Tom Leschine
Courtesy Tom Leschine

Longtime School of Marine and Environmental Affairs director Tom Leschine will be stepping down in his directorship role on September 1, before the start of the next school year. An expert in marine policy, risk management and policy, and coastal environmental restoration, Leschine has helped position the multidisciplinary research and educational school as a top destination for graduate students since assuming the helm in 2003. His leadership skills have not only been visible within academia; he has applied his expertise and guidance on multiple advisory groups, including through his current leadership as the Chair of the National Research Council’s Marine Board. Next year, he will be taking sabbatical to focus his scholarship on policy dimensions of climate change and energy development in the Arctic.

“Tom’s vision and steady hand have been absolutely crucial in making the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs what it is today,” remarks Dean Lisa Graumlich. “The work coming from the school’s faculty and students has strengthened how we wisely use our natural resources, both in the ocean and elsewhere. That’s in no small part due to Tom’s influence, and I thank him wholeheartedly for his leadership.”

Leschine will continue in his role as professor in the school after his sabbatical. The College of the Environment’s Dean’s office has established a search committee to name a new director, which is running concurrently with another committee seeking a permanent director for Friday Harbor Laboratories.