Steering Committee

Robbin PeachRobbin Peach is the founding director of the Collaborative Institute. An entrepreneurial leader with key accomplishments in organizational development, private/public partnerships, strategic planning, and developing complex multi-stakeholder programs, Peach specializes in philanthropy and marine ecosystem management issues and has provided strategic advice to government, foundations, not-for-profits, private consulting firms, and institutions of higher education. Most recently Ms. Peach co-founded, with a member of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, the Massachusetts Ocean Partnership – a public/private partnership that has supported the first-in-the-nation integrated multi-use ocean management plan, setting the stage for marine spatial planning in the United States. She has been executive director of a quasi-public philanthropy for eighteen years, and has worked for the City of Boston in roles of senior planner and director of urban design. Peach holds a master's degree in public administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where she was a Robert F. Bradford Fellow for “Excellence in Public Service”, a master's degree in landscape design and land-use planning, and a bachelor of science in horticulture. She also completed a graduate certificate in mediation and international conflict from UMass Boston. Today, she serves as the first program manager for resiliency at the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Ira A. Jackson, vice provost for economic planning, brings a strong mix of academic leadership, organizational development, public affairs, and community partnership experience to the position. Before his most recent appointment as a distinguished scholar at MIT, Jackson served as dean and professor of management at the Peter Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University in California. Locally, he has held several positions at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, including senior associate dean. Jackson has also worked outside academia in the private and public sectors. He was an executive vice president and executive director of external affairs at Bank Boston, Massachusetts commissioner of revenue, administrative assistant to Mayor Kevin White, and president of two philanthropic foundations. Jackson earned a master’s degree in public affairs at Harvard.

 Andrew Grosovsky, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityAndrew Grosovsky, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at UMass Boston, has served in a leadership capacity for the Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security since its inception. Within the College of Science and Mathematics, Dean Grosovsky oversees eight undergraduate and graduate programs, including the Department of Environmental, Earth and Ocean Sciences. Prior to his appointment at UMass Boston, he served as the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at the University of California, Riverside, and as a professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience. Dean Grosovsky’s own research interests focus on the mechanisms of environmental carcinogenesis, with an emphasis on mutagenesis, recombination, and genomic instability in human cells. His research has been supported by major grants from NIH, US Department of Energy, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. As dean, he is skilled in creating and directing initiatives for interdisciplinary research collaborations. 

Robyn Hannigan, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityExecutive Committee Member and Dean of the School for the Environment, Robyn Hannigan, PhD is fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Geological Society of America, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and the 2007 American Chemical Society Medal awardee for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences. Hannigan's research focuses on the study of the chemical record of climate change preserved in estuarine and ocean sediments and biominerals. She earned her doctoral degree in earth and environmental science at the University of Rochester, focusing on high and low temperature trace element geochemistry. She was a post-doctoral fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Old Dominion University where she worked on geochemistry, oceanography, and biology research collaboratives. With former students, Hannigan started GeoMed Analytical to study human health and food resource issues. She and her students hold several patents in areas of sample introduction technologies for mass spectrometric identification of important metals in biological samples.  

Bill Brah, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityBill Brah is assistant vice provost for research and executive director of the Venture Development Center, a state-of-the-art research and development facility and business incubator at UMass Boston. Brah has spent 25 years as an entrepreneurial executive, building partnerships for innovation within and across industry, university and government sectors. Results include a new green energy venture fund, environmental technology licenses, and clean tech startup companies. Earlier in his career, Brah was a regional manager at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, DC, instrumental in launching the California Coastal Commission.

John Ciccarelli, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityJohn Ciccarelli provides leadership and strategic planning for UMass Boston in the areas of urban outreach, public policy, communications, and government and community relations. While  associate vice chancellor for government relations, public affairs, and economic Development, he served as the university’s primary liaison with city, state, and federal governments, various external constituencies, and community and regulatory organizations. With other university officials, he helped advance UMass Boston’s legislative agenda and secure government support for major university initiatives. Prior to coming to UMass Boston, Ciccarelli was state director of the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center Network. He received his undergraduate degree from Holy Cross College and his master of public administration degree from Northeastern University.

