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About Us

Janis Searles Jones

Janis Searles Jones

Chief Executive Officer
Portland, Oregon

I am honored to serve as Ocean Conservancy’s CEO. Every day, I get to wake up and work with some of the smartest, hardest-working people in the business. Our team cares deeply about not just the ocean, but about the people and coastal communities that rely on the ocean every day. It’s easy to get caught up in the divisiveness of today’s political climate, but every day, my work reminds me that we have more in common than we think. Each and every one of us relies on the ocean. It’s my job to make sure that Ocean Conservancy makes good on our promise to our members, supporters, partners and friends – to protect and defend our ocean and all of us that rely on it.

Areas of Expertise

  • Environmental law
  • Arctic conservation and policy
  • Marine conservation

When Janis (she/her) drove into Juneau, Alaska with all her worldly belongings in an old pickup truck in 1996, she knew she had come home. Her experience working with Native American Tribes complemented her new focus on legal issues that spanned state and federal management of public lands, waters and resources. The young environmental lawyer would grow to love–and defend–the people and places in the Arctic for the rest of her professional career.

Today, Janis continues to champion Ocean Conservancy’s work in the region against the growing threats of oil and gas development, increased shipping and climate change. As CEO of Ocean Conservancy, she has a deep understanding of our conservation programs and strategic direction. Janis brings passion, logic and commitment to our work on the water.

She is a respected expert in the marine conservation field and has authored multiple chapters on the sustainable use of ocean resources, focusing on ecosystem-based management for the oceans, Pacific fisheries, and other ocean and coastal law and policy topics. Prior to joining Ocean Conservancy, Janis was senior regional counsel and policy advisor for Oceana and the staff attorney for the Alaska office of Earthjustice.


  • Juris Doctorate, Lewis and Clark Law School
  • B.A History, Reed College

My Favorite Ocean Animal

Don’t make me choose! But if I must….the narwhal.

Recent Publications

  • Janis S. Jones, Andrew Hartsig & Becca R. Gisclair, Advancing a Network of Safety Measures in the Bering Strait Region: Now is the Time, 25 Ocean & Coastal L.J. 64 (2020). [PDF]
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