William (Bill) Karp has been elected as ICES President during the 109th statutory meeting of ICES Council. Fritz Köster, the outgoing ICES President announced the news during the annual Council meeting that took place online at the end of October.
Karp, an affiliate professor at the University of Washington and ICES US delegate, takes the reigns from Köster and will serve as ICES President for a three-year term (November 2021–October 2024).
Having first been introduced to the work of ICES while carrying out an internship at Lowestoft in 1971, Karp feels that his lifelong interactions with ICES have shaped his career, "I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to work in ICES ecosystem and to have grown and developed as a scientist and as an administrator through that process".
Expanding the accessibility of these opportunities within ICES community is something that Karp is passionate about, "I hope that as we move forward as an organization, that we continue to provide these opportunities to allow us to develop a more diverse community of scientists".
"Our organization has grown over the past decade and our ability to adapt is evident from the way we
have responded to changing national priorities, increasing expectations for an ecosystem approach in advisory
services, changing and increasing needs for data and information, a larger Secretariat to support a growing network, and our remarkable flexibility in maintaining
operations during the pandemic.
There is however a limit to what we can accomplish as an organization and how rapidly we can grow or change under current circumstances. There is an enormous challenge for us to set priorities and recognise how to build on our strengths. Prioritization, best use of
available resources, and responsiveness to the changing needs of our member countries will continue to be
Further elections saw Carl O'Brien, Cefas, UK, elected First Vice-President and Piotr Margonski, National Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Poland elected to the position of Vice-President. O'Brien thanked delegates for his election to the position and looked forward to working closely with Council delegates over the next years.
Köster will take on the position of Finance Committee Chair, along with new Finance Committee members Paul Connolly, Ireland and Gert Kraus, Germany.
An important discussion for the Council was the recruitment of a new General Secretary. Karp spoke about the significant contribution of Anne Christine Brusendorff who has led the organization for 10 years and brought about engagement in areas such as aquaculture and the Arctic. Bureau shared with Council their proposed plan for recruitment and the draft vacancy announcement. The composition of the selection panel was agreed upon and Council agreed to move forward working with a consultancy company that will manage the recruitment. A vacancy announcement for the position is expected in November.
The 2021 Council meeting took place online for the second year in a row as the continuing pandemic causes uncertainty for the work of our organisation. A major focus of work during 2021 has been on developing recommendations to adapt the organization beyond the pandemic, recognizing the importance of adapting the work of expert groups to embrace new communication technologies, developing a digital collaboration strategy, investing in processes that strengthen the quality of ICES Advice, fostering gender awareness, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and ensuring that the Annual Science Conference, our flagship event continues to evolve while effectively bringing ICES community together, while conscious that these new realities create additional workload for the wider community and Secretariat. All of these adaptations must be implemented in the context of an organization that is aiming to move towards net-zero CO2 emissions for operations and activities.