Captain Anuj Chopra is an international executive, enterprise risk manager, and big data champion who has successfully forged client relationships in the maritime industry for more than three decades. His deep experience developing ethical, customer-focused EQ cultures has led him to conclude high-value contracts with some of the largest shipping companies in the world.
Captain Chopra cofounded ESGplus LLC, an international consulting firm focused on bringing resiliency, efficiency, and independent board advisory to clients invested in the global maritime supply chain. ESGplus promotes sustainability, increased safety standards, and reducing the environmental impact of the maritime industry as a whole. Captain Chopra guides ESGplus as a diversity-focused company, providing client value by promoting exemplary, transparent customer solutions for a sustainable and resilient maritime supply chain.
Before his time at ESGplus, Captain Chopra spent nearly a decade as a Vice President of RightShip, negotiating high-level due diligence and compliance agreements in developing business across North and South America leading to over 500% growth. Prior to his time at RightShip, he served as the President of Anglo-Eastern Houston, with direct oversight of all fleet vessels visiting US ports, risk evaluation, and government relations.
Captain Chopra began his seafaring career as a deck cadet, working his way up to Captain. He has commanded large bulk carriers and tankers and holds a Commonwealth Extra Masters Certificate of Competency and Shipping Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Captain Chopra currently serves as a Fellow of The Nautical Institute (Chairperson of the U.S. Gulf Branch), an Ambassador for the Sailor Society, and on the Board of Directors at the Houston International Seafarers Center. He was elected President of the Industry Advisory Board for the Supply Chain & Logistics Technology Degree at the University of Houston. Captain Chopra is a Board Member and Treasurer of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) and a member of NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel.
He has been continually mentoring students and professionals in the maritime supply chain for the last 32 years and is an Adjunct Professor for the Supply Chain Program at the College of Technology, University of Houston. He is the Co-Author and Assessor for NAMEPA’s ESG/CSR Maritime Sustainability Passport Program.
Marc Davies focuses his environmental practice on a wide range of issues arising from permitting disputes, contaminated sediment and groundwater sites, as well as allocating liability for, and negotiating remediation of, complex Superfund sites. Marc works with consultants and expert witnesses in developing science-based challenges to governmental decisions involving air and water quality modeling, the relative merits of competing risk assessments, groundwater and sediment contamination, and Natural Resource Damage claims. He is also experienced with regulatory compliance issues involving environmental health and safety audits, and due diligence surrounding real estate, business and financial transactions.
Marc has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science that included air and water modeling work, and a master’s thesis focusing on renewable energy technology transfer to lesser developed nations. He is an adjunct professor of Environmental Law at the Rutgers University School of Law, and has taught a CLE course entitled “Fundamentals of Water Law in Pennsylvania: Protecting Water Rights, Use and Quality,” and co-authored all materials for course participants.
A long-time litigator, Marc is experienced with white collar criminal defense involving both environmental issues, and more traditional product liability and mass torts. Marc’s practice encompasses assisting pharmaceutical and industrial clients in responding to governmental investigations and criminal prosecutions involving the FDA, NRC and EPA, and a range of civil matters, including acting as independent counsel for senior business managers and scientists involved in civil and criminal actions.
Eric R. Dawicki
Eric R. Dawicki
Eric R. Dawicki is an internationally respected maritime expert who has demonstrated leadership and industry-wide successes in the areas of maritime transportation, safety, security, and regulatory affairs, while also leading global advancements in maritime policy, education and training, and economic development.
A Master of Public Administration recipient with Concentrations in Public Affairs from American University in Washington, D.C., President Dawicki has led a distinguished career. With more than 33 years of experience in the maritime industry, his background combines policy and practical expertise with both theoretical policy development and real-world experience. This includes serving in the United States Coast Guard Reserve and the United States Merchant Marine, holding various shipboard positions, ship management specializing in LNG tanker operations, and providing consultancy to private shipping companies, port facilities and governments around the world on domestic and international regulatory instrument compliance.
Presently serving as President of Northeast Maritime Institute (NMI), Dawicki has developed it into the first private maritime college in the history of the United States, offering Maritime Science degrees and continuing education and comprehensive digital learning programs. This includes the development of innovative online learning simulators, training and certification platforms for mariners on a global scale. NMI also serves as a direct support to entities worldwide through the Center for Ocean Policy and Economics (COPE). In addition, Mr. Dawicki concurrently serves as Co-Founder, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Registry, which has an international network of 28 regional offices and close to 400 vessels, many of which operate across the Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asian and Black Sea.
