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Sen. Kyrillos Leads ‘Our Ocean and Beaches: A Record of Success and New Challenges to Face’ Panel at Monmouth University

April 5 event is free and open to the public; registration is required

Photo of Sen. Joseph Kyrillos at podium
Sen. Joseph Kyrillos

Former state Sen. Joseph M. Kyrillos will moderate “Our Ocean and Beaches: A Record of Success and New Challenges to Face,” on Friday, April 5 at 10 a.m. in the University’s Wilson Auditorium.  This is the fourth and final panel discussion he will lead as the 2018-2019 Monmouth University Public Servant-in-Residence. Previous panel discussions in the public servant-in-residence series focused on pension and benefit reform, bridging the partisan divide, and jobs and the economy.

The panel will feature environmental experts including: Cindy Zipf, executive director of the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action; Chris Daggett, former regional administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; and Tony MacDonald, director of the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute.

Announced earlier this fallKyrillos is currently serving as Monmouth University’s Public Servant-in-Residence.  In January 2018, Kyrillos ended a nearly 30-year career in the New Jersey Legislature.  He served as majority conference leader and chaired standing committees on economic development and coastal resources.  He was also chairman of the Republican State Committee from 2001-2004 and his party’s nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2012.  Kyrillos holds a master’s in communications from Boston University and a bachelor’s in political science from Hobart College.  He is affiliated with Newmark Knight Frank, a global real estate services firm, Newport Capital Group, a financial services firm, and his consulting firm, SK Partners.

Photos of left to right: Chris Daggett, Cindy Zipf, and Tony MacDonald
From left to right: Chris Daggett, Cindy Zipf, and Tony MacDonald

Setting high standards for successful grassroots organizing with tangible results, Cindy Zipf uses her passion for science and advocacy to create campaigns and programs to drive public policy and reduce ocean pollution as the executive director of Clean Ocean Action (COA).  Raised on the Jersey Shore, Zipf enjoyed sand, surf, and exploring local marine life, with a goal of becoming a marine biologist.  Having learned the plight of the ocean following internships with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the American Littoral Society, she became motivated to engage in advocacy work based on science.  In 1984, the waters off the New York/New Jersey coast were known as the “Ocean Dumping Capitol of the World.”  Zipf was hired to help form COA and turn the tide. Today, the region is a premier tourism destination with vastly improved water quality and cleaner beaches.  Zipf remains at the helm of COA, which has grown and evolved to include a web of alliances on many issues and a professional staff of nine full-time employees.  Zipf is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island with a bachelor’s in geography and marine affairs, and serves on several national and regional boards. She is honored to have received many local, regional, and national awards on behalf of COA, such as the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute’s Volunteer of the Year Award for COA’s Waves of Action program to rebuild and restore after Superstorm Sandy.

Chris Daggett is an independent consultant, providing strategic and operational advice to nonprofit and for-profit organizations in education, community development, local news and information, public policy, and philanthropy.  Immediately prior to his current work, Daggett served for over eight years as president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.  In that capacity, he oversaw operations and grantmaking for one of New Jersey’s largest and most respected foundations, raising over $20 million in outside individual and foundation funds to support Dodge initiatives.  Immediately prior to joining the Foundation, Daggett ran as an independent candidate for governor of New Jersey.  Daggett has been a leader for more than 35 years in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, serving as deputy chief of staff to Governor Thomas Kean, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, he was a managing director of William E. Simon & Sons, a private investment firm, and operated a brownfields development company. He was also a principal with JM Sorge, Inc., an environmental consulting and management firm.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Tony MacDonald is the director of the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI). He was previously the executive director of the Coastal States Organization (CSO) from 1998-2005. CSO, based in Washington, DC, represents the interests of the governors of the nation’s 35 coastal states and territories on coastal and ocean policy matters. Prior to joining CSO, MacDonald was the special counsel and director of environmental affairs at the American Association of Port Authorities, where he represented the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) at the International Maritime Organization on negotiations on the London Convention. MacDonald has also practiced law with a private firm in Washington, DC, working on environmental and legislative issues, and served as the Washington, DC, environmental legislative representative for the mayor of the City of New York.