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Independence, transparency, impartiality and multi-stakeholder governance are central to the MSC’s values and commitment to maintain and strengthen world-leading standards.

We work hard to ensure our standards, strategy and decision-making take account of the views, expertise and experience of a wide range of perspectives, from academia and government, the fishery and market sectors, and the environmental NGO community.

Our governance structure therefore involves a wide range of individuals with different perspectives to ensure that the MSC’s decisions are balanced, reflecting many sectors and interests.

In addition to our governance bodies, stakeholders are invited to participate in consultations on our standards and requirements, and are encouraged to participate in independent fisheries assessments.

Chart of MSC Governance Structure

The MSC Board of Trustees

The MSC Board of Trustees is our governing body. With advice from the MSC Executive, Technical Advisory Board and Stakeholder Advisory Council, it sets the strategic direction of the MSC, monitors progress and ensures the MSC meets its objectives.

The Board of Trustees meets at least four times a year and has a maximum of nine members.

Main activities

  • Ensuring the MSC meets its charitable aims
  • Setting the strategic direction of the MSC, and monitoring progress in delivery of strategy
  • Ensuring that the MSC is financially secure
  • Publicly accounting for expenditure and income
  • Ensuring the MSC operates in a legally compliant manner in relevant jurisdictions
  • Appointing new Board members and key MSC staff
  • Appointing members of the Technical Advisory Board and Stakeholder Advisory Council

Board committees

The MSC Board of Trustees undertakes its work not only at Board meetings, but also through a number of Board Committees, which meet throughout the year to reflect in detail on specific areas of the MSC’s activities and operations. They are chaired by Board members and their membership is primarily drawn from the MSC Board of Trustees.

Leadership

The Chair of the MSC Board of Trustees leads the Board and is elected for a term of three-years, and may serve up to three terms. 

Membership

Trustees are chosen for their knowledge, expertise and support for the MSC. Membership is balanced, encompassing expertise and experience from different sectors and geographical regions (as well as other relevant demographic criteria) to reflect the broad mix of perspectives required for MSC to fulfil its charitable aims.

Potential new Board members are identified through an open, external recruitment process. Trustees are appointed by the MSC Board of Trustees in a personal capacity, not as representatives of their organisations. They serve a maximum three-year term and may stand for reappointment for one further three-year term.

One Board Member is nominated by the MSC Board of Trustees for appointment as the Chair of the MSCI Board.

Mr Giles Bolton – Chair

Giles BoltonAppointed as Chair of the Board in February 2024, Mr Giles Bolton was previously Director of Responsible Sourcing and Packaging at Tesco, one of the world’s largest retailers. Prior to Tesco, Giles had a ten-year career as an aid worker for the British Government, managing development programmes in Kenya, Rwanda, Iraq, and on trade.

Giles is on the Board of the Ethical Trading Initiative and is co-chair of the Consumer Goods Forum working group on Forced Labour. He chairs the aid transparency NGO Publish What You Fund, and is author of the activist book Aid and Other Dirty Business.


Mr Kristjan Th. Davidsson – Finance Committee Chair

Kristjan Daviddsson portrait imageAppointed to the Board in July 2021. Kristjan Th. Davidsson is an Icelandic seafood industry specialist with more than 35 years of executive and non-executive roles within and related to the international seafood industry, in Iceland, Norway, Chile and Peru. Kristjan’s working experience spans fishing, production, trading/sales of seafood, technology and services, finance, management, consulting, banking and financial advisory. He has held and holds non-executive roles in companies within the seafood industry, fishing/production/sales, services and technology, banking, internet service and fibre provider, and a pension fund. He currently manages his own consulting business and an investment company.

 

Ms Maria Damanaki - Development Committee Chair

Maria DamanakiAppointed to the Board in September 2019,Ms Maria Damanaki was previously a principal adviser for SYSTEMIQ/ London, and the Paradise Foundation/China.  She served as Global Managing Director for Oceans at The Nature Conservancy (2014-2020),  running marine programs in 27 countries, across all continents, focused on transforming how the world manages its oceans, including sustainable fisheries management, large-scale protection and restoration of coral reefs and other ecosystems.

