Jill Hepp is the director of Pew's Global Shark Conservation campaign, where she oversees a team of regional and country-based organizers around the world. She joined Pew in 2009 as a manager. Her efforts helped to establish the shark sanctuary announced by Maldives in 2010. Hepp also spearheads Pew’s policy efforts on shark conservation at international meetings, including the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.
Before joining Pew, Hepp researched international fisheries management and wildlife trade for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, where she also coordinated a U.S. State Department grant to improve the enforcement capacity of CITES to reduce illegal wildlife trade in Central America. She also worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where she researched the transfer to Latin America of the Sea Grant program, which facilitates awareness of the roles of applied research and outreach in marine conservation.
Hepp, a Peace Corps alumna, holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in conservation biology and sustainable development from the University of Maryland.