A Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain Memorial Fund campaign has been launched by the Global Ocean Forum to support the development of an internship and fellowship program. This Fund will allow undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to experience being part of civil society’s efforts in advancing the global ocean agenda through diverse initiatives and in various United Nations and other international fora. The selected students will be working on the four focal areas of GOF work, including: 1) areas beyond national jurisdiction, 2) ocean and climate change, 3) integrated ocean and coastal management, and 4) blue economy.
The inaugural Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain Fellow joined the Global Ocean Forum on August 1, 2023. To learn more about the Fellow and to continue supporting the legacy of Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, please consider donating here.
Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain made significant contributions to the field of marine policy from the global, national, regional and state levels. But one of the greater impacts she made was on the lives and career of around 100 students and professionals whom she influenced and exposed to the various levels and aspects of ocean governance by providing them opportunities to work with her on various international and domestic initiatives.
The following are some of her students from the University of Delaware who have gone on to occupy prominent positions in the field of ocean governance and related fields:
Dr. Joseph Appiott, Coordinator, Marine, Coastal and Island Biodiversity, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Secretariat
Dr. Salvatore Arico, Head, Ocean Science Section, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO
Dr. Stefano Belfiore, Executive Assistant to the Secretary-General, Cabinet and External Relations Department, World Meteorological Organization Secretariat
Dr. Nigel Bradley, CEO, Envirostrat, New Zealand
Dr. Gonzalo Cid, International Activities Coordinator, National Marine Protected Areas Center, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. Charlotte de Fontaubert, Senior Fisheries Specialist, Global Lead for the Blue Economy, World Bank
Dr. Milen Dyoulgerov, Senior Fisheries Specialist, Environment and Natural Resources, World Bank (Southeast Asia Unit)
Dr. Indumathie Hewawasam, former Senior Environment Specialist, World Bank; President, Sustainable Oceans and Coasts
Dr. Gerhard Kuska, Executive Director, Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System
Dr. Bernice McLean, Head, Blue Economy Department, African Union Development Agency (AUDA)
Dr. Rebecca Metzner, Senior Fisheries Officer, Fishery Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Dr. Evelia Rivera Arriaga, Professor and Researcher, Coordinator, Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management, EPOMEX/Universidad Autonoma de Campeche
Ms. Caitlin Snyder, Chief, Branch of Domestic Listing, Ecological Services Program, Department of the Interior United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Dr. John Virdin, Director, Oceans and Coastal Policy Program, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, Duke University
Dr. Lindsey Williams, President, RiverSea Advisors
Dr. Kateryna Wowk, Director, Texas OneGulf Center of Excellence, Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M
Based on her own words, and from those whom she mentored throughout her stellar career, Biliana’s legacy richly deserves recognition and serves as a powerful imperative for extending it into the future to benefit potential young leaders in ocean governance.
On the occasion of her retirement from the University of Delaware, October 18, 2018:
“People ask me what have been my greatest joys/accomplishments while at UD. I would say, first, the great graduate students and fellows from different countries around the world that I have had the pleasure to work with, in the classroom, in their research, and in policy settings from the UN in New York to the climate negotiations, to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean.” – Biliana Cicin-Sain
“I asked Biliana to share the highlight of her career at UD and her first response not surprising was the success of her students. Biliana loves her students! Since I have been here, Biliana has had one of the largest cohorts of students in the School, and in addition to formal training has always provided them real-world experience…
Over her 29-year career at UD, she has supervised over 65 graduate students and 30 undergraduates. Many of these students now have leadership positions in organizations such as the World Bank, the World Meteorological Organization, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and in academic positions such as the Director of Ocean and Coastal Policy at Duke University.” – Dr. Mark Moline, Director, School of Marine Science and Policy, CEOE, University of Delaware
“For me…her best achievement is the legacy of an international cadre of former students and fellows that she and Professor Knecht nurtured and supervised through the years, a number of whom have become prominent leaders in the field of oceans, occupying important positions at various global, regional, and national agencies in many countries.” – Dr. Miriam Balgos, OIC, Global Ocean Forum
“How did a biologist become a marine policy fellow? Through the hands of Biliana Cicin-Sain, my mentor, my friend, and the beacon in my professional career. I met Biliana and dear Professor Knecht in Campeche 22 years ago. Biliana impressed me with her contagious energy and at that moment I was convinced that UD was the best option for a graduate degree and she had to be my lead professor… When I arrived at the Center of Marine Policy, Biliana and Professor Knecht were at the core of an ever going dynamic of students coming from all over the world, that participated in different activities that the center promoted, such as national and international meetings, exchange programs to North America, Asia, and Europe, assessments of international treaties and conventions, offering international internships and inviting visitors from national and international organizations. Thanks to Biliana, all of these activities were part of our training courses and later became part of our professional networking.” – Evelia Rivera Arriaga
“For having had the honor to serve the UN in the past 25 years myself I know that Biliana has brought a critical service to the whole international community. Moreover, she has always been driven by the passionate desire to transfer her knowledge onto the hundreds of students that she nurtured, intellectually and humanly, over the years. There is a whole generation of scholars and expert practitioners out there, of which I am proud to be part. This generation would have not existed without Biliana, and I can promise you that it is already generating a new generation, and so on. This is the legacy that Biliana has been able to transmit.” – Salvatore Arico
“Thank you so much for the work that you have done, not only for myself, but for many young professionals, improving us and helping us understand and navigate the world of global ocean marine policy.” – Dr. Peter Edwards, University of Delaware PhD 2009
“In my role as her designer, we have built an impressive catalog of work. But the thing that stands out to me is the long line of students I have watched her mentor and develop. I did not meet every single one, but developed wonderful working relationships with many of them. It has been gratifying seeing them graduate from the University and go out and establish themselves in the world of ocean policy. Biliana has been a fantastic teacher and mentor and is creating a lasting impact on the world.” – Kevin McLaughlin
On the occasion of the Global Ocean Forum Policy Advisory Board meeting, November 24, 2021:
“I met Biliana as a grad student back in 2008. My first foray into policy – I was coming from a science background. Since then, she became not only my advisor, but really one of my first and major career mentors. Through my experiences with the Global Ocean Forum, I’ve built up my career in international policy all the way here to Montreal and the Convention on Biological Diversity.” – Joseph Appiott
“I came to the Global Ocean Forum in 2006 as a student of BCS…I’ve been committed to global ocean sustainability ever since.” – Kateryna Wowk