Rich Delaney, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityCIOCS Advisor Richard F. Delaney is president and CEO of the Center for Coastal Studies in Provincetown, MA, a private, nonprofit focused on the conservation and protection of coastal and marine resources and with which UMass Boston has an agreement for cooperation and exchange.  Previously, he was the founding director of the Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston, assistant secretary of environmental affairs in Massachusetts and the director of the Coastal Zone Management Program, and national chair of the Coastal States Organization in Washington, DC. He has worked in over 20 countries on sustainable coastal development and management issues.

David Levy, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityDavid L. Levy is chair of the Department of Management and Marketing at the UMass Boston and director of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and Regional Competitiveness. His research examines corporate strategic responses to climate change, the growth of the clean energy business sector, and the emergence of carbon disclosure as a form of governance. He also studies strategic contestation over the governance of controversial issues in the context of global production networks. He has published and lectured widely on these topics. He edits Climate Inc., a blog devoted to intelligent discussion of business and climate change.

Leslie Ann McGee, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityLeslie-Ann McGee is the director of ocean and coastal solutions at Battelle Memorial Institute and has over 17 years of professional experience in ocean and coastal work.  Appointed by Massachusetts Governor Patrick to lead the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, Ms. McGee directed policy, strategic planning and implementation for ocean management, climate change adaptation, coastal resources, and waterfront planning divisions.  She supervised federal consistency regulatory review and environmental policy and impact project review for local waterfront development and dredging projects, offshore wind turbines, and deepwater liquefied natural gas ports. Ms. McGee served the New England Fishery Management Council for eight years focusing on the use of marine protected areas and ecosystem-based management, and as an expert on the UNESCO Ecosystem-Based Marine Spatial. She holds a master's degree in environmental management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. 

Michael A. Rex, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityMichael A. Rex is a professor and former chair of the Department of Biology at UMass Boston. His research program centers on ecology and evolution in the deep sea. He is co-author of the book Deep-Sea Biodiversity: Pattern and Scale (Harvard University Press) and has published extensively including in Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  He advises the federal government on the potential environmental effects of petroleum exploration, mining, and waste disposal in the deep ocean.  He serves on the steering committee of The Census of the Diversity of Abyssal Marine Life, a division of the Census of Marine Life, is chair of The Deep-Sea Biodiversity Working Group at the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, and is associate editor of the journal, Global Ecology and Biogeography.

David Terkla, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityDavid G. Terkla is the dean of the College of Liberal Arts. He has written extensively on the New England fishing industry and the importance of nontraditional cost factors to local economic development. Professor Terkla has been involved in projects related to environmental management and economic development, including valuation of resource uses in Massachusetts and Cape Cod Bay, and analyses of protection policies for urban waterfronts, potential conflicts between tourism and fishing industries, and transportation planning and development in Massachusetts. Terkla has also been a member of the New England Fisheries Management Council Social Science Advisory Panel, the American Lobster Socioeconomic Subcommittee for the Atlantic States Fisheries Commission, and several EEOA technical advisory committees.

Jack Wiggin, Steering Committee, Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate, and SecurityJack Wiggin is the director of the Urban Harbors Institute at UMass Boston where he is responsible for development and management of the institute’s research agenda and technical assistance projects on ocean and coastal policy and management, port and urban waterfront planning and decision making.  He has 30 years of experience in government, the private sector, and academia developing and implementing coastal and marine policy, planning and management strategies at the national, state, and local levels of government in the U.S. and abroad. He is a board member of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, the Environmental Business Council of New England, The Boston Harbor Association, and serves on numerous advisory boards for government and nonprofit organizations. He has a MS in urban studies and planning and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

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