The Summit Foundation Appoints Cheri Recchia as Director for its Mesoamerican Reef Program

The Summit Foundation Appoints Cheri Recchia as Director for its Mesoamerican Reef Program

WASHINGTON DC, September 4, 2018—The Summit Foundation today announced the appointment of Cheri Recchia as Director for its Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) Program, a role in which she will lead the foundation’s grantmaking for all ocean conservation activities.

“We are very excited for Cheri to lead our MAR program,” said Summit Foundation President Alexis Sant. “She brings a dedication to marine conservation and a demonstrated record of achievement in assessing effectiveness in grantmaking and programs. Her strong experience in marine science and resource management, and her commitment to identifying, assessing and supporting the people and institutions with a capacity for this work make her an ideal person to lead our grantmaking in this area.”

Recchia steps into the role vacated by long-time program director Carlos Saavedra, who in his more than 20 years at the Summit Foundation, created and advanced the goals and strategies of its marine conservation work, which has been mainly focused on the protection and restoration of the Mesoamerican Reef. Though Recchia will have the discretion to modify the MAR program’s strategies and goals, the foundation will continue grantmaking in service of its Mesoamerican Reef activities for the foreseeable future.

“The oceans have been my lifelong passion,” said Recchia. “I am excited to join the Summit Foundation and to lead a program of such distinction and accomplishment. Summit’s strategic, coalition-minded approach is one I’ve appreciated and the necessity for thoughtful and effective work to protect and sustain the world’s marine resources has never been greater.”

Recchia joins the Summit Foundation from The Walton Family Foundation where she was deputy director for strategy, leadership and evaluation, leading progress assessment and reporting of environmental grantmaking and overseeing its grants on research and evaluation. Before that, she held senior positions at a variety of global and regional marine conservation organizations, including the California Ocean Science Trust, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Ocean Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund Canada. Recchia has an undergraduate degree in zoology from the University of Guelph as well as a PhD in Biological Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Summit Foundation, based in Washington DC, makes grants in service of “a world where people can thrive and nature can flourish.” Its three areas of grantmaking are in ocean conservation, where it has been focused on the restoration of the Mesoamerican Reef; equality for women and girls with particular attention to leadership development and reproductive health rights in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and portions of Mexico; and in radically improving the sustainability of cities in North America.



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