Meet Our Board of Directors
The Marine & Oceanic Sustainability Foundation’s board of directors serves on a voluntary basis. The Managing Director and the board will work closely together to carry out the foundation’s mission and goals. The board provides financial and legal oversight, ensures ethical integrity and accountability, enhances the foundation’s public standing, and recruits new board members.
Armin Afsahi is Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni and Community Engagement at the University of California, San Diego. In this capacity, Afsahi oversees university-wide alumni relations; annual giving; donor development; marketing and digital outreach; corporate relations and industry engagement. Afsahi serves as chief alumni officer for the university and also leads the UCSD Alumni Association and its Board of Directors; the organization serves more than 155,000 alumni worldwide. He has served in executive leadership positions in private ventures and on the senior advancement teams at UCSD and Georgetown University, where he worked in the areas of alumni engagement, capital campaign planning, strategic business initiatives, board management, and corporate development. Afsahi serves on the board of the Council of Advancement and Support of Education and is a partner with San Diego Social Venture Partners.
Kim Brown is a business owner, serial entrepreneur, consultant, and author. In 2004, Kim founded UK-based Smart Currency Exchange Ltd., a foreign currency exchange, which reached over £500M in turnover before she sold her share in 2011. She is also the founder and a Director of The Overseas Guides Company (OGC) Ltd., a firm which helps overseas property buyers through the step-by-step buying process in over twenty countries; OGC is strategically aligned with RightMove.co.uk, the UK‘s number one property website. In 2011, she co-founded Business Wand, which is the parent company of SellYourBusiness.biz and Checklistables.com. She has authored several property guides and her work has been published in over fifty newspapers and magazines, including Overseas Living. She also has written a book titled, "How Life Really Works." Kim recently embarked on a new adventure; she and her family have purchased a 56’ Oyster sailboat, and are setting sail around the world with their 3 ½ year old daughter.
Shilpi Chhotray works at Future 500 as a Manager of Stakeholder Engagement. She has seven years of experience related to marine science and policy, with a focus in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, federal marine policy, and ocean exploration. Shilpi works with NGOs, Foundations, and the private sector to develop solutions for often challenging problems related to the oceans. Her current focus lies in ocean protection and economic development. Shilpi holds a Master of Earth and Environmental Resources Management, with a concentration in Marine Affairs, from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech University. Shilpi is active in the environmental community and previously held positions at Environmental Defense Fund, Ocean Gate, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Blue Earth Consultants.
B.R. McConnon, III
B.R. McConnon, III is founder, Chairman, and CEO of DDC Advocacy, an international full-service advocacy firm. DDC Advocacy is the largest firm of its type in the U.S. In this role, B.R. contributes long-term strategic direction and provides counsel to DDC Advocacy clients. Under his leadership, DDC Advocacy ranked 72nd on the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies list for 2002, and twice received the Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500 award for North America, including top 10 in Virginia. B.R. received his B.A. in Government and International Relations from Georgetown University. He is active in several outside business ventures and charities, including serving on the board of the J-Street Cup, a charity that he founded to raise funds for the Fisher House at Walter Reed Army Hospital, the American Heart Association, and the Bishop Ireton High School Alumni Association.
Dr. Tiffany Moisan
Dr. Tiffany Moisan is a Research Physical Scientist in the Hydrological Sciences Lab at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and resides at Wallops Flight Facility, VA. Her research interests center on phytoplankton physiology and optics with a focus on applying ecological principals to Ocean Color Remote Sensing data. Her current research focuses on advancing an understanding of Climate on the Wallops Island area on the Eastern Shore to protect valuable NASA resources. She coordinates science operations and public outreach projects and leads a team of scientists, educators, and technical specialists to communicate societal applications between facilities management and application scientists. Dr. Moisan received her Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD. She received her B.S. in Biology from Texas A&M University.
David Pitzer is Vice President and COO of Frederick Mutual Insurance Company in Frederick, MD. David is an accomplished, results-driven senior executive with over 25 years in technology and business operations. His strengths include his ability to think out of the box and to lead, focus, and motivate people to maximize productivity and create real solutions for long-term business success. At Frederick Mutual Insurance Company, his initiatives to implement business intelligence reports have completely changed the way the company is managed and run. During his tenure, the company has expanded regionally and has experienced continual growth in spite of the economic downturn. David is an advanced scuba diver and has over 10 dive certifications including ice diving, cave and cavern, and wreck diving. He has always been fascinated by the ocean and marine habitats. A graduate of Shepherd University, David holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science.
Jennifer Pitzer has been the Managing Director of the Marine & Oceanic Sustainability Foundation since 2013 when she helped co-found the non-profit organization. Prior to founding MOSF, she was involved in the financial services industry working in both the public and private sector for a number of years. She is a successful freelance writer. Born in California, she grew up playing in tide pools and watching whales migrate just off the coast of Carmel and Big Sur. Jennifer has always loved the ocean and marine life. She has travel extensively and visited marine habitats around the globe. She completed her high school in Geneva, Switzerland and holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Texas at Austin.
Jonathan Tourtellot is a Principal of Focus on Places, LLC and the Geotourism Editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Jonathan is a consultant, speaker, editor, and writer/photographer, specializing in sustainable tourism and destination stewardship. After 22 years as a senior writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, Jonathan founded and directed National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations in 2001. He originated the concept of geotourism, defined as “tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.” He is the portal editor for the growing collaborative website/blogging platform, www.DestinationCenter.org and writes for National Geographic’s Voices blog.
Rosemarie Watkins comes to the board with over 30 years of experience in public policy and advocacy. Recently retired, she formerly served as the Director of the International Policy Group at the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. In this capacity, she oversaw a team of dedicated professionals engaged in agriculture, trade and international policy efforts on behalf of American agricultural producers. These responsibilities included trade negotiations, international environmental treaties, food safety, food aid, food security, sustainable agriculture and biotechnology. She has testified before Congress and participated in various UN proceedings. Rosemarie has a long history of working with NGOs and government representatives from around the world.