President Dawicki’s additional accomplishments include membership to the United States National Maritime Security Advisory Committee during the Obama and Bush Administrations and has served as the Lead Delegate to the United Nations' International Maritime Organization representing both the United States and the Commonwealth of Dominica and was both on the Board of Governors and Executive Governor to the UN’s World Maritime University, chairing it’s thirty-year sustainability plan, which is now successfully operating.
Hannah E. Dawicki
Hannah E. Dawicki
Hannah E. Dawicki is the Director of Digital Operations at the Northeast Maritime Institute, the Director of Mariner Licensing for the Dominica Maritime Administration and the Chairwoman of the Northeast Maritime Institute Foundation. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C. in 2020, where she received a Bachelor in International Studies with a minor in Communications. Hannah’s studies were focused on global equality and development, sustainability and global peace and security.
In the summer of 2019, Hannah completed an internship at the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) in Brussels, Belgium, where she conducted research on the activities of NATO and compiled the ATA's Annual Report. In the spring of 2020, Hannah completed an internship in the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Sector, where she assisted in compiling current events, organizing Atlantic Council events, and reporting on those events.
Hannah spent three years as a Catalyzer for the non-profit Rockflower, where she aided in generating annual plans for supporting Rockflower and Rockflower partner initiatives and ran fundraising events.
Morgan G. Dawicki
Morgan G. Dawicki
Mr. Morgan G. Dawicki is the Chief Operating Officer at the Northeast Maritime Institute, Director of International Relations at the Dominica Maritime Registry, and President of the Northeast Maritime Institute Foundation. He graduated from The George Washington University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs, concentrating in Conflict Resolution. During the summer of 2016, he completed an internship at the State Department in the OES Bureau’s Office of Policy and Public Outreach. Since the summer of 2017, Morgan has served part-time as Captain aboard S/V Fritha, a traditionally rigged brigantine and was in this capacity the youngest licensed tall-ship captain in America. In 2018, Morgan was a Fellow of Nautical Science at Tabor Academy, teaching nine Nautical Science courses in various subjects. Morgan is currently enrolled in American University's Key Executive Leadership MPA program with an expected graduation date of Spring 2023.
Dr. William Lawrence, PhD
Dr. William Lawrence, PhD
Dr. William Lawrence lived and worked for fifteen years as a senior diplomat, analyst, and international programs director in seven North African, Sahelian, and Middle Eastern countries and France. He is currently a senior scholar at the North Africa and Sahel Program of the Middle East Institute, manages projects for the Center for Ocean Policy and Economics at Northeast Maritime Institute, and consults for several MENA- and Africa-focused CSOs. Since 2011, he served as Crisis Group’s North Africa director with an additional Sahel portfolio, the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy’s MENA Program Director, and Control Risks’ MENA Associate Director. Previously, he served as Global Engagement Senior Advisor at the State Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES), where he developed programs as a member of three White House working groups for core Obama administration initiatives in global engagement with Muslim communities. He co-created Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST), the U.S. Science Envoy Program, and the Maghreb Digital Library; co-chaired the U.S.-Egypt S&T Development Fund for four years; directed a NATO wind energy project in Morocco and Mauritania; co-created the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership; served as a West Africa regional security officer; served at U.S. missions in Nouakchott, Marrakech, Casablanca, Rabat, Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli, Alexandria, Cairo, Jeddah, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Kuwait City; and helped negotiate and implement the first major U.S.-Libya agreement in decades. He has taught at Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, George Washington, Tufts/Fletcher School, Amideast/Mohamed V, and Cadi Ayyad universities and for six years in the U.S. intelligence community and has lectured at over 100 universities worldwide. He appears regularly on BBC, NPR, VOA, France 24, Al Jazeera, TRT, and CGTN and has appeared on over three dozen African TV and radio stations. He received six merit awards from the State Department, two medals from the Egyptian government, an alumni achievement award from Duke University, and the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Fenn School. He also co-produced six MENA-related films and fourteen albums of North African music.
Rett Newton retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Air Force in 2011 following a 28-year career that included leading-edge engineering, F-15E Strike Eagle leadership, and assignments as an Arabic foreign area officer. He has continued his passion for engineering by designing, building, operating, and maintaining autonomous aircraft, terrestrial vehicle, and surface vessel systems with autopilot, datalink, and advanced payloads. Rett joined the Duke University Marine Laboratory team in June 2015, serving as initial cadre for the Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing (MaRRS) Lab, and he is a Duke University PhD candidate studying Marine Science and Conservation. Rett served as the Mayor of the Town of Beaufort, NC from 2017 to 2021, and he is currently running for the U.S. Senate.
