Who We Are

Board of Directors

Christopher J. Gervais, F.R.G.S.

Founder & CEO

Christopher is an award winning producer. His animated film "Dream" won a 2017 Golden Lion for film and a Silver Lion for music at the 64th Annual International Festival of Creativity. He is environmental and marine scientist.  Has decades of experience in field work and research with multiple academic institutions and natural history museums. A former science and social studies teacher, later an administrator, he became the youngest principal of a public school in the state of Florida. While a graduate student, Christopher conducted fieldwork and research to study the Pleistocene Mega fauna and their fossils that were deposited over 10,000 years ago. His study of these extinct species informs his concerns for preserving biodiversity and was a significant factor in the founding of the WCFF. Christopher was one of the first scientists to conduct underwater vertebrate paleontology research. He is a professional, advanced scuba diver with NAUI, PADI, SSI and NASDS with over 2,500 logged dives. Christopher founded the WCFF in 2010 using his life savings to get the organization off the ground and has maintained the operations since then. He is a philanthropic supporter of conservation organizations across the globe. Christopher is President of the International Exploration Society (IES), Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, member of the Ocean Geographic Society, friend of American Philosophical Society and a Board Member of the Pet Philanthropy Circle.


Larry McClenney

A lifelong conservationist, Larry has worked for the National Park Service as an educator for over 25 years. His commitment to education, science and natural history includes work with the Academy of Natural Science over a 20 year span and also the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology where he served as the Volunteer Coordinator. Larry is a specialist with non-profits, particularly focused on conservation and education.


Jim Costopulos

Jim Costopulos is the CEO of Global Oceans, a US-based nonprofit organization in New York designed to organize oceanographic research expeditions worldwide utilizing time-chartered offshore supply vessels configured for scientific research with modular workspace and laboratory systems, instrumentation and exploration vehicles. Most recently he was President and equity partner at an industrial products firm focusing on supply chain integration and global distribution. Prior work includes start-up ventures and senior management with several manufacturing companies. Mr. Costopulos holds a BS degree in Biology from the University of California, Irvine, with graduate research in marine physiology and aquaculture systems at San Diego State University and Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute.

Board of Advisors:

Jane Alexander
Actress, Author and former director of the National Endowment for the Arts Tony Award winner and two-time Emmy Award winner


Casey Anderson
Livingston, MT
Film Producer, TV host and Wildlife Conservationist


Katarina Benzova
Los Angeles, CA
Award winning photographer, activist, philanthropist and founder of Mission 11


Gale Brewer
New York, NY
New York City Council and
Manhattan Borough President


Holly Marie Combs
Los Angeles, CA
Award Winning Actress and Producer


Fabien Cousteau
New York, NY
Author, Environmentalist and Filmmaker


Dr. Sylvia Earle
Oakland, CA
Author, Aquanaut Explorer, Oceanographer, Founder of Mission Blue


Dr. Birute’ Mary Galdikas
Los Angeles, CA
Author, Primatologist, Founder of Orangutan Foundation International


Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE
London, United Kingdom
Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute
& UN Messenger of Peace


Dr. David Guggenheim
Washington, D.C.
Founder of Ocean Doctor &
Director of Cuba Conservancy



Ron Magill
Miami, FL
Wildlife Conservation Expert, Film Producer & Photographer, & Communications Director of the Miami-Dade Zoological Park

John Martin
Washington, D.C.
Video Producer & Director,
Conservation International


Matt Pickens
Tampa, FL
Professional Soccer Player and
2010 MLS Cup Champion


Ian Redmond, OBE
Gloucester, United Kingdom
Ambassador, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Convention on Migratory Species, Chairman of the Great Ape Alliance

Clare Richardson
Atlanta, GA
President Emeritus,
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International


Stan Waterman
New Jersey
Marine Filmmaker & Conservationist


Ugo Eichler Vercillo
Director, Department for Conservation &
Management of Species
Ministry of the Environment, Brazil

Dr. E.O. Wilson

Harvard University, MA
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author, Biologist and Conservationist

Dr. Patricia C. Wright

Stony Brook University, NY
Distinguished Professor, Dept. of Anthropology, Stony Brook University.
World’s foremost expert on lemurs.

David Hamlin
Washington, D.C.
Multiple Emmy Award winning Executive Producer

2018 WCFF Planning Committee

Mia Alessandra                     Solveig Galbo, Esq
Dr. Heather Blackall               Samantha Gargour
Matt Bracken                           Viviana Puello-Grimandi
Jennifer Calle                         Ilana Lapid
Karen Collado                          Alana Murphy
Julio Corredor                       Michelle Sanders
Jeff Coldwell                           Jen Seggio
Sara Curran                            April Schroer
Lorea Dandoy                         John Stone
Angela De Sapio                     Kathleen Waybourne, Esq.
Crystelle Desnoyer
Thomas Duvall
Joanne Flanders

Bram Gunther, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Ilias Missyris, Festival Director & Producer of Wildlife Vaasa, Finland

2018 Jury Selection Committee

Libor Spacek, Founder at the Escape to Nature / Award-Winning Cinematographer and Photographer

Simon Boyce, Executive Producer, Lucky 8 TV

Peter von Puttkamer, President at Gryphon Productions

David Hamlin, Multi-Emmy winning Executive Producer, Producer, Director, Writer for Broadcast TV, Digital, and VR Platforms

May-yi Lee, Vice President, NGC Regional Productions at National Geographic Channel Asia & Fox International Channels