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Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Taps New Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Taps New Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer

August 16, 2018

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) has selected Samuel C. Harp, an international brand marketing expert, as the Institution’s first Vice President for Advancement and Chief Marketing Officer. Harp has spent much of his career in academic, technology, and research institutions and will begin working at WHOI on October 1.

“It is paramount that WHOI continues to build on its rich history of research and engineering by pushing the boundaries of exploration and discovery and, increasingly, of telling the story about our work and engaging the broader community,” said WHOI President and Director Mark Abbott. “We are delighted that Sam will join us in this new position to broaden the recognition of WHOI as a world-leading ocean research and education institution.”

Harp most recently served as the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where he has worked for more than eight years. While there, Harp spearheaded efforts to develop and promote the School’s brand in connection with a seven-year fundraising campaign that raised more than $900 million against a $450 million goal and he led a team that rapidly expanded content and social media marketing to reach monthly audiences in the tens of millions. Before working at Harvard, Harp worked in marketing, communications, and business development roles at technology startups in the U.S., Taiwan, and Hong Kong. He helped launch a new business line in the interactive division of sports marketing company IMG and also managed customer relationships with well-known brands including Comcast, Nokia, Sony Music, Marvel, and Sony Pictures, among others.

“The Board welcomes Sam to WHOI to lead our advancement efforts,” said David Scully, Chair of the WHOI Board of Trustees. “He is highly mission-driven and collaborative. This is an exciting time for WHOI as we embark on new research initiatives, such as the exploration of the Ocean Twilight Zone. Sam will help us tell this and other amazing stories to expand and enhance WHOI’s impact.” 

In his new role at WHOI, Harp will be responsible for communications, fundraising, and marketing groups at the Institution. “I am honored to have been selected for this newly created role,” said Harp. “WHOI is an extraordinary organization with a powerful story to tell. I’ve been inspired by the commitment people throughout the Institution feel for WHOI’s mission, and the opportunity to lead such a strong and dedicated team is both humbling and exhilarating.”

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit