College News
Dr. Ayana is a committed mentor for next generation conservation leaders.

Macaulay Honors College is thrilled to announce that Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson Ph.D, an award-winning marine biologist, policy expert, and advocate, will serve as the 2020 Commencement speaker. Dr. Johnson will address Macaulay’s 500 graduates on Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 3pm at the United Palace Theater in upper Manhattan.

Dr. Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, and Brooklyn native. She is founder and CEO of Ocean Collectiv, a strategy consulting firm for conservation solutions grounded in social justice, and founder of Urban Ocean Lab, a think tank for the future of coastal cities.

She serves on the board of directors for the Billion Oyster Project and World Surf League’s PURE, on various advisory boards. To develop a local network of ocean professionals, she founded Team Ocean NYC.

Previous roles include executive director of the Waitt Institute, co-founder of the Blue Halo Initiative and leader of the Caribbean’s first successful island-wide ocean zoning effort, which resulted in the protection of one-third of Barbuda’s coastal waters. Dr. Johnson has also held policy positions in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Dr. Johnson earned a B.A. from Harvard University in Environmental Science and Public Policy, and a Ph.D. from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in marine biology. She was awarded fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Switzer Foundation, and American Association of University Women.

Find her @ayanaeliza