Daniela Fernandez is the founder and chair of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA), a global organisation that empowers millennials to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of our ocean. After a trip to the United Nations in 2013, where she learned that fisheries could collapse by 2050, affecting the global economy, food chains and marine life, Ms Fernandez decided to take action. She organised the first annual Sustainable Oceans Summit, which convened millennials, NGOs, business executives and policy leaders to discuss the challenges and potential solutions surrounding ocean sustainability.
Under her leadership, 40 university chapters have been created worldwide two annual summits have broadcast globally engaging US embassies and over 3,000 participants. SOA has also partnered with the US State Department to co-host the “Our Ocean” leadership summit, attracting high-level government officials and over 150 international students. She is a contributor to National Geographic and The Economist Intelligence Unit, and has spoken at Capitol Hill Ocean Week, UN Nexus Summit, World Affairs Council conference, WE Day Illinois and has been invited to the United Nations to present a petition on behalf of the millennial generation in anticipation of the Sustainable Development Goal vote.
Ms Fernandez has been recognised for her work by US Secretary of State John Kerry, named one of Glamour magazine’s College Women of the Year, received the Peter Benchley Ocean Youth Award, the 2016 Bustle Upstart award, has been listed as a Top 5 Ocean Hero of 2016, and is a Green 2.0 environmental leader.
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