Ocean Institute Names Dan Pingaro New President and CEO


Dana Point, Calif. – April 10, 2017 – The Ocean Institute, Orange County’s leading marine science, education, and maritime history center, today announced its Board of Directors named Dan Pingaro as its new president and CEO after completing a nationwide search. Pingaro, who will assume his new position on April 24, 2017, most recently served as executive director of Laguna Beach Community Foundation (LBCF) for three years. He also served for five years as CEO and executive director of Sailors for the Sea, the premier ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community.

At the LBCF, Pingaro successfully transformed the Foundation into a philanthropic hub supporting nonprofit, private enterprise, and community engagement. He created community engagement programming to cultivate partnerships with citizens, nonprofits, and foundations, and established strategic partnerships to increase philanthropic impact by leveraging time, talent, and funding.

Pingaro’s leadership was instrumental in LBCF achieving the prestigious National Standards accreditation in 2017. In addition to disbursing more than $700,000 annually in donor directed grant funding, he also doubled the financial portfolio of funds under management and tripled the number of LBCP client fund holders.

“We are thrilled that Dan will be joining us,” said Cliff Bream, chairman of Ocean Institute. “He has the vision, leadership skills, and passion that will inspire the organization. This, combined with his life-long interest in the ocean and conservation and his non-profit and business background, made him an excellent fit.”

Prior to LBCF, Pingaro was Chief Executive Officer of Sailors for the Sea, an ocean conservation organization founded by David Rockefeller, Jr. As CEO, Pingaro led Sailors for the Sea from a nascent New England nonprofit to a global organization with international affiliates. Sailors for the Sea expanded through sound strategic planning, innovative programs, prudent fiscal management, and the nurturing of an extensive global stakeholder network.

Said Pingaro, “I am thrilled to join the professional staff at the Ocean Institute as CEO. Marine-based science, technology, and research are fundamental to my personal and professional commitment to ocean health and I look forward to furthering the mission of the Ocean Institute.”

Pingaro previously worked for 10 years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in the Water Division and with tribal programs. He also founded CLEWGEAR, a technical sailing apparel brand, which grew to include best of class chandleries across the US. He was also an advisor to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, partner to the World Bank Global Partnership for Oceans, advisory council member to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, and trustee to the San Francisco Bay Marine Science Institute.

Pingaro received a Bachelor of Science, recreation resource management, Colorado State University, and studied natural resource planning and interpretation at Humbolt St. University in their master’s program. Pingaro is a member of the St. Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, Calif., and the New York Yacht Club, New York, NY.

About The Ocean Institute

The Ocean Institute, founded in 1977 as the Orange County Marine Institute, is an ocean education center that offers in-depth Marine Science, Maritime History and Outdoor Education programs. The Institute includes state-of-the-art teaching labs, the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center, two historic tall ships, and an oceanographic research vessel.

Immersion-based field trips range from one-hour science labs to multi-day programs at sea. All programs are designed to maximize immersion, spark curiosity, and inspire a deep commitment to learning. Ocean-based exhibits are open to the public seven days a week. Visitors can explore the underwater world while participating in fun activities designed to indulge ocean curiosity. Throughout the year, the Ocean Institute also offers organized family programs, summer camps, cruises, tall ship sails, and other unique events including its annual Toshiba Tall Ships Festival and the Festival of Whales. The Ocean Institute, which educates 250,000 visitors annually, is located on 2.4 acres in the Dana Point Harbor adjacent to a Marine Life Conservation Area.

To learn more visit http://www.ocean-institute.org/.