A New President at Sailors for the Sea

Sailors for the Sea names R. Mark Davis, a veteran of major national organizations, start-ups, and non-profits, as president.

Sailors for the Sea, the only ocean conservation nonprofit focused on the sailing and boating community, names R. Mark Davis as president, effective October 1, 2013.

David Rockefeller, Jr. following his work on the comprehensive Pew Ocean Commission study founded Sailors for the Sea with Dr. David Treadway in 2004. Since then Sailors for the Sea has grown into an international organization interacting with hundreds of thousands of boaters every year. Sailors for the Sea galvanizes the boating community around ocean health issues through education, programs, and resources: empowering sailors and boaters to become individual stewards of our coastal waters.

“Mark Davis – academically trained in marine biology and earth sciences education – is a recognized environmental leader who has received numerous awards for restoration, conservation, and revitalization efforts throughout his career,” said David Rockefeller, Jr., co-founder and chair, Sailors for the Sea. “I and the rest of the board are very impressed with Mark’s blend of professional accomplishments and experiences, including his success in developing and executing strategic plans for non-profit organizations. His leadership will be critical as the organization continues to grow significantly throughout the United States and abroad.”


Davis has nearly 30 years of experience developing and directing the strategic plans and operations, and delivering successfully on aggressive membership and fundraising efforts of national non-profit organizations, and non-profit environmental or healthy living organizations. He has held various senior executive positions, including most recently serving as president and CEO at Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, where he:

  • created an $85 million global development strategy to establish 15 regional Centers of Innovation and Technology to promote sustainable development
  • coordinated 3,500 volunteers in 50 countries to provide pro bono intellectual property legal services
  • established memorandums of understanding for working relationships with the World Trade Organizations, World Health Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization, World Bank, Organization of American States, and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

While serving as the Interim CEO for the Renew America/Renew the Earth, Davis repositioned the company as an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) in four months, and established a 29-member transnational NGO council that allowed the company to move quickly around the world to identify and verify environmental achievements, promote replication and exchange of information and partnerships.

“Melding my professional experience, significant involvement in issues related to environmental awareness and sustainability, and my academic background in marine biology and earth sciences education has me excited to work with the staff, board, partners, and funders of Sailors for the Sea,” said Mark Davis. “The organization has a solid base from which we can effectively implement a strategic growth plan, achieve higher impact with our programs, and appeal to a broad cross-section of donors.”