Christina Swanson Named New Director of NRDC’s Science Center

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (May 3, 2011) – The Natural Resources Defense Council today announced that Christina Swanson, Ph.D., will join the organization as the new director of its Science Center. Dr. Swanson will oversee the implementation of the Science Center's dual mission of expanding NRDC's scientific capabilities as well as increasing the visibility of environmental advocacy efforts across a range of priority issues, from reducing global warming pollution to protecting endangered species and imperiled natural places.

“NRDC is truly fortunate to welcome a scientist of Christina’s stature to the organization as the new director of our Science Center,” said Frances Beinecke, President of the NRDC. “With her breadth of experience and broad scientific expertise, Christina will expand NRDC’s technical capabilities and support our advocacy programs to address today’s most pressing environmental challenges.”

Dr. Swanson, who earned a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles, is nationally renowned for her leadership on environmental, biological, water quality and water resource management issues.  

From 1999 to January of this year, she served as The Bay Institute’s Fisheries Scientist, Senior Scientist and Chief Scientist, where she oversaw the organization’s development and review of federal, state, and local environmental monitoring, regulatory and resource management policies related to endangered species, water resource management and ecosystem restoration. In 2008, Dr. Swanson was appointed as The Bay Institute’s Executive Director to lead the organization’s diverse programs and successful campaign to acquire the Aquarium of the Bay.

“I am delighted to join NRDC, an organization that has always worked to bring the best scientific analysis to address and solve our greatest environmental challenges,” said Christina Swanson, Director of NRDC’s Science Center. “I have worked closely with NRDC staff on national, state, and local species protection and water issues for many years, and I look forward to continue advancing the organization’s science-based advocacy as a member of the NRDC team.”

In addition to her work in California, she has worked and conducted research on marine and estuarine fish in Hawaii and, as a Fulbright Scholar, in the Philippines. Dr. Swanson has also authored or co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles and numerous technical and policy memoranda and reports.

Dr. Swanson, who also serves as Vice President for the Western Division of American Fisheries Society, will lead a cadre of young post-doctoral science fellows who will work with NRDC advocates in their respective fields of expertise, pursuing scientific research and increasing and expanding our collaborations with academic researchers. She will also direct additional funds for specialized technical consulting help to the NRDC program staff. Dr. Swanson will be based in NRDC's San Francisco office.