Panel: Visions for the Blue Economy

Visions for the Blue Economy Special Panel

Monday, October 5

The Blue Economy has become a popular buzz phrase lately, yet there are a variety of definitions. Some define the Blue Economy as all sectors associated with a water asset and include traditional Ocean Economy sectors such as oil & gas, commercial & recreational activities, shipbuilding & transportation, and construction. The Blue Economy seeks to recognize newer sectors and includes ocean exploration & research, technology development & operations, nowcasting & forecasting, and even urban concerns. This panel will discuss the growing importance of the Blue Economy in local, regional, and national constructs.

Moderator: Laurie Jugan
Program Director, Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET)

Laurie Jugan is an independent consultant supporting the Mississippi Enterprise for Technology (MSET), a nonprofit located at Stennis Space Center. She assists companies in finding business opportunities consistent with company capabilities. She serves as liaison with local federal agencies, assessing commercially-developed technologies for federal use and federally-developed technologies for commercial use. She supports the Marine Industries Science & Technology (MIST) Cluster, promoting the Blue Economy along the Gulf Coast region. She is responsible for several MSET and MIST reports on workforce development, assessments of Mississippi’s STEM jobs, and maritime industry economic impact in the State.

Laurie worked for 25 years in a small technology business serving in a variety of technical and business roles. She is a retired Oceanographer and holds Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Oceanography. Her technical roles included at-sea exercise direction and the creation of environmental products assisting the Naval Fleet in navigating global waters. Laurie currently serves on the Board of the INFINITY Science Center and co-hosts a WRJW radio spot highlighting business activities along the Gulf Coast.

Speaker: RADM Jonathan White, USN Ret.
CEO, Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Jon White was instated as President & CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in January 2016. Prior to this, White had a distinguished 32-year career as an oceanography and meteorology officer in the U.S. Navy, retiring at the rank of Rear Admiral. White had numerous assignments at sea and ashore during his Navy career, culminating in his assignment as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy from 2012 to 2015. This position included his appointment as the Navy Deputy to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as extensive federal and international representation of the Navy on matters pertinent to his position.

White’s passion for the ocean and the Navy began at a very early age as he grew up along Florida’s Gulf coast, living next door to a Navy diver. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Oceanographic Technology from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master’s degree in oceanography and meteorology from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

Panelist: Dr. Kelly Lucas
University of Southern Mississippi

Kelly Lucas serves as Interim Associate Vice President for Research, Coastal Operations and Director of the Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM). Lucas promotes and guides USM’s vision and mission for research, creates innovative, multidisciplinary research opportunities and expands the research portfolio through partnerships with industry, government, academic partner institutions and non-profit organizations. She serves on the board of Stronger America through Seafood and recently served as the Chair (2018-2019) for the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative. Prior to joining USM in December 2016, Lucas served as the first Chief Scientific Officer for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources where she was responsible for ensuring the agency was using the best available science to make policy decisions.

Lucas is a Mississippi Gulf Coast native and holds a Doctoral degree in coastal science from USM, a Master of Business Administration from University of Alabama-Birmingham and a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from Mississippi State University. She served as Deputy Director of USM’s Gulf Coast Geospatial Center. In addition, Lucas was a USM Science Fellow in the Office of Senator Thad Cochran advising on ocean and atmosphere legislation and policy. She has written and co-authored numerous scientific publications and has been instrumental in creating industry partnerships and securing grant funding.

Panelist: Mark Huang
Co-Founder and Managing Director, SeaAhead, Inc.

Mark has over 15 years of cleantech venture experience. In 2008, he co-founded Novus Energy Partners, a US-European cleantech VC fund after 10 years with GE Capital where he had focused on strategic cleantech venture investments. Mark’s public sector experience includes 13 years as a US Army Reserves officer and a term as the Economic Development Director for Providence where he focused on the innovation ecosystem and developed an Urban Food strategy. Mark co-founded SeaAhead in 2018 and opened Boston’s first bluetech innovation hub in 2019. He holds an MBA and Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a BS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Webb Institute.

Panelist: Jim Hanlon
Center for the Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship (COVE)

Jim is a 40-year veteran of the ocean tech industry, having worked in design, marketing and management for companies in Atlantic Canada, Ontario and New England. His career has spanned the aerospace and defense sectors as well as the marine environmental monitoring field. Over the years, he has worked in senior management positions with several large publicly traded multinationals. He has also been an owner in two separate high-tech companies that have successfully grown and been purchased by multinationals.

He is the founding CEO of COVE – the Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship. COVE is an ocean technology hub based in Halifax Nova Scotia that has become home to more than 70 ocean tech companies large and small. Jim will retire from that role in September of 2020 and looks forward to continuing to support the growth of the Blue Economy through MTS and other organizations in future.

Jim holds of Bachelor of Electrical Engineering Degree from Dalhousie University and an MBA in marketing from Saint Mary’s University. He is a registered professional engineer in Nova Scotia. In June of 2020, Jim was elected a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in recognition of his work in the ocean sector.

Jim’s personal passion is innovation and its impact on the competitiveness and sustainability of ocean industry.

Jim and his wife Anne live on the ocean in suburban Halifax and have three adult children and one grandchild. When not working, Jim enjoys time on his sailboat.

Panelist: RDML Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator

Dr. Gallaudet is the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From 2017-2019 he served as the Acting Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. Before these assignments, he served for 32 years in the US Navy, completing his service in 2017 as the Oceanographer of the Navy. In his current position, Dr. Gallaudet leads NOAA’s Blue Economy activities that advance marine transportation, sustainable seafood, ocean exploration and mapping, marine tourism and recreation, and coastal resilience. He also directs NOAA’s support to the Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, oversees NOAA’s Arctic research, operations, and engagement, and is leading the execution of the NOAA science and technology strategies for Artificial Intelligence, Unmanned Systems, ‘Omics, Cloud, and Citizen Science.

Dr. Gallaudet chairs or co-chairs several interagency bodies, including the Coordinating Board for the Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS), the US Coral Reef Task Force, the Alaska Mapping Executive Committee, and the Ocean Resources Management Subcommittee (ORM) under the White House Ocean Policy Committee (OPC), of which he is also a member. Other committees on which he serves include the National Science and Technology Council’s (NSTC) Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence, the NSTC Committee on STEM Education, the Policy Coordination Committees (PCCs) under the National Security Council (NSC) on Pacific Island Countries, the Arctic, and Maritime Security, and the Executive Steering Group of the National Space Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Executive Committee.

His top priority at NOAA has been people. He has been a vocal champion for NOAA’s diversity and inclusion, leader development, coaching, facilitating, new supervisor training, and awards programs. As acting Administrator, he directed the establishment of NOAA’s mentoring program, the agency’s sexual assault and harassment prevention and response program, and the establishment of NOAA’s workplace violence prevention director.

Dr. Gallaudet has a Bachelor’s Degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Master’s and Doctorate Degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, all in oceanography.