Maria also co-chairs the UN Sustainability Committee for Blue Growth, and co-chairs the advisory network of the High-Level Panel for Oceans created by the Norwegian Prime Minister and 13 PMs around the world. She is a member of the Friends of Ocean Commission of the World Economic Forum.


Ms Mikel Durham

Headshot of woman with glasses: Mikel Durham Appointed to the Board in July 2023, Ms Mikel Durham has led food and beverage businesses globally for over 25 years, and nurtured brands such as Naked Juice, Pepsi, Guinness, Cadbury, amongst others. She currently serves as a Board Director of Tyson Foods, and was previously the Chief Executive of American Seafoods, and Chair of the Genuine Alaskan Pollock Association. Mikel also volunteered as Vice Chair of Good360, the global leader in product philanthropy, which creates a cycle of good from manufacturers/retailers to charities helping people in need during disasters and every day, and reducing landfill waste through repurposing. 

Dr Darian McBain

Portrait of seated woman in purple jacket: Darian McBain Appointed to the Board in July 2023, Dr Darian McBain is a globally experienced Chief Sustainability Officer, advisor and board member. Darian is Chief Executive of OCSO Asia and Visiting Professor in Practice for the London School of Economics & Political Science. She also chairs Be Slavery Free, an anti-modern slavery non-profit, and the Global Dialogue for Seafood Traceability management board. She previously worked as Managing Director, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability for Thai Union, and as Chief Sustainability Officer for the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Darian is a former member of MSC's Stakeholder Advisory Council.

Mr Eddy Njoroge - Audit & Risk Committee Chair

Portrait photo of man in suit: Eddy NjorogeAppointed to the Board in July 2023, Mr Eddy Njoroge is the former CEO of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), where he spearheaded the transformation of the company from a parastatal to a publicly listed company. From 2008 to 2012, Eddy was the President of the Union of Producers and Distributors of Electric Power in Africa. He currently serves as Chairman of Telkom Kenya and of the Nairobi Securities Exchange and is a board member of CfC Stanbic Bank, Real Insurance Ltd and Proctor & Allan among other companies. Eddy was elected president of ISO (2020-21) and then Special Adviser to the current ISO president for 2022-23. 

Dr Kevin Stokes

Kevin StokesAppointed to the Board in July 2020. Dr Kevin Stokes is a fisheries science, management, and policy consultant with extensive international experience. He has held senior management positions in both the public and private sector as a fisheries scientist, manager, and adviser. He has provided advice nationally and internationally at senior governmental and ministerial levels, as well as to the fishing, processing and retail sectors. Kevin has acted as a fisheries assessor, auditor, and peer reviewer for multiple MSC certification assessments for a number of Conformity Assessment Bodies.

 

Dr Sergio Espejo Yaksic

Headshot of man in front of bookshelves: Sergio YaksicAppointed to the Board in July 2023, Dr Sergio Espejo Yaksic is a lawyer and a former politician who has held various high-level positions in the Chilean government throughout his career. He served as Chief Executive of Energy Regulation Enforcement and as a member of the Antitrust Board. He became a member of the Cabinet, as Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, and was later elected as congressman. He is now Chief Executive Officer of Inmobiliaria Las Lilas Corporation, a Senior Consultant at Vital Comunicaciones, and a Board Member of Fundación COANIL.

The MSC Technical Advisory Board

The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) works in close collaboration with the MSC Executive to provide advice to the MSC Board of Trustees on technical and scientific matters relating to the MSC Standards and associated policies, including developing methodologies for certification and accreditation, as well as related scientific and technical research.

Leadership

The Technical Advisory Board Chair is appointed by the MSC Board of Trustees, based on recommendations from the MSC Governance Committee and the TAB.

The Chair of the Technical Advisory Board is invited to MSC Board meetings, to ensure that the Technical Advisory Board is engaged in Board proceedings.

Membership

The Technical Advisory Board is appointed by the MSC Board of Trustees, either following an open, external recruitment process or based on recommendations from the MSC Governance Committee and the Technical Advisory Board.

