)
Press Release

Leading Conservation Expert to Join Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is pleased to announce that Monica Medina is joining the environment program as deputy director, effective May 31. In this capacity, Monica will also direct the oceans initiative, which invests in the Americas—the United States, Mexico, Chile and Peru—and Indonesia to end overfishing, improve ocean health and preserve coastal livelihoods. Monica Medina most recently served as the senior director of international ocean policy at the National Geographic Society. 

“I have watched the foundation establish its highly impactful environment program, and I am thrilled to be joining this outstanding team,” said Monica Medina. “I look forward to helping it grow and have an even greater impact conserving oceans and freshwater in the United States and globally.”

Prior to joining National Geographic in 2014, Medina served as special assistant to the secretary of defense, advising him on all issues concerning the environment, energy, climate change, and natural resource management, as well as women in the military. 

“Monica’s vision and record of achievement across a variety of sectors makes her ideally suited for this position,” said Barry Gold, environment program director. “She has a passion for conservation and an ability to bring people together to forge practical solutions that benefit the environment and people.”

Previously, Medina served as the principal deputy undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at NOAA, where she led efforts on Arctic conservation, restoration of the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, endangered species conservation, and fisheries management and enforcement policy. 

Earlier, Medina served on the transition team for the Obama Administration and held positions at the Pew Charitable Trusts and the U.S. office of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. She also served as the U.S. commissioner to the International Whaling Commission. 

Medina is currently a member of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services; and sits on the Georgetown Sustainable Oceans Alliance advisory board.  

She is an honors graduate of Columbia Law School and Georgetown University.