About Us

For the Love of The Ocean

Joi Danielson

Former OC Staff

Areas of Expertise

  • International commercial and environmental strategy
  • Technology innovation and market forces for environmental gains
  • Modeling and analytics
  • Leading multicultural teams to solve complex problems in analytically rigorous ways
  • Marine debris and plastic pollution solutions

Formerly Ocean Conservancy’s Senior Fellow for Program Innovation. Joi shaped new program strategy and leads the analytical work across a number of Ocean Conservancy programs. She is an experienced strategist who enjoys working at the intersection of technology, market forces and the environment. Joi describes herself as a “professional problem solver” and thrives when singularly focused on solving tough, important environmental challenges, the hairier the better. She enjoys leaving the desk and getting her hands dirty to really understand all dimensions of problems first hand, wherever in the world that happens to be and is  strongly target driven, working fast to achieve impact.

She joined Ocean Conservancy driven by a personal mission to sustainably reduce the amount of plastic waste leaking into the ocean annually by 50% globally by 2025. She has led the analytical work of the Trash Free Seas Signature Initiative including both of Ocean Conservancy’s marine debris white papers – Stemming the Tide: Land-based strategies for a plastic- free ocean and the Next Wave: Investment strategies for plastic free seas. Joi has also presented broadly on marine debris solutions around the world.

Trained as a strategy management consultant, Joi has ten years of international experience, five years as a McKinsey consultant, shaping and executing commercial and environmental strategy across energy, banking, technology, consumer packaged goods, mining, and government sectors, with a heavy focus on Asian and African rapidly developing economies. She also won a prestigious technology fellowship with the McKinsey Global Institute where she researched economically disruptive technologies with Silicon Valley venture capitalists, academics and futurists culminating in three white papers.

Joi earned an MBA Cum Laude in emerging market strategy from the Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa. She completed her undergraduate in business at the University of Washington in Information Systems, Marketing and Finance. Joi is based in Ocean Conservancy’s Portland, Oregon office.


  • MBA – Gordon Institute of Business Science, South Africa
  • Charted Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1: CFA Institute
  • Bachelors in Business Administration – University of Washington

My favorite thing about the ocean is:

I grew up in the Arizona desert, far from the ocean. During college I joined a study and volunteer abroad program which took me to Australia, and gave me the opportunity to learn to dive. When I experienced the Great Barrier Reef for the first time, something broke open inside of me. I can’t explain it. I didn’t want to stop. My original diving certificate quickly turned into an advanced certificate. There was just so much life and beauty and peace below the ocean surface, and since then the ocean is the place I go to feel centered and become rejuvenated. The widespread bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef has been devastating for me and reconfirmed my commitment to do whatever I can to achieve a more abundant and resilient ocean in the future.

Recent Publications

Marine debris


Connect with me

Joi Danielson


  • Joi Danielson
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