In appointing the membership of the Technical Advisory Board, the MSC Board of Trustees aims to ensure a range of experience and expertise, as well as geographical representation. Members are nominated in a personal capacity not as representatives of their organisations. Members serve a three-year term and may stand for reappointment. The Technical Advisory Board may have up to fifteen members.

Read the MSC Technical Advisory Board Terms of Reference

Dr Rebecca Lent (USA), Technical Advisory Board Chair
Appointed June 2019

Consultant in Marine Stewardship.

Dr Chris Zimmermann (Germany)
Appointed June 2010

Director of the Institute of Baltic Sea Fisheries, expert on fisheries stock assessment and management systems.

Mr Adam Swan (UK)
Appointed September 2008

Brakes, expert understanding of the seafood industry and chain of custody.

Dr Tim Essington (United States) 
Appointed July 2011

Professor of Fisheries Sciences at the University of Washington, focussing on fisheries, aquatic ecology, predator-prey interaction, ecological modelling and food webs.

Dr Keith Sainsbury (Australia) 
Appointed July 2002

Fisheries assessment scientist working for Sainsolutions; expert on aquatic ecosystems and fisheries management systems.

Dr Victor Restrepo (USA) 
Appointed July 2012

Chair, Scientific Advisory Committee, and Vice-President for Science, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). Expert in tuna, large pelagics and Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.

Ms Michèle Stark (Switzerland) 
Appointed June 2016

Executive Advisor, Seafood Advisory Ltd, with expertise in sustainable aquaculture analysis, impact assessments, seafood standards, and certification and accreditation systems.

Dr Florian Baumann (Germany) 
Appointed January 2017

Head of Quality Assurance, Frozen Fish International GmbH, Chair of the Scientific and Technical Committee of the German Fish Trade Association, with expertise in auditing and traceability.

Mr Jose Augusto Pinto de Abreu (Brazil)
Appointed June 2019

Managing Director of Sextante Consultoria, expert on management systems, standardization and regulation, conformity assessment, risk management, and sustainability.

Ms Jacqui Dixon (South Africa)
Co-opted Member

Technical Advisor to the Hong Kong Sustainable Seafood Coalition, based in South Africa. 

Prof. Wisdom Akpalu (Ghana)
Co-opted Member

Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration.

Ms Adriana Fabra (Spain)
Co-opted Member

Consultant and legal expert in national and international fishery management.

Mr Héctor Martin Fernández Alvarez (Spain)
Co-opted Member

Sustainability Manager – Advocacy, Policy & Compliance, at Bolton Food – Bolton Group 

Ms Celeste Leroux (USA)
Co-opted Member

CEO, Goldfish; previously Lead for NOAA’s U.S. Seafood Import Monitoring Program

Dr Rasmus Hedeholm (Denmark)
Co-opted Member

Project Manager, Sustainable Fisheries Greenland 

The MSC Stakeholder Advisory Council

The MSC Stakeholder Advisory Council (STAC) works in close collaboration with the MSC Executive to provide advice to the MSC Board of Trustees on relevant strategic, policy or operational issues, including input into the MSC’s formal Standard review processes. It includes representatives from the seafood industry, conservation community, market sector and academia. Its membership reflects diverse expertise, experiences, geographies and interests in relation to the work of the MSC. The Stakeholder Advisory Council is also a formal channel through which all stakeholders, whether members of the Stakeholder Advisory Council or not, can provide their views to the MSC.

Formal correspondence sent directly to individual Stakeholder Advisory Council members or to the STAC collectively will be forwarded to the MSC Executive (Alene Wilton – MSC’s Chief Operating Officer) and copied to the Stakeholder Advisory Council Chair. The MSC will respond, as appropriate, in accordance with its public correspondence protocol. The Stakeholder Advisory Council will not enter into direct correspondence.

The Stakeholder Advisory Council meets at least once per year.

Leadership

The Stakeholder Advisory Council Chair is appointed by the MSC Board of Trustees, based on recommendations from the MSC Governance Committee and the Council, following an open, external recruitment process.

The Chair of the Stakeholder Advisory Council is invited to MSC Board meetings, to ensure that the Stakeholder Advisory Council is engaged in Board proceedings.

