Karen McLeod

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

As COMPASS’ Interim Executive Director, I lead our organization in mission, vision, strategy, and fundraising and support our amazing staff to continue to do great work and thrive during a transition in leadership. I’ve been with COMPASS since 2003, and was most recently our Managing Director.

Based at Oregon State University (OSU), I’m also a courtesy faculty in the Department of Integrative Biology. One of my passions is silo-busting – where can scientists be better poised to transform the discourse about the environment by breaking through disciplinary, topical, or geographic silos? Over the past 13 years, I’ve led numerous efforts to coalesce science in support of decision-making, including co-editing Ecosystem-Based Management for the Oceans (Island Press, 2009) with Heather Leslie (University of Maine). 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, and the ocean will always hold a special place in my heart. I hold a PhD from OSU, an MS from the University of South Florida, and a BA from Franklin and Marshall College. I draw inspiration for my work from the beauty of nature – from the rich landscapes of the Pacific Northwest to mountains and coastlines from around the world.