Michael Conathan

About Michael Conathan

Michael Conathan is an ocean policy specialist with over 15 years of experience driving action on international, federal, and regional marine and maritime initiatives with a focus on growing the sustainable Blue Economy. He serves as a Senior Policy Fellow for Ocean and Climate with the Aspen Institute’s Energy & Environment Program and runs an independent consulting business supporting clients including the Environmental Defense Fund, the Ocean Foundation, the World Bank, and the Sustainable Ocean Alliance. Mike’s work centers on the belief that compromise and collaboration are fundamental to durable policy solutions. Prior to joining Aspen in 2018, he spent seven years as founding director of the ocean policy program at the Center for American Progress after serving for five years supporting Senator Olympia Snowe (R, ME) as the lead staffer on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard. In 2014 he co- founded the National Ocean Protection Coalition, an organization that directly led to the establishment of marine national monuments in the Atlantic and Pacific that now permanently protect over a million square miles of America’s ocean. In addition to Bigelow, he also serves on the board of the Center for the Blue Economy at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies in Monterey, CA. He holds an M.A. in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and a B.A. from Georgetown University and now lives in South Portland, Maine with his wife and teenage son and spends much of his free time exploring New England’s parks, beaches, oyster farms and live music venues.