Christine O'Connell (PhD, 2013)
Christine O’Connell, Ph.D., is an expert in the field of science communication, policy, and engagement, and building empathetic leaders. She provides strategic direction to grow non-profit and academic organizations, research initiatives, and environmental and community campaigns. She is currently the Executive Director of Riley’s Way Foundation, an organization whose mission is to empower kindness and empathy in teen leaders to build a better world.
Previously, she was the founding Associate Director at the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University where she helped create and build the Center and its curriculum to international acclaim. She led the growth of many of the Alda Center’s flagship programs and under her direction the Alda Center’s workshop program trained tens of thousands of scientists worldwide to be more effective communicators. Christine taught and built research and curriculum initiatives at the Alda Center and was an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism. She is a co-PI for the SBU STRIDE program, where she remains an affiliate professor. Her current research focuses on best practices in science communication, science policy, and women in STEM. Her past research has included ecosystem-based management, marine policy and social science, and marine zoning. She is passionate about advancing women in STEM and serves as the co-chair of the Advisory Board for 500 Women Scientists. Christine received her B.S. from Cornell University, and Ph.D. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University.