Wendy Watson-Wright is the Executive Secretary and Assistant Director General of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO). Headquartered in Paris, France, IOC-UNESCO has the mandate within the United Nations system for ocean science, observations, data and information exchange, and services; including global tsunami warning systems. It is also the competent international organisation for marine science under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
From 2001 to 2009, Watson-Wright was Assistant Deputy Minister of Science, for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, where she was responsible for providing the policy direction and scientific leadership for all science activities in the department’s 15 scientific institutes throughout Canada.
She has offered a number of prestigious invited keynote lectures including the International Ocean Institute’s Elisabeth Mann Borgese Memorial Lecture (2013) and the Institute for Marine Engineering, Science and Technology’s Stanley Gray Lecture, and has been a member of several boards including the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science, Ocean Networks Canada, ArcticNet and the Strategic Advisory Board for the EU Joint Programming Initiative on Oceans (JPI Oceans).
A Killam scholar, Watson-Wright holds a PhD in Physiology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.