ASC’s Supervisory Board welcomes new chair and five new members

ASC’s Supervisory Board has welcomed a number of new members recently, including a new chair, Margret Thalwitz, who brings to the role decades of experience in academia and organisations such as the World Bank. Margret is a Development Economist who has had a long career at the World Bank. Among other senior positions she was leading the Bank’s Global Partnership Department prior to leaving for a sabbatical year in Oxford to study the governance of global food security. She has been a consultant on development strategy, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research and a member of the Board of CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) and several of its associate institutions.

‘Chairing the Board of the ASC is a great honour. To further scale up responsible aquaculture is the principal goal of the ASC and its Trustees. Supporting the ASC team in its efforts to ensure environmental sustainability, social responsibility and successful market expansion is a challenge that I will cherish’, said Margret Thalwitz.

The Board has also recently welcomed five other new members, whose wide-ranging experience and expertise complement the aims of ASC’s governance. The other new board members are:

  • Elton Mudyazvivi, Programme Manager, 4 Returns Partnership (a collaboration of Wetlands International, Commonland and Landscape Finance Lab)
  • Sophie Ryan, CEO, Global Salmon Initiative
  • Kristin Veriga, CEO,
  • Bushra Malik, Governance Consultant, Chair of Oversight Committee of UNAIDS and Vice-Chair of the UNHCR’s Independent Audit and Oversight Committee
  • Rohana Subasinghe, Co-Founder/Director, FUTUREFISH

Providing strategic oversight and support:

ASC’s Supervisory Board provides support to ASC’s senior leadership team by providing scrutiny to the organisation’s developments, for example by signing-off new or revised ASC standards. It is made up of a diverse group of members representing academia, NGOs, and industry.

Supervisory Board members can serve two consecutive three-year terms. Margret has taken over from outgoing chair Scott Nichols, who has come to the end of his second term on the Board.

Chris Ninnes, ASC CEO, said: ‘I would like to personally thank our outgoing Chair, Scott Nichols, and other retiring board members for their strategic guidance and their invaluable contribution to ASC over the last years.’ ‘One of ASC’s strengths is our multi-stakeholder approach, and our new Supervisory Board members reflect this with their wealth of experience across sectors and from very different backgrounds. Margret brings much knowledge and experience to the role of chair and joins at an exciting time for ASC. I’d like to welcome Margret and all the new board members.’

More about the new members

Elton Mudyazvivi is passionate about creating food systems that are equitable and operated within planetary boundaries. He has extensively studied both agriculture and business and has contributed and led agriculture development initiatives across Sub-Saharan Africa (Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan and Malawi) and India. He has also worked recently with the IKEA Foundation.

Sophie Ryan is well versed in both sustainable aquaculture and the ASC through her role as CEO of the Global Salmon Initiative GSI. The GSI fosters collaboration between salmon producers to accelerate environmental improvements and drive-up sustainability standards in the industry, and Sophie has been involved in the initiative from its inception. She has also worked as Counsel for the Sustainable Shrimp Partnership, and was a member of the Champions Network to the UN Food Systems Summit. Sophie’s formative work was with Axon Communications, an international communications agency specialising in turning scientific innovation in the healthcare sector into compelling stories.

Kristin Veriga is an international marketing and brand specialist developed over 28 years in healthcare, hygiene, confectionery and food before gaining more recent experience in the seafood sector. He was General Manager at the Nomad Foods, before working as Executive VP, Commercial at Regal Springs before becoming CMO of Grobest. He is currently CEO of Born in Australia he has worked in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, USA and Latin America.

Bushra Malik is a Governance Consultant and member of numerous influential committees and boards, including the Competition Commission of Pakistan, the World Agroforestry Centre, Centre for International Forestry Research, UNAIDS and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Independent Audit and Oversight Committee. Previously she had served on committees and boards of institutions like ILO and CGIAR. Based in Pakistan, Bushra has worked all over the world for the last 29 years and studied in the USA, Pakistan and Canada. Rohana Subasinghe’s current role as Co-Founder/Director of FUTUREFISH is just the latest role in a career in seafood. Previously a President of the World Aquaculture Society, Rohana is now an Honorary Life Member.

Rohana also provides expertise to the UN, including as Vice Chair of the International Steering Committee of the UN’s International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture. He has worked previously for WorldFish and spent over 20 years at FAO, including roles as Senior Aquaculture Officer and Head of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries.

The latest additions to the ASC Supervisory Board ensure a diverse and experienced board representation and bring the total number of members to nine including existing representatives Merrielle Macleod (vice-chair), Manager on the WWF-US Aquaculture team, Aquaculture at World Wildlife Fund’ José Villalon, Corporate Sustainability Director at Nutreco, and Richard Holland, Director of Operations and Network Development at Wetlands International.