I have always been fascinated by the dynamics among coastal communities and the ocean, starting in my childhood while scuba diving and sailing in the Caribbean. Working for Ocean Doctor has given me the opportunity to link science and policy in a very unique socioeconomic environment and time in history. While working in Cuba, I witness the relationship between society and the environment firsthand, allowing me to appreciate how ocean resources are not only a vital component of natural ecosystems, but also of overall economies and societies. I am committed to Cuba’s environmental future, but also to its communities and scientists. It has been a beautiful journey so far and I am looking forward to continue my work with such admirable scientists and friends.
Ximena Escovar-Fadul is Associate Director of Ocean Doctor’s Cuba Conservancy Program where she works to ensure the development and success of bilateral scientific collaboration while building partnerships between government agencies, academic institutions, non-profit organizations and Cuban communities.
Under the Cuba Conservancy Program, she manages the development and implementation of environmental economic valuation of current and proposed marine protected areas; leads the coral reef monitoring and resilience efforts focused in Cuba’s Isle of Youth; and plays a key role in the planning and implementation of the Cuba – U.S. Sustainable Partnership (CUSP) project. Lastly, Ximena develops and leads the educational and research program to Cuba under Ocean Doctor’s Cuba Travel Program.
Ximena is a marine scientist with broad experience in fisheries research and a strong background in ocean management in Latin American countries. Ximena was born and raised in Colombia but has developed diverse marine research projects in several countries, ranging from population genetic studies in marine top predators, to the development of regional assessments and communicative reports regarding fisheries management and policy. Ximena’s experience includes working as a ocean fellow in the research of Alaska fisheries and benefit allocations (Washington, DC); working on shark fishery management and policy in the East Pacific Ocean for the IATTC -Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission (La Jolla, California); monitoring shark nursery areas and migratory pattern in the Galapagos National Park (Ecuador) and Malpelo (Colombia); and serving as a project coordinator and diving instructor for Operation Wallacea (Cayos Cochinos, Honduras).
Ximena holds a Masters in Environmental Studies and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology – Marine Sciences, from the Universidad de Los Andes (Bogotá Colombia). She is a certified scuba instructor and has broad experience as a diving instructor and marine ecology educator.