Karen McLeod

Managing Director
[email protected]
(541) 737-9822
3029 Cordley Hall

As COMPASS’ Managing Director, my job is part glue – ensuring that our work is as integrated as possible; part hammer – overseeing our day-to-day decision-making; and part magic wand – inspiring the team to find new ways to fulfill our mission and contributing to fundraising and strategy development needed to make that happen.

Based at Oregon State University (OSU), I’m a courtesy faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology and teach a graduate seminar on science communication called Making Your Science Matter. I also serve on the Science Advisory Team of the California Ocean Protection Council. I have a passion for silo-busting – where can we bridge existing scientific divides (disciplinary, geographic, or topical silos) to transform social or policy dialogues? Over the past decade, I’ve led numerous efforts to coalesce the science of ecosystem-based management, ecosystem services, and ocean health. With Heather Leslie (Brown University), I co-edited Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans (Island Press, 2009), the first synthesis of EBM science to inform policy and practice. Before trading in my fins for Skype earbuds, I spent thousands of hours underwater on coral reefs in the Bahamas, French Polynesia, and the Florida Keys, as a reef fish ecologist. I hold a PhD from OSU, an MS from the University of South Florida, and a BA from Franklin and Marshall College. When I’m not at my desk, on an airplane, or at a conference, you’ll find me exploring the wilds of Oregon with my husband and two daughters.