Our Team

Get to know our corporate leadership team.

Alan Leonardi


Alan Leonardi is Vice President for Operations and Chief Scientist for ISS. Alan has a multi-decade history of experience and leadership responsibilities in the ocean science, research, management, and education community. Prior to joining ISS, Alan served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization representing the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. Prior to his time at COL, Alan was an eighteen year employee of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) where he served as the Director of the NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. Through this role, he led the National Ocean Exploration Program and served as Co-Chair of the interagency National Ocean Mapping, Exploration, and Characterization Council and National Oceanographic Partnership Program Interagency Working Group.  While at NOAA, Alan also provided operational management and leadership as Deputy Director of NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorology Laboratory; led science policy and planning as Deputy Director of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation; and served as the strategic lead and Program Manager for NOAA’s cross-Agency Environmental Modeling Program.  

Beyond his government experience, Dr. Leonardi has also held numerous academic research and adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Maryland, Miami Dade College, Broward College, and James Madison University and served in a variety of advisory capacities including with the Washington Math Science Technology Public Charter School, the Miami Maritime and Science Technology Academy, the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE Science Advisory Board, the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative, the EU Horizon 2020 funded ATLAS and iAtlantic efforts, and as a member of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Visiting Committee.  Alan is the recipient of a U.S. Department of Commerce individual Silver Medal for his efforts building the first ever partnership between Google and a Federal entity and led two U.S. DOC Gold Medal award winning teams and one Bronze Medal award winning team, all with work focused on ocean exploration.

Alan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science degrees from Florida State University in Physical Oceanography.

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