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Aquarium Announces New CEO

Dr. Peter Kareiva will succeed Dr. Jerry Schubel as president and CEO.

Peter Kareiva headshot

July 15, 2020

The Aquarium of the Pacific has announced the appointment of Dr. Peter Kareiva as its new president and CEO beginning on August 1, 2020. Current President and CEO Dr. Jerry R. Schubel will retire from the Aquarium on July 31, 2020.

Dr. Kareiva comes to the Aquarium from his position as director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. He also served as the vice president of science for the Nature Conservancy and has held faculty positions at several universities and the National Marine Fisheries Service. He holds a B.A. in zoology, M.S. in environmental biology, and Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology. He has written dozens of articles, papers, and books and received numerous appointments and awards, including the Aquarium’s most prestigious honor, the Ocean Conservation Award.

His career includes diverse research, conservation, and fieldwork assignments across the globe, ranging from fisheries to genetically engineered microbes. His conservation programs relate to urban and marine conservation and climate science. He has been involved in diverse community outreach efforts, including developing science modules for Title I Los Angeles-area schools.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Kareiva to the Aquarium of the Pacific. He has a wealth of experience and connections in conservation, research, fundraising, and management that will enable him to build upon the qualities that make the Aquarium a world-class institution,” said Board Chair Kathleen Eckert.

“As a scientist, I have researched the opportunities for marine aquaculture, the importance of marine habitats in protecting our coast from sea-level rise, and the value of the ocean to our economy. But it is my love of the ocean that brings me to the Aquarium of the Pacific. There is no better place to share the wonders of the marine world with a diverse community, and no better platform from which to engage the global community in saving our oceans,” said Dr. Kareiva.

“We regret losing Dr. Schubel, who has been a visionary leader for 18 years and has made the Aquarium of the Pacific one of the most innovative and successful aquariums in the world and has helped put Long Beach on the map as a cultural and educational center. He leaves a lasting legacy that will benefit the Aquarium and Long Beach for years to come,” said Board Vice Chair and CEO Search Committee Chair Doug Otto. “Going forward, we are excited to work with Dr. Kareiva as he brings his vast knowledge, experience, and connections to further grow our institution’s relevance in ocean conservation, education, and community engagement.”