Founding President and CEO, World Ocean Council (WOC)
Paul Holthus founded the World Ocean Council (WOC) – the Global Blue Economy Business Organization – the international business leadership alliance on ocean sustainable development, science and stewardship. The WOC brings together investment, shipping, fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, offshore energy, mining, submarine cables, ports, and other sectors for global business community leadership, collaboration and action on “Corporate Ocean Responsibility”.
The WOC Ocean Investment Platform is the global structure/process linking investors, ocean industries and innovators. The annual WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit is the premier high-level global ocean business and investment event on sustainable development.
Paul has held senior positions with UN Environment and other international organizations. He has worked in 30+ countries, with companies, communities, industry associations, UN agencies, NGOs, and governments on practical ocean sustainability solutions. He has advanced degrees in marine resources and international business, was a Fulbright scholar in Australia and is an East-West Center alum.
Paul is a regular speaker at international business, investment and intergovernmental events, was invited to be on the UN Secretary General’s ocean advisory panel for Rio+20, and is the only global ocean industry organization representative invited to address the UN General Assembly.
Paul has been involved in climate change issues since the late 1980’s, e.g. coordinating the UNEP Pacific Regional Task Force on Climate Change, organizing the first Pacific Regional Conference on Climate Change (Majuro, 1989), representing the Pacific region at the 2nd World Climate Conference (Geneva, 1990) and UNFCCC PrepComs. More recently, as the WOC CEO, he has been ensuring ocean industry involvement in the UNFCC COPs, including as a speaker in side events and the World Climate Summit.