Press Release


Greater Farallones Association Welcomes New Executive Director

Greater Farallones Association (the Association) is pleased to announce Deb Self as its new Executive Director. The Association selected Deb after an extensive, nation-wide search. She started her role as Executive Director on September 3, 2019.

“We are very excited to have Deb taking on the role of the executive director for the Association,” says Erica Mattson, Board President. “We’re confident her strong background in marine conservation and successful non-profit leadership will strengthen our impact for the California coast and communities that rely on it.”

Deb brings to Greater Farallones Association more than 30 years of leadership in nonprofit organizational development and environment protection. Most recently, she was Executive Director of San Francisco Baykeeper, dedicated to protecting the Bay from pollution, sand-mining, invasive species, oil spills, and climate change. Deb also served on California’s oil spill response Technical Advisory Committee for eight years and helped pass numerous bills that increased funds for oil spill response and the rescue of oiled marine life. She received the Coast Guard’s highest civilian honor for her role assessing the effectiveness of the response to the Cosco Busan oil spill in SF Bay in 2007. Deb has had a lifelong passion for the environment, with an educational background in geology and environmental sociology.

“I am very excited for this opportunity to work with Greater Farallones Association’s stellar staff of scientists and educators to protect the important ecosystems of the marine sanctuaries just off the coast of San Francisco,” says Deb.

The Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1995 to help protect and share the unique marine ecosystem of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. The first nonprofit-marine sanctuary partnership of its kind, the Association has set the standard for building strong networks of support and stewardship for national marine sanctuaries worldwide. Its strong programs in research, conservation, citizen science, education and stewardship, help ensure the 3,295 square miles of open ocean and coastal habitat within the sanctuary remain protected and thriving.

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Greater Farallones Association (GFA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps conserve, research, and protect the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a federally-designated region encompassing 3,295 square miles of coastal waters and open ocean off the California coast. Our mission is to help preserve, monitor, research, educate about, and enhance the waters of Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Our organization is unique in that every program incorporates local communities in achieving its goals. We engage nearly 14,000 adults and youth per year in our educational programs, and empower citizens to take a hands-on role in monitoring and conserving Sanctuary waters, wildlife, and coastlines. We are committed to high-impact programs rooted in science that provide educational opportunities for our community and protect the environment around us.