Membership

Potential new Stakeholder Advisory Council members are identified through an open, external recruitment process. Stakeholder Advisory Council members normally serve terms of up to three years, and may be appointed for up to two terms.

The Advisory Council comprises up to seventeen members, six of whom are from the seafood industry (processing or harvest), six of whom are from the conservation community; and two from the market sector. Within this membership, the MSC strives to ensure adequate representation from developing world and small-scale fishery interests. The remaining three seats on the Council are undesignated and used to ensure a balanced membership in the light of the MSC’s strategic objectives.

MSC Stakeholder Advisory Council - Terms of Reference

Ms Heather Brayford – Stakeholder Advisory Council Chair 
Appointed August 2017
Government of Western Australia, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Australia

Mr Damien Bell
Appointed July 2022
BellBuoy Seafoods (Primary Producer, fisher), Western Australia.

Ms Bernadette Butfield
Appointed October 2023
Senior Policy Officer, UK Marine team, RSPB and Birdlife International

Mr Christian Haller
Appointed July 2022
CR-Manager, ALDI Nord, Germany

Mr Marcelo Hidalgo
Appointed July 2022.
Fishery Consultant, PNG Fishing Industry Association, Netherlands

Ms Susan Jackson
Appointed October 2023
President, International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) and International Seafood Sustainability Trade Association (ISSA)

Mr Madoda Khumalo
Appointed October 2023
Strategic Services Director, Sea Harvest Corporation (Pty) Ltd

Mr Tor Larsen 
Appointed August 2017
Norwegian Fishermen’s Association, Norway

Dr Ghislaine Llewellyn 
Appointed in June 2019
WWF International

Ms Sofie Smedegaard Mathiesen
Appointed July 2023
Biologist, Danish Fishermen's Producer Organization (DFPO)

Dr Tom Pickerell
Appointed October 2023
Director, Ocean Program – World Resources International

Ms María José Espinosa Romero 
Appointed June 2019
Communidad y Biodiversidad A.C (COBI), Mexico

Dr Bryce Stewart 
Appointed July 2022
Senior Research Fellow, Marine Biological Association and Associate Professor, University of Plymouth (UK)

Ms Mod Talawat 
Appointed July 2022
UN Office for Project Services, Programme Management Specialist (National Coordinator), Thailand

The Marine Stewardship Council International Board

Marine Stewardship Council International (MSCI) is a wholly owned trading subsidiary of the MSC. Its Board provides oversight of MSCI’s commercial and marketing activities, which are primarily focused on ecolabel licensing, and supporting public education campaigns and growing awareness and understanding of sustainable seafood and the MSC ecolabel. Membership includes the Chair of the MSC Board of Trustees and the MSC’s Chief Executive.

A Member of the MSC Board is appointed as Chair of the MSCI Board.

Ms Mikel Durham, MSCI Board Chair

Mr Giles Bolton, MSC Board of Trustees Chair

Ms Valentina Tripp

Mr Fernando Lago

Mr Rupert Howes, MSC Chief Executive

Subsidiary boards

The MSC has established several other subsidiary companies in key jurisdictions, most of which are registered charities. These are separate legal entities for the purposes of taxation, regulation and charitable activities. Each has a board to oversee its operations.

Working groups & expert panels

In addition to our governance bodies, standing and ad hoc working groups or expert panels may be established by the MSC Board of Trustees, Technical Advisory Board or Stakeholder Advisory Council to address specific topical issues. Their members come from the MSC Board of Trustees, Technical Advisory Board and Stakeholder Advisory Council, and may also include other independent subject-matter experts who are invited to advise the MSC in these ad hoc groups.

If you have any questions about our governance structures and processes, or you are interested in participating in the MSC’s stakeholder consultations, please contact the MSC’s Chief Operating Officer.

MSC Articles of Association
Date of issue: 20 December 2019
Download download file PDF - 1 MB

More about the MSC

Reports and brochures

Reports and brochures

Read or download the MSC Annual Report and other documents. For 20 years we've been part of a team effort to keep oceans healthy and seafood sustainable.

How we meet best practice

How we meet best practice

It’s vital that everyone, from fishers to retailers, scientists to consumers, has confidence in the blue MSC label.