Dr. Wei Ying Wong Named President and CEO of Alaska SeaLife Center
March 25, 2024

Seward, Alaska (March 25, 2024) – The Alaska SeaLife Center Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Dr. Wei Ying Wong has accepted the role of President and CEO. Dr. Wong is an experienced executive with a passion for marine science. She is a visionary leader who brings an array of skills and experience, from her deep roots in interdisciplinary and multicultural conservation and education to her extraordinary leadership in advancing equity in zoo and aquarium communities nationally and abroad. Dr. Wong will become President and CEO on March 31.


“I am thrilled that Dr. Wong will be leading the Alaska SeaLife Center,” said ASLC Board Chair Josie Hickel. “Dr. Wong will continue to be a champion of science and research as part of ASLC’s renewed emphasis on delivering its mission in the face of impacts to Alaska’s marine ecosystems from climate change and other environmental factors.”

Dr. Wong was chosen after an extensive search that attracted a diverse field of highly qualified candidates. In making its selection, the Board cited Dr. Wong’s passion for ASLC’s mission, her strong organizational leadership experience fostering a collaborative and inclusive workplace culture, and her depth of experience cultivating strategic partnerships that amplify mission impact.

“Leading the Center in fulfilling its mission is dear to my heart,” said Dr. Wong. “I was originally attracted to the ASLC because of its reputation for groundbreaking research and the potential in the mission. Over time, my commitment to the organization has deepened as I grew to know the staff and community. The ASLC has the capacity to serve as a formidable science enterprise at the scale it promised at its founding. I truly believe we can become a new driving force for positive global change.”

Dr. Wong joined ASLC and the community of Seward in December 2021 when she stepped into her role as ASLC’s Chief Science and Education Officer (CSEO). As CSEO, Dr. Wong reenergized and expanded the science and education programs, working closely with the CEO, Board, and staff to develop and implement a visionary science agenda. Dr. Wong’s efforts to amplify scientific and organizational impact through collaborative grants and fundraising, including successfully launching the Community Organized Restoration and Learning (CORaL) Network, has yielded substantial benefits for ASLC and the community. 

Dr. Wong’s experience includes serving in executive roles at the Washington Sea Grant, Woodland Park Zoo, and the Philadelphia Zoo. As an industry leader, Dr. Wong has a strong record of talks, publications, and service. She has received numerous awards and fellowships and is a 2019 graduate of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium Executive Leadership Development Program.

“The Board is grateful for the leadership of Dr. Tara Riemer who has served the Center for 20 years, the last 12 years as President and CEO,” Hickel said. “Under her leadership, the Center has grown and developed into a world-class organization providing education, research, and programs that have improved our knowledge of Alaska’s unique marine environment. We are confident that Dr. Wong is the right leader to continue growing ASLC’s leadership in stewarding Alaska’s marine health.”

About ASLC 

Opened in 1998, the Alaska SeaLife Center operates as a 501(c)(3), non-profit research institution and public aquarium in Seward, Alaska. The Center generates and shares scientific knowledge to promote understanding and stewardship of Alaska’s marine ecosystems. The ASLC is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. To learn more, visit www.alaskasealife.org

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