Wendy Watson-Wright, Ph.D.

Assistant Director General and Executive Secretary, UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences Sector ad interim

Wendy Watson-Wright became Assistant Director General and Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO) on January 4, 2010. The Director-General appointed Wendy Watson-Wright as Assistant Director-General for the Natural Sciences Sector ad interim in April 2014.

Headquartered in Paris, IOC-UNESCO promotes international cooperation and coordinates programmes in marine research, services, observation systems, hazard mitigation and capacity development in order to better manage the nature and resources of the oceans and coastal areas.

From 2001 to 2009, she was Assistant Deputy Minister, Science, in Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) where she was responsible for providing the leadership, as well as policy and scientific direction for all science activities in the department, including oceanography, hydrography, and fisheries, aquaculture, habitat, climate and aquatic ecosystem science.

Wendy began her career in the Canadian federal public service in 1989 as a research scientist with DFO in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Following that, she held various positions, including Director of the DFO St. Andrews (Marine) Biological Station in New Brunswick, Director General of DFO Audit and Evaluation (Ottawa), and Director General of Strategic Policy of Population and Public Health in Health Canada.

Dr. Watson-Wright holds a Ph.D. in Physiology from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  She has been a member of several boards including the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science, ArcticNet, and Ocean Networks Canada (University of Victoria), and was a Canadian commissioner on the Canada-USA Great Lakes Fishery Commission. 

Back to top