Daniel T. Stetson is a world-renowned ocean advocate in the nonprofit industry. Since 2008, he has served as a trustee of The Nicholas Endowment, having also been named the executive director of the endowment since 2016. Earlier in his career, he served the Ocean Institute in several capacities, including as the president, chief executive officer and chief operating officer between 1992 and 2015. Prior to this role, he was an oil spill claims administrator for Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro from 1991 to 1992 and the vice president and general manager of Calypso Marine, Inc., from 1978 to 1991.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Stetson has enjoyed working on the ocean, drawing upon formative experiences of snorkeling with the Hicks Explorer. Additionally, he participated in several sailboat races in his youth, having won second place during the Transpacific Yacht Race at the age of 17. He also won first place at the International Yacht Race to Ensenada out of 600 participating boats. As time progressed, Mr. Stetson also served with the United States Coast Guard, having been ranked as a boatswain’s mate second class between 1972 and 1978. Notably, while serving as a Coast Guard reservist at boot camp, he was selected as the battalion commander to lead the prayer at the graduation ceremony.

Outside of his primary efforts, Mr. Stetson has served as chair-elect of the community engagement panel for the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station since 2023. He has also been a volunteer with the Abalone Repopulation and Get Inspired since 2020 and the Great White Shark Research Laboratory at California State University, Long Beach, since 2019, as well as a coach for nonprofit executives through Executive Coaches of Orange County since 2019.

Mr. Stetson holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master of Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton. For his success in the field, he was honored as an Alumni at the Top by his graduate alma mater in 2008, which he cites as a career highlight. The previous year, he was the recipient of the Business of the Year Award by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce. Impressively, Mr. Stetson also received the inaugural Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education from the National Maritime Historical Society, among other accolades. He is an elected member of the Explorers Club.

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