Siri Ostvold is an explorer at heart, with a love for the ocean. As a business architect she creates through exploration. With strategic design and innovation processes she leads brands, businesses and people towards a sustainable future, with the planet in the center.
She believes storytelling is a powerful tool to envision, align, educate and create action. She is engaged in ocean conservation and ocean regeneration, she has sailed across the North Pacific Ocean through the “Great Pacific garbage patch" to research micro plastics and toxins in our ocean and ecosystem, and she is a Norwegian freediving champion.
Stewart Sarkozy-Banoczy is Director Global Strategic Partnerships and Development, and Senior Advisor for North America for the Resilient Cities Network, the evolved, city-led network of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) program. In these roles, special projects include the creation of the Resilient Community Impact Fund (RCIFund) and co-facilitation of the Resilience 21 (R21) Coalition.
During the 100RC period Stewart served in variety of roles - Senior Advisor in Resilience Finance, Regional Director for Europe and the Middle East and Regional Director/City Relationship Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as leading the team that developed the 100RC challenge starting in 2013, through design firm, Context Partners, where he was partner and managing director.
Just prior he was the partnerships director for the Hurricane Sandy Task Force and Director of the Office for International and Philanthropic Innovation at HUD. Stewart spent the previous decade in the community development, sustainability and indigenous nation building arena, providing support for hundreds of tribal nations, specifically in the development of community development financial institutions and creating environmental, STEAM, and entrepreneurship programs and coursework in the tribal college setting.
Stewart is the founder of Precovery Labs, where creativity and community drive impact and awareness for clients like RISE-Resilience Innovations, Ocean Conservancy, Opportunity Finance Network, NDN Fund/Collective, and Conservatoire d’Littoral, as well as an active professional documentary and fine art photographer. He is also Senior Advisor for the Global Island Partnership, member of the advisory committee for SeaAhead, rapporteur for SMILO-the small island organization’s evaluation task force and a member of Four Bands Community Fund’s board of directors.
Eva Lianne Veldkamp
Eva Lianne Veldkamp
Serving as dual-licensed maritime officer, Eva Lianne Veldkamp started her career by crossing the many oceans of our globe on large container vessels. Presently Ms. Veldkamp serves as an IMO Policy Coordinator for the the Commonwealth of Dominica Maritime Registry, which is open international ship registry committed to serving the seafaring community as a whole through training, licensing and certification with integrity and honesty.
Representing Commonwealth of Dominica at IMO, Ms Veldkamp believes that mariners and seafarers are the real assets of our industry and will always stand tall in support of the human element.
In addition Ms. Veldkamp is connecting maritime professionals globally, in order for them to benefit from the online learning simulators, training and certification platforms NEMO° and HALO° developed by Northeast Maritime Institute.
Carleen Lyden Walker
Carleen Lyden Walker
Carleen Lyden Walker is the Chief Evolution Officer of SHIPPINGInsight, leveraging off her experience as a marketing and communications professional in the commercial maritime industry with over 40 years of experience. She specializes in identifying, developing and implementing strategic programs that position SHIPPINGInsight as the most effective forum for shipowners and solution providers to advance optimization and innovation in the maritime sphere. In 2015, Ms. Lyden Walker was appointed a Goodwill Maritime Ambassador by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). She is a member of WISTA (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association), the Connecticut Maritime Association, WIMAC (Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean) and is a Past-President of the Propeller Club Chapter of the Port of NY/NJ. She was also elected to the Board of Trustees of Tall Ships America Foundation, Northeast Maritime Institute, and the New Era Academy (Baltimore Harbor School). Ms. Lyden Walker is also CEO of Morgan Marketing & Communications, Co-Founder/Executive Director of NAMEPA, and Founder of both CARIBMEPA and the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage. In 2010 she was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the United States Coast Guard, and in 2014 a Public Service Commendation for her work on World Maritime Day and AMVER, respectively. She held a USCG Captain’s license.
Saji Zagha is a Germany based Palestinian social impact entrepreneur. He holds degrees in business, economics and environmental governance from Birzeit University and The University of Freiburg. He is experienced in the fields of philanthropic fundraising, natural building, and medtech. In 2018 Saji co-founded Noor Medical to address the surgical safety needs he had witnessed while managing the construction of a surgical clinic in Chad. Saji is driven by his vision of a safer and fairer world, thus he provides mentorship and consultancy for entrepreneurs and development workers to help them focus their efforts on saving and improving lives of underserved communities.