalliance.org