Sharon Livermore & Azzedine Downes

Director, Marine Conservation & President, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

About Sharon Livermore & Azzedine Downes

Sharon has always had a passion for wildlife and conservation, and began studying marine mammals in 2005. After a number of years working in the field researching these animals, she decided that her energy and enthusiasm for protecting and conserving marine animals and habitats would be better suited to work in the NGO sector. Today, as the Director for the global Marine Conservation team, Sharon supports IFAW's efforts worldwide to protect whales from ship strikes, make our oceans quieter, bring an end to commercial whaling and reduce threats to marine life and habitats around the world. She has represented IFAW at meetings of the International Whaling Commission, the UN Oceans Conference and the International Maritime Organization, engaging with governments, industry and policy makers to ensure our work helps inform decisions made at these international forums. 

As IFAW’s Executive Vice President since 1997, Azzedine Downes had worked closely with experts from across the sciences and decision makers from around the world. But when he became President, IFAW started bringing together what Azzedine likes to call “the unusual suspects.” Seamstresses in Malawi. Auction houses in China. Military intelligence officers in Minnesota. Working together, IFAW’s eclectic network is now helping animals and people thrive together in more than 40 countries. Azzedine has also influenced international policies to create positive change on the ground. Before joining IFAW, Azzedine served as the Chief of Party for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Jerusalem and Morocco, as well as the Acting Regional Director for the United States Peace Corps in Eurasia and the Middle East. In 2015, Fast Company named Azzedine one of the “The Most 100 Creative People in Business,” and he has been listed among The NonProfit Times’ “Power and Influence Top 50.” He is a member of the Global Tiger Forum Advisory Council, and he currently sits on the U.S. Trade and Environmental Policy Advisory Committee.

Stakeholder Group

NGO/Civil Society

Intro Content

International Co-operation Biodiversity Sustainable Development Goals Trade

Slow and Steady Saves the Race: We need to regulate underwater noise pollution to protect marine wildlife

Underwater noise pollution needs to be tackled at a global level, and within a global regulatory framework. For humans, noise is a nuisance; for marine wildlife and the ocean systems it is a matter of survival. We owe it to our ocean to seize this opportunity. Banner: Shutterstock/Manamana

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