Wendy Watson-Wright

Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), UNESCO (Paris, France)

Wendy Watson-Wright has been Assistant Director General and Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO) since January 2010. Headquartered in Paris, IOC-UNESCO promotes international cooperation and coordinates programs in marine research, services, observation systems, hazard mitigation and capacity development in order to better manage the nature and resources of the ocean and coastal areas. Within the UN system, the IOC is the focal point for ocean observations, science, services and data exchange, and is considered the international organization for marine science under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

From 2001 to 2009, she was Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM), Science, in Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) where she was responsible for providing the leadership, and policy and scientific direction for all science activities in the 15 institutes across the department, including oceanography, hydrography, data management, and fisheries, aquaculture, habitat, climate and aquatic ecosystem science. Other positions she has held within the Canadian federal public service include research scientist (shellfish toxins) with the Inspection Services branch of DFO in Halifax; Director of the DFO St. Andrews Biological Station in New Brunswick; Director General of DFO Audit and Evaluation; and Director General of Strategic Policy and later Associate ADM of the Population and Public Health Branch of Health Canada.

Wendy Watson-Wright is or has been a member of several boards including the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science, ArcticNet, Ocean Networks Canada (University of Victoria), Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response network (MEOPAR, Dalhousie University) and the World Ocean Network and was a Canadian commissioner on the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. 

A Killam scholar, Dr. Watson-Wright holds a PhD in Physiology from Dalhousie University.

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