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About the Board of Trustees & Members of the Corporation

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Newt Merrill

Chairman of the Board, Newt Merrill, welcomes Trustees and Members to the Fall 2006 meetings. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


Members of the WHOI Board and Corporation share the trust of those who chartered this Institution on January 6, 1930. Over the course of more than 75 years, exceptional individuals, leaders in a wide range of professions and pursuits, have passed along to their successors a passionate commitment to the good of this remarkable organization.

Trusteeship is a privilege that implies a special connection to the Institution. Because the Board of Trustees is ultimately accountable for stewardship and good governance of the organization, each Trustee has a moral responsibility to the founders and a civic responsibility to future generations to act collegially in a manner above reproach to preserve the historic vision that has made the Oceanographic a world leader in the pursuit of knowledge about our planet.

Members of the Corporation are essential to the process of good governance. They elect the Board of Trustees, and are formally assigned responsibility in the bylaws to “assure that the Corporation accomplishes its mission in the public interest.”

Together, Trustees and Corporation Members strive to promote the identity, mission, and standards of excellence of the Institution by sharing time, talent, and personal resources according to individual means. They work as ambassadors and they advocate to increase external recognition and forge new connections that help sustain and increase both public and private support for the Institution. They provide active fiduciary oversight of finances, physical assets, and long range plans to ensure the abiding vitality of the Institution. And they appoint and monitor the performance of executive leadership, standing always ready to advise and offer support in setting goals and priorities.

Today, Trustees and Members have a clearer understanding than our 1930 forebears of just how closely tied is the “public interest” to the well-being of the oceans. Indeed, the well-being of our entire planet is directly tied to the health of the oceans. Service on the WHOI Board and Corporation is certainly a privilege, but it is also an effective means of fulfilling a larger social responsibility.

Learn more about:
» WHOI Mission
» Charge
» Responsibilities
» Bylaws
» WHOI History
» Statement of Philanthropy
» Conflict of Interest Policy

Last updated: June